Knowing yourself is one of the most important gifts you can give yourself.
If you don’t know who you are, you’re pretty much wandering through life aimlessly.
Does self-knowledge increase your life’s meaning?
Knowing yourself gives you more self-confidence and it makes you independent of what others think. It also gives you a greater purpose in life.
When you know who you are, you know what you want out of life and what passions you should chase to lead a meaningful, happy life. Let’s explore how you can figure out who you are, starting with signs that you don’t know yourself.
Table of Contents
Signs That You Don’t Know Who You Are
If you think you’re battling with defining your identity, you might feel that these signs ring true for you.
- Your mind flips around a lot. Do you change your mind a lot? Do you feel indecisive on a regular basis?
- You let others take the lead. You might find that you’re not sure of what you want and what you like, so you go with other people’s flow. They choose where to go, what to do, and what to believe in.
- You don’t like being alone. You always surround yourself with other people because you don’t like the idea of being alone with your thoughts and feelings.
- You have low self-esteem. If you don’t know what you want or who you are, and what makes you great, you might experience a low sense of self-esteem and lack confidence.
- You look for solutions elsewhere. When someone hurts you, do you Google what you should do to deal with them or do you ask your friends for advice on everything? This is like relying on the use of a calculator instead of your brain to calculate things. The more you do this, the less you’ll know how to deal with problems. You also won’t map out a unique path for yourself.
- You don’t have goals and dreams. If you’re just going through the motions of life or going with the flow, you’re not focusing on what you really need to be happy. This is a clear sign that you’re not in tune with who you are and lack self-knowledge.
- If you feel like you can relate to the above points, don’t worry! You might just feel like you don’t know who you are right now because something in your life has caused this to happen. Here are some reasons why you might lack self-knowledge.
- You’re leading a very busy lifestyle. If you’re always racing against the clock, you might be rushing through life without much time at your disposal to sit with your thoughts and feelings. From time to time it’s important to take stock of where you’re at and where you want to go.
- You’ve become a people pleaser. If you’re always trying to make others happy and you say “yes” to them instead of yourself, you can easily lose yourself. The more time you dedicate trying to be what others want, the less time you have for yourself to figure out who you are. It’s dangerous to give other people too much importance when it comes to who you are. If you’re depending on their opinions on you, you could risk being someone you’re not. Remember, the opinions you have about yourself are more important than anyone else’s, so make sure you take the time to figure yourself out.
- You don’t think about how you’ve changed. Chances are you’re not exactly the same person you were five, 10, or more years ago. People change all the time, so you might have changed when it comes to your goals, dreams, what makes you happy, and more without even realizing it. This means you’re running your life according to who you think you are but that plan just isn’t cutting it anymore! It needs to be changed to suit who you have become.
How To Figure Out Who You Are
There are many ways in which you can find your identity and inner truth. Here are some of the most valuable tips.
- Settle into the silence. If you’re always avoiding being silent with your thoughts, this can cause you to lack self-awareness. Switch off your devices and sit in silence at least once a day. Listen to the thoughts and feelings that come up to the surface when you’re alone with them. These can provide you with valuable insight into who you really are and what you want out of life.
- Take some online personality tests. These can be valuable ways to help you learn about your skills and unearth traits that you didn’t know you had. An example of a good test to take is the 16 Personalities test, which gives you statements you will read through and rate according to how much you agree or disagree with them.
- Explore different interests. You will be able to discover what your interests and passions are once you’ve exposed yourself to new things. So, take the time to try something new and step out of your comfort zone every now and then. You might be surprised at what you discover you like!
- Get some feedback. It’s a valuable exercise to ask people who know you very well for what they see in you. Their outsider perspective is very useful because you might not see all your traits. You could ask people you trust questions such as, “What do you think are some of my strengths and weaknesses?”
- Define your values. Your values are your most important navigational tool. They steer you in the right direction in life, helping you to choose what makes you happy. Values are the things that are important to you as they help you figure out what is good, useful, and constructive. To find out what your values are, think back to the past. What are the values you admired about your current friends that made you want them in your life? What are the things you feel you stand for – and, more specifically, what are things on which you have taken a stand? What are some deal breakers or red flags that have made you not want to date someone? Some examples of values include freedom, creativity, loyalty, and honesty. Once you figure out your values, you will be able to find out what your priorities are in life.
- Listen to your gut. Meditate regularly as this will help you to become more spiritual and connect to your wisest self, otherwise known as your intuitive voice. This voice is your north star in life, as it knows your innermost truth and guides you to where you’re supposed to go. By harnessing this voice, you can gain a much clearer idea of who you are. When you say “yes” or “no” to something, how do you feel? If your feelings are not in sync with your words, listen to your feelings and what they’re telling you!
- Think about the impossible. If you found yourself in a situation where you never had to worry about money or any limitations, what would make you happy? What would you want? This will help you see what you need in your life to make it meaningful.
Here’s A Fun Exercise To Help You Find Yourself
It can be helpful to do exercises to help you take stock of who you are from time to time. An example is this one, which has nine important questions.
- Question one: How would you describe your personality in three words?
- Question two: What are five of your most dominant interests?
- Question three: What is your character? Here you should include your strengths, weaknesses, vices, and virtues.
- Question four: What are four opportunities in the past that opened doors for you?
- Question five: In the next year, what opportunities do you want to open up for you?
- Question six: Who are people you most often interact with, and what are the greatest joys and challenges of interacting with them?
- Question seven: What do you love most about your mentor? If you don’t have a mentor, think about traits you’d like them to have. These are also the traits you’d want to have yourself.
- Question eight: Where have you lived? List all the places and what possibilities or opportunities they gave you.
- Question nine: List all the places to which you have traveled. Focus on places that made a real impact on you. How did these places change you and what did they teach you?
How does self-knowledge help us deal with external events?
It helps us to be proactive because we know our triggers and feelings. This can help us to have a positive and wise reaction to external situations without feeling overwhelmed by them.
How can you discover your talents and skills?
Besides taking personality tests, it can be useful to keep a journal as that will uncover patterns related to things you’re good at. You should also think about what people have thanked you for, as this can unearth talents, such as if you were thanked for being a good listener, organizer, or leader.
“Who am I?” If you’ve ever asked yourself this question, we’ve provided you with the tips and steps you need to answer it.
Self-knowledge will make you more confident, put you in a position to make the most of opportunities that come your way, and help you live a life filled with purpose.