Who am I? What do I want? What am I here for? These are the questions that haunt the modern man.
Having a concrete sense of self is an important part of your existence. Without it, you’ll find that goals are harder to define and your needs harder to understand.
Discovering who you are doesn’t have to be as abstract as it sounds.
Here are ten steps you can take to become your awesome self:
Step 1: Figure Out Who You Are
A big part of figuring out who you are as a person is nailing down the specific personality traits that make you.
People are essentially a combination of their good and bad traits, and figuring out which of these define you will help you understand yourself better.
Start by defining yourself according to your own terms. Are you funny? Charming? Altruistic? Passionate? Effeminate? Aggressive? Ill-willed?
Being able to name your defining characteristics allows you to see yourself in a well-rounded way.
More importantly, it encourages you to become self-aware and distinguish the good from the bad.
Step 2: Reflect On Old Values VS New Ones
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that our defining personality traits are set in stone.
Your political orientation, religious view, and sexual preference, no matter how strongly you feel about these traits, realize that they are bound to change as you evolve into a fuller person.
Human beings are dynamic. Just because you believe in one thing doesn’t mean you can’t believe in another.
Be open to the possibility of having different, even conflicting views. Changing convictions don’t make you an inauthentic person.
Remember that the human spirit is very much capable of change, and that you should be accepting of that natural phenomenon.
Step 3: Don’t Focus On The Past You
Everyone has a cringe-worthy moment. You may have been insensitive, selfish, or conniving in the past, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep atoning for old behavior for the rest of your life.
Take a step back and breathe. Don’t forget the context of your behavior and remember to place them in the past.
Your previous choices and behavior, although impactful, do not define who you are, much less who you will transition into as you grow into a fuller person.
It’s incredibly unhealthy to keep nagging yourself for things that you did in the past. Invest in the art of letting go and moving on.
Step 4: Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
As you try to understand who you are as an individual, it will be tempting to compare yourself to others.
We are surrounded by more beautiful, more successful, and more appealing versions of ourselves, and those alone can knock down our self-confidence and send us spiraling into mimicry.
It’s easy to not like who you are and base your personality off someone else’s because they’re awesome or funny or rich.
However, doing this will only stifle your growth and prevent you from discovering your true self.
Once again, you will fall into a pattern of false self-discovery and wind up creating a persona instead of discovering your own personality.
Step 5: Focus On Your Growth, Ignore What People Say About You
Accept the fact that other people will doubt your motives and question your authenticity.
Individuals who have been a part of your life in one way or another will always use older versions of you as a reference, which might be discouraging considering the huge gap between who you were and who you want to be.
You will be tempted to say something about your journey and call people out. Hold out on snarky remarks and remember why you’re doing this: it’s not for anyone else but yourself.
You’re doing this because you want to become a better version of yourself.
Step 6: Express Your Individuality
As you grow more and more certain of what makes you a unique individual, you should find outlets that validate these characteristics.
At the very least, find platforms where you can freely express yourself and your individuality.
Want to express yourself through clothing? Go ahead. Want to start blogging about your thoughts and opinions? Set one up.
The purpose of this step is twofold: first, you get to exercise who you are as a person; second, you put yourself to the test.
You find ways to flesh out what you think your defining traits are and see if they come naturally to you.
Step 7: Stand Up For Your Values
It’s not just your hobbies and your personality that make up who you are. The things you stand for significantly reflect your identity.
Even staying silent about certain controversies say a lot about you as a person, so choose your battles conscientiously.
Step 8: Be Confident In Who You Are
As you become more comfortable in your own skin you will face detractors who will challenge everything about you.
It’s normal to feel shaken, but don’t let brief moments of self-doubt evolve into uncertainty.
If you can come out stronger and surer than ever after facing adversity, you’ll relish the fact that you’re a step closer to becoming your awesome self.
Step 9: Accept Change
You spend weeks, months, years figuring out who you are as a person. As with step 2, there will come a time when your current values no longer make sense.
You will feel that certain beliefs are irrelevant and you will start questioning the things you feel and do
It’s easy to feel bad about them but do your best not to. Remember that you are a dynamic individual.
Change should become an inevitable and welcome part of you as you gain new experiences in life.
Step 10: Enjoy Life
Finally, don’t forget to actually enjoy life and relish your place in it.
Spending your time figuring out what makes you unique becomes futile if you don’t get to enjoy who you are as a person.
So practice self-awareness one step at a time. The journey to self-discovery should be organic. Don’t force it and you’ll find that things will naturally fall into place.
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— Lachlan Brown (@Lachybe) July 7, 2018