In this article, I’ll be discussing how to find yourself. A past client of mine confessed to me, “I lost myself”. I recognized his pain as something I once saw in myself. If you’ve been trying to find happiness, peace and clarity but somehow ended up like my client here feeling lost, you’re not alone. I’ll share with you a few steps which can help you find yourself so YOU don’t end up feeling lost in your life.
We are forever growing as individuals and for some of us, we’re on a personal mission to be the very best that we can be.
There are times in our life, unfortunately, when we create a lifestyle that doesn’t resemble the blueprint we once had in our mind’s eye. That demanding career that suddenly requires so much time from you that you feel drained at the end of each day makes you feel as if you don’t eve recognize your life anymore.
A transitions in our life such as the new spouse and kids is a perfect example of an investment of time and energy that can morph us as we give tirelessly to them and completely neglect our own needs. We hear all too often from our friends and family how our life is out of control and we just don’t know who we are anymore.
There doesn’t seem to be time anymore for the things we once loved. What’s worse, we look inward sometimes and wonder what has happened to us which can leave us confused and empty.
Getting caught up in the hamster wheel.
Wake up, take the kids to school then head out to work all before the sun rises sometimes and the kids still in their PJ’s. Wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. Sound familiar? Mix in the children’s activities, slaving around the house to take care of everything and everyone and you might just lose sight of your dreams.
It’s exhausting and you wonder what you’ve done to your life! You wanted that life at one time. Now that it’s yours, you want more. You want more joy, laughter and an inner knowing of who you are and what you’re supposed to do with your life.
You don’t have to work in a typical corporate career or even have children to feel this way. Clients that I work with are single too and struggle with feeling fulfilled and lost in who they are. They begin to question what their life is all about and what the point of all of it is, if it’s just about doing things for other people.
The cycle continues until you begin to feel that life has no meaning and drones on and on.
I’ve been there.
Who are you, REALLY?
Take just a second here to think about this. Would you answer;
“I’m a Mother.”
“A devoted Wife.”
For those in careers as well, you might answer that you are a Doctor, or a Lawyer, or whatever. It’s pretty common that we as humans get our identity from how we’ve designed our life. Suddenly, we begin to act like what we think our role is “supposed” to act like, and less like who we really are. You become what’s expected of you.
Your life no longer is about who you really are. It’s more about who you should be instead.
Obviously, your past choices and the people that you chose to bring into your life shaped you. They are crucial to who you are today, but what do you do about it all now? How can you find yourself when the lost you, is nowhere in sight?
Step one: Know that your past decisions and the roles you’ve chosen don’t define you. It’s a limited view of who you are. Go ahead and challenge this belief. You need to ask if you really are more than just a mother or a wife. Of course you are, but the question of “who am I” should be used to search much deeper.
I had a client who’s father was pretty non-existent so he was raised by his mother. This client felt that he was more feminine in some ways because of it, but really had trouble with feeling his “manhood”. This was rather confusing for him but when we challenged his perception of the feminine qualities, he realized that he did have the masculine qualities as well. This enabled him to grow beyond his limited belief about being overly feminine.
What area of your life would you like to examine first? (i.e. Family life, career, health & fitness, finances, etc.)
Step two: Disconnect to question EVERYTHING! In learning how to find yourself, you need to devote focused energy to it. You need time away from the grind to think and to listen to your heart. You need concentration to reach back and rediscover the dreams that you once had.
When you feel lost, it can create a tremendous amount of anxiety and confusion so getting clear is the one thing that you need the most. Being so caught up in your day to day roles only fuels the cycle. Take some time off to ask some questions that will help you rediscover who you are inside.
How could you challenge yourself to improve on the areas of life that feel the emptiest? Why would it be worth it for you to improve in this area? Why is it important for you to redefine yourself?
Step three: Commit to changing. It’s never as easy as that because we fear that the changes we make will affect others in our life. You can clearly see that the decisions that you make will affect the future of those in your life. There is a fear that we’ll lose those around us if we change. We fear that we won’t be accepted when we change. We’ll be judged for the change. It’s a real concern but you can not go through your life feeling numb or empty either.
Why will you commit changing and working on this area of your life?
Step four: Connect with resources and an accountability system. You can attend workshops, seminars or read blog posts like this with real actionable steps. Nothing, however, can replace accountability. When we say that we failed at something, we say “I tried that and it didn’t work“. Typically most people give up, at least for a while then they may try again until they get so fed up at trying that they conform and accept their prison sentence.
What’s important here is being more resourceful. You’re not an island, and you need someone to help pull you in the direction you want to go. I have a client who used to say, “I’m independent. I’ll figure it out.” He soon figured out that, if he wanted a faster way to solving his problems, he needed to try something different. He reached out for help.
Having an emotional resource or coach is not weak. Actually, it’s weak to sit silently in your pain and accept it as your fate. You have to change the meaning of asking for help.
I’m not being weak. I’m being resourceful. It isn’t selfish, either. It would be more selfish to wallow in struggle for my loved ones to see.
When I was seeking my identity as a young person, I wasn’t born with any resources available to me. I couldn’t depend on my brother or either of my parents for support. Many of us face this challenge. We have to actively seek out other people who can be resources to us.
Find people on a similar journey to you and reach out. It doesn’t matter if either of you are further along than the other. Even if they’re somewhere behind you, having someone going in the same direction as you will help. You have to immerse yourself in people who want what you do. You’ll be able to remind each other why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Now, I’ll ask you one last time… Who are you really?