How to find out who you are...
Finding yourself is a process, and a process that never follows a straight line.
I have been attempting to discover who I am for all of my life. Just when I think I’ve got things figured out, something comes along and throws a big ol spanner in the works.
What to do
There are things that you can do to speed up this process, from journalling to reading, to personality tests. I go through some that have helped me, and how you can get the best out of each.
The act of journalling is excellent at revealing who you really are. The key here is to be consistent and allow for the very deepest of your thoughts to come to the surface.
Really use journalling as a time to reflect upon the things you love about life, and things that you want to do better or change.
You can make big waves and changes in your life just by simply sitting down to journal for 10-20 minutes a day.
So you can be totally honest, it’s important to choose a format that allows total security. I personally use an app that unlocks with a password, or a fingerprint.
Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent way of noticing what is most important to you, and the things that bring you the most happiness and joy.
This can be a part of your journal at the beginning and end of the day, just list 3 things you’re grateful for.
You will soon see a trend as to what the most important things in your life are, and how you are motivated.
Meditation can work wonders for bringing to the surface the reality of your thoughts and who you are.
Meditation doesn’t have to be difficult:
Just find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Any time your thoughts wander just gently bring yourself back to focusing on your breathing.
Sit facing a clock and set yourself a time limit, so you can check how far along you are. Opening your eyes briefly to check will not adversely impact the meditation.
Sometimes just giving yourself a title “Who am I?” and bullet pointing all the things that make you you underneath can be really enlightening.
Some of mine are for instance:
Lover of the new and shiny
Teller of Dad Jokes (Not a Dad yet)
Finding good books to learn from and allow you to go deep can be really important.
This is probably where I’ve personally seen my biggest shifts. Because books allow you to see through someone else’s eyes, to see new perspectives, and create shifts in your paradigms.
Books are a gateway to knowledge, and the beauty is that today you don’t even have to read them. Audiobooks mean you can read when you’re driving, or commuting, or even exercising.
Some major ones for me have been:
Something like Myers Briggs can give you some great information about who you are and how you work.
From how you show up in social situations, to how you respond to others, to your preferences in communication. Above all you can discover your superpowers here, and yes we’ve all got them.
I for instance am an ENFP, meaning I’m an idealist, that likes novelty, and inspires possibility in others.
This one though comes with a warning because we often skew results and answers when being tested it’s really important that you go all in on honesty. Not how you’d like to answer, but how you actually are.
Some good resources for this are:
Asking people you know
If you want to get an outsiders perspective, ask people you know, who you trust and respect to give you some honest feedback. Things they love about you, and some things they’re not so crazy about.
The reason I say you must trust and respect these people, is you want true honesty. You don’t need someone with less than ideal intentions giving you feedback.
This for me has been really powerful, especially to check in at times over the years. Those you love can give you great information about how you’re progressing and showing up in the world.
Some questions you could ask:
What do I do that you love?
What do you enjoy about my company?
What do I do that you don’t like?
Is there anything I do that upsets you?
What do I do with the information?
Realise that this process may not be easy. It’s hard to face up to who you really are. I’ve fought internal battles over this. But the sooner you understand yourself and work with it, instead of against it the sooner you will truly start living your life.
I will be honest with you, understanding myself has been the biggest challenge of my life. It’s sent me into some dark places, to fight some dark battles, but I’ve persisted, I’ve fought with all I have.
Not everyone has the courage to take on this challenge, do you?
And now, you know what, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my skin, all because I can be me. I will not apologise for it, I will embrace it, and I will do more of what makes me, me!
Making sense of it all
The trick to making sense of this information is to assess how you feel about it.
I do believe that at base level we are who we are.
But we can work with that knowledge to make changes, and ultimately become the person we want to be.
Though I’ve found that often times the person we want to be, is ultimately, when you dig deep our true authentic self anyway.
So once you know who you are, do more of it, be more of it, be your unapologetically weird self, and release the untold story within you.