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Your Life

TIP: Finding Yourself


There is perhaps nothing more perplexing than realizing one day that you’ve lost yourself. It’s that feeling of not knowing who you are, not being sure of what you like, and not knowing who you want to become. “Who am I?” becomes a daily question that never seems to be answered. The good news is that you are not alone. Everyone, at some point in their life, is thrust into the whirlwind of personal crisis. But the question remains, “How do you find yourself when you don’t know who you are?”

While there is no mathematical formula that can predict when your searching will end, there are tried and true methods that others have used in their quest to know themselves. Here are a few:

  1. Take a free personality test (search google for these tests) to learn more about your personality. This is a great place to get started on the journey of discovering yourself.
  2. Journal every day for 10 minutes before bed, then go back and read your journal entries a month or so later. By processing your thoughts on paper, you are learning a great way to cope with challenging times in your life. Additionally, reading past entries will help you see yourself grow. It can be an incredible experience to read your thoughts from three or six months ago and see how much you have changed and developed with time.
  3. Spend time alone, with no distractions (no TV, music, cellphones, etc.) outside in nature. Walk for 15 to 30 minutes every day and listen to the sounds around you. No headphones, no music! This will help to center yourself in the moment, and will also provide your mind time to process your thoughts. In the words of Terri Guillemets, “If you can’t get quiet enough to hear yourself, your life is too loud.”
  4. Find a role model who you look up to and read about their life journey. Learn from their mistakes, apply their wisdom, and find out what shaped them into a person of character. Some examples of historical role models are: George Washington, Hellen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Elizabeth Fry, Jesus, Marie Curie, Father Flanagan, Elizabeth Blackwell, the Mayo Brothers, Rosa Parks, Ralph Bunche, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa.
  5. Start volunteering. Mahatma Gandhi said it best when he wrote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  6. Find your faith. A powerful step in finding yourself can happen when you begin believing in a higher power. This is a process that takes time, but to have a faith is perhaps the most powerful and transcending experience you will ever have.
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