Searching for Self
Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash
Do you know anyone who has been unable to find their calling, passion, or sense of self? They wander aimlessly with no compass or rudder to guide them and hope that they will eventually land in a good place. Sometimes they have a difficult time focusing on life goals or they seek what others want for their life instead of fulfilling their own needs. Maybe they don't trust their own instincts and rely on the guidance from others. In some cases extraneous factors like depression, anxiety, and/or substance abuse issues prevent them from focusing and discerning their life direction. Or maybe they are stuck in a pattern of rebelling, resisting, and acting out because they have not successfully separated themselves from their parents. Unfortunately this process often results in bad decisions and ignoring healthy and positive advice. Sometimes arrogance and narcissism contributes to negating the feedback and input from others. Often insecurity and an inability to regulate one's emotions contribute to exhibiting oppositional behaviors. So what can we do to find ourselves?
We first have to acknowledge that we're stuck and haven't been able to achieve our life goals. Ask and accept feedback from those you trust and respect. Sometimes daily journaling and spending some time reflecting on who you are, where you're going, and what gets in the way of you achieving your goals is helpful. Write down your strengths and weaknesses so that you can develop an action plan. If you have trouble with this task ask others for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. If addictions and/or emotional issues get in the way then pursue counseling, read self-help books, and develop a game plan to manage those issues. Obviously the problems may be very complex and complicated, but don't give up on yourself. Instead persevere through the conflicts to overcome adversity. Set realistic and positive goals with objective ways to measure you progress. Eliminate all distractions that prevent you from making progress and stay focused on the end goal. Incorporate positive self-talk and generate motivating statements to drive your behaviors.
Focus on the things you have control over and let go of the rest. Of course that's easier said than done, but we often expend too much energy and thought on those things we can't control. Finding our true self and experiencing the fullness of life takes quiet time and reflection. Sometimes we have to try new things, volunteer our time, and take metered chances to find our purpose. Finding ourselves often requires a certain amount of trial and error, but it also takes discernment to figure out where you need to be in life. Lastly, recognize that most successful people fail many times before achieving success. The best formula is to discover the things you're good at, love doing, and that have a positive impact on others and develop a routine to incorporate those things into your daily life.