Self-discovery can be a daunting task. The road to finding yourself is much like the path on the other side of a high mountain, but the journey is well worth it.
Self-discovery begins with sitting down with yourself and figuring out who you are today.
Once you start out on the path to finding yourself, you might discover that you are only a shell of your old joyous, strong, and zesty self. And perhaps a far cry from the person you always aspired to be.
It could dawn on you that you still haven’t found the meaning of your life.
So, how can you find yourself in a way that you have never done before?
Self-Discovery: 10 Things To Do To Discover Yourself In 2023
1. Start keeping a journal
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you understand yourself better and make connections between events, emotions, and patterns in your life.
2. Practice mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation trains you to focus on the present without judgment.
Paying attention to the present moment and your internal experiences can help you understand your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors better and lead to greater self-discovery.
Mindfulness-based programs have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.
Here is a beginner’s guide: Start Mindfulness Meditation in 7 Steps (with free downloadable PDF).
3. Set new worthwhile goals
Defining what you want to achieve in your life can help you understand your values, motivations, and strengths.
Here is How To Set Goals: 3 Techniques & 2 Secrets That Work [PDF]
4. Try new things
Exploring new activities and hobbies can help you discover new interests and abilities and increase self-awareness.
5. Travel to an unfamiliar place
Seeing new places and experiencing new cultures can broaden your perspective and increase your self-awareness.
Here’s Why Traveling Makes You Happier (Scientific Reasons).
6. Volunteer for a cause you care about
Helping others can give you a sense of purpose, increase self-esteem, and help you understand your values and beliefs.
7. Spend some time alone
Taking time to be alone and reflect can help you understand your inner thoughts and feelings without external distractions.
8. Surround yourself with positive people
Being around supportive and encouraging people can help you feel better about yourself and increase your self-confidence.
9. Engage in creative activities
Experiment with different art forms such as painting, drawing, photography, or writing to tap into your creative side and better understand your thoughts and feelings.
Creating something new can give you a sense of achievement and help you uncover yourself. It could be making an Indian dish from the scratch or drawing a charcoal sketch.
10. Seek therapy or counseling
Talking to a professional can help you process your emotions, understand your behavior patterns, and identify areas for personal growth.
3 Tips To Find Yourself This Year, 2023
When you begin the process of finding your true self, you are mostly taken aback by how much you have achieved. But you also realize how much is left to be done.
The following tips can help you evolve into a person who truly knows yourself:
1. Make a bucket list and start checking items off it.
Stay ready to challenge yourself in fresh ways on your journey to discover yourself. Make a bucket list.
A “bucket list” is a collection of experiences or feats that a person wishes to have or achieve over their lifetime. First used in 2006, the term came from the expression “before you kick the bucket” (a euphemism for “before you die”).
A bucket list helps you make time to do the things you’d most want to do and engage with your peak experiences.
Once you’ve written down the things you have wanted to do all your life, rank them in order of easy to hard. You may find that it’s easier to learn how to sketch high fashion than to make a new location your home for six months.
2. Learn and practice “self-inquiry” meditation.
Self-inquiry meditation is a technique used by many mentors to help people find themselves and their purpose. It recognizes that we are bound by both our mental and physical states, as we have learned from years of living various experiences.
When we meditate to connect with our inner selves, we can uncover what we truly seek outside those self-created boundaries.
Meditation is a simple, yet powerful tool to help you relax and focus on something other than your automatically appearing trains of thought.
In self-inquiry meditation, you sit in a quiet place and try to be “in the moment” by focusing on a single thing, like your breath or a particular sound. Mindfulness Meditation is a powerful and proven way to achieve this state.
Once your mind is still, and no more wandering, you ask yourself some simple questions:
- What is my true purpose in life?
- What are the things that I’m doing wrong?
- How would I want people to remember me?
- How can I leave the world a better place?
You may frame yourself with some other questions too.
The objective is to investigate one question in one or more sessions until you have thoroughly examined it and found all of its answers.
You may write down your answers at the end of each self-inquiry session. Most people find that it helps you to gain a clearer sense of yourself, a deeper understanding of what you are feeling, and a more accurate view of reality.
3. Imagine the best version of your future self
When you imagine your future self, who and how do you see yourself? Do you see the same self or an improved self?
Being yourself can be a great way to make friends and have fun, and it’s not always as easy as it sounds. But often it prevents you from achieving things that are truly meaningful to you.
The key to being your best self is focusing on your core values and building relationships with people who value those same things. If you’re a “hard worker” and you surround yourself with people who just don’t get it, you’ll find yourself frustrated and unhappy.
Becoming a better version of yourself is not a simple task, as you need to ask yourself some tough questions:
- How do you want to be seen by others?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are your strengths?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are you passionate about?
Then set a goal for each dimension of your best future self. You might want to become more empathetic in the future so that you understand other people’s emotions.
You could opt to create your body in the style of a super-athlete. You might want to achieve a certain look: slim, radiant skin, and a gentle disposition.
The idea is to create a better version of yourself, one day at a time. It is the 1% Improvement Rule, as James Clear puts it:
If you can get 1 percent better each day for one year, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. Conversely, if you get 1 percent worse each day for one year, you’ll decline nearly down to zero.
However you choose to find yourself, there are some important things to keep in mind. First, figuring out what you want to be in the future is a process, not an overnight transformation.
Second, since we are all different, the best way to find yourself is to research extensively, try out various activities, and take risks. Third, you cannot follow every step perfectly, or else you will burn out and give up on yourself.
One last idea: Try to learn at least one skill that you think you will be terrible at, but it would immensely help you in stepping outside your comfort zone. It will force you to discover new aspects about yourself, such as your limitations, tenacity, and resilience.
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Our world is adding old people to its population count at an unprecedented rate in history. Sadly, young people hold a negative attitude toward the elderly and old age, forgetting that they will be there soon. So, how can you help yourself and your parents to age positively?
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Author Bio: Written and reviewed by Sandip Roy — a medical doctor, psychology writer, and happiness researcher, who writes on mental well-being, happiness, positive psychology, and philosophy (especially Stoicism).
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