Staying true to who you are is a challenge as we navigate through life. It’s normal to lose yourself from time to time but it’s important to know that you can always go back to yourself. Throughout the years, I have found that the only real way of finding who you are, finding your true identity, is by losing yourself in the way.
Get out of your comfort zone. This is probably one of the most crucial steps when trying to get closer to who you are. Try new things, even if it seems like a hassle to get out of what you already know. Go to a concert, try new restaurants, visit a museum that you’re interested in, shop at a flea market. Do anything and everything. Expose yourself to the world. Observe how you feel when you are in different scenarios. Keep going back to the places that resonate with you.
Spend time with different people. Start interacting with crowds you’re not familiar with. Your gut instinct will immediately recognize people who you will feel comfortable with. And believe it or not, spending time with people that get you, will get you closer to finding your essence. Approach people that interest you, spend time with your friend’s friends, say yes to that brunch even if you don’t know everyone that will be there. Make an effort to find your people.
Take time for yourself. I’m not talking about laying on your bed scrolling through your phone. That’s perfectly fine to do. But also spend screen-free time doing something you love and can only do when you’re on your own. Read, draw, paint, write, play an instrument. Make sure to take a moment each day for these little moments in your day that feed your soul. The more time you dedicate to yourself, the more realizations you will have about who you are. If you can’t find anything that you’re passionate about, be patient. It will come to you. Until it does, meditate. Sit in your room, maybe light a candle, and close your eyes. Relaxing music in the background will help set the mood. Observe what thoughts, desires, and feelings come to you.
Journal. It doesn’t matter if you grab your laptop or an old notebook, but write! Journal what you feel, what you wish, what you think. When we put what we feel, what we did, or how we reacted into words, we can clearly see what we like and what we don’t like. It’s that simple. Even if it’s only a sentence or two. Try writing at the end of each day how you feel. You will begin to notice patterns according to what you did, how you spent your freetime, who you hung out with, etc,. Write down your dreams, your day to day goals, anything that is personal to you.
Find a group. Having a sense of belonging is always positive. Join a Meetup group that relates to your interests, start dance classes, go to that yoga class you always promised yourself you will get to one day, maybe even attend a workshop. Experiment until you find what is right for you. Whatever it is you choose to belong to will increase your sense of belonging within yourself.
Spend time outside. I know, nature is not for everyone. But it actually is up to a point, in fact, we are nature. It is our universal source and essence. Try sitting at a park, maybe under a tree and just breathe. If you’re a water person, take a little adventure to a nearby lake or river; feel the water. If you like to hike, find somewhere near you to go hiking for a day. Whatever little piece of nature you can interact with, do it. You are nature, you will relate, you will feel at peace and at home.
It’s important to remember that the feeling of being lost will not last forever. You will eventually find your people, your interests, and your own gifts. There is always something you can do every day, no matter how small it may be, to help you get closer to yourself.