Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
Well, what if I don’t know myself or who to be? How is it possible to be myself if I haven’t even found myself yet? These questions may be asked of someone who is unsure of what they embody as an individual. Although the quote resonates high with me, I think it would be safe to say that others may have difficulty accepting it. Below, I have provided a short list of ways I believe someone is able to learn more about themselves as a whole. In doing so, hopefully being one’s true self won’t be so difficult.
- Be organized and set goals. This is probably the most important suggestion I could give when trying to find out who you are as a person. Having a plan and direction for where you want to go in life is something that will allow you to find out more about yourself. What do you want to do professionally? What matters most to you? What do you want to accomplish in 5 years? In 10 years? But most importantly, how will you achieve these goals. Be organized when setting them. Make a timeline of the things you need to do in order to get where you want to be; planning is the most important stage in anything you do. Having a mapped out guide of things you want to accomplish will allow you to put things in perspective.
- Find your passion. So many people struggle with naming things they are passionate about. However, in their defense, I tend to see people confused with the word passion in general. Being passionate about something means it gives you awareness of yourself through doing it. Are you extremely happy when doing something in particular? Are you aware of how a specific task, skill, or hobby makes you feel? Most of the time people are unmindful that their passions are things they do every day…or in some cases what they wish they did more of. In my case, I can name solid 3-4 things I feel like give me drive, a purpose. I can confidently say that I am passionate about art, animals, traveling, and writing.
- Travel. I’m not just recommending traveling because it’s one of my passions, but I believe traveling allows you to learn so much about yourself. Think about it; you essentially end up submerged in a culture that’s new to you. You get to experience food, people, and social change from a completely different lens. Even if you just travel nationally, having to pack proficiently, make deadlines for travel arrangements, and much more, has you learning something about yourself that you may have not known. Take a trip to find yourself in a place you may have never known you could exist.
- Reconnect to yourself. Meditation and yoga can provide a solid base to getting to know yourself more. Find an affirmation you feel comfortable repeating and practicing. Some examples are, “I am strong”, “I will love more”, “I will practice patience”, just to name a few. When actively practicing meditation or yoga, it will help channel your spirit, thus allowing you to explore deeper into whom you are as a person. There are opportunities for silent meditation at home every day; light a candle, practice deep, cleansing breaths, and imagine yourself in a special place that brings you the feeling of relaxation.
- Become aware and relax. Understand that everything is not in your control. It is important to recognize what control you have over particular situations. Relaxing in general will allow you to take a step back and refocus. Be aware of the tension in your life or what may be causing you stress and anxiety. By looking at situations as first darts (were something directly affects you), as opposed to second darts (when you react to something that is not the issue in itself; most often an inference), it will better allow you to see how you respond. In practicing the technique of subtly being aware of your role, it will help you learn more about yourself in the long run.
Oscar Wilde was right. There is only one you. If you’re unsure as to who you may be, try a few of the suggestions I made to find yourself. Finding a passion, or becoming more aware of your surroundings is something that doesn’t happen overnight. With learning new things, it’s essential to remember that patience is always a virtue. Remember that finding what you’re all about and setting goals isn’t just relevant now, but for the rest of your life. Enjoy the journey.