It’s the single most important question you will ever ask, says our elder.
Here are a few lessons that helped me figure it out.
Hi, I don’t know what should I say, but I don’t know who I am and I don’t know what should I do. I’m really sad. I just wanna cry. Nothing I do is not satisfying me. I feel like I’m nothing. I don’t even know why I’m alive. Why should I eat and drink if I’m doing nothing. And if everything is not making me happy, why should I try? Why I’m angry on my friends although they are good to me. Why I’m refusing to talk to them while I feel so lonely and I hate this feeling. It’s killing me. And I’m not a kind person. I wanna show them that, but every time I try it doesn’t work. I’m not even enjoying my work. I wanna be a social person but I don’t like anyone one I get to know. I’m sick of people telling me that I’m an introvert person. I’m tired of myself.
You are not alone in your quest. Who am I? What do I like? What is my purpose? What am I to do in life? These are questions that I have struggled with for most of my life, and I admit that this journey is not easy.
I can empathize with you. It is a terrifying feeling to not know who you are and to feel that your life has no purpose or direction. You can change all of this fear by defining your self-identity and finding your passion.
I believe that “Who am I?” is the single most important question you will ever ask. Your identity is the foundation for your actions. If you don’t understand who you are, you won’t understand where you are going. Most people don’t understand this connection. I think a meaningful life is impossible unless you understand who you are (your identity).
I know you are confused. You are confused because you (like most people of which I was one) do not understand that figuring out who you are is such a difficult task because you think that your identity never changes. Once you learn and accept that your identity is always changing because you are always changing – growing and learning new things, solidifying your beliefs and values, etc. – you get to know and accept yourself for who you are at any period in your life.
Likewise, passion (purpose) and assignment (what you like and what you want to do) can be fleeting also. True happiness comes from having an assignment that is fueled by your passion.
However, understand purpose – no matter how temporary – is so important because it makes you feel like what you are doing in your life actually matters. Purpose is the ultimate fix for no longer feeling lost, no longer feeling like you’re lost control of your life.
Bottom line here is “Being confused is okay”. Understand and accept that you change and so will your identity. You might have slightly different interests, goals, or even personality traits than before, and that’s normal and alright. You are growing.
You are a beautiful human being here in this world trying to find your way. Every day you seek to better understand the meaning of your life. You long to discover who you are and what your gifts are and release them fully into the world and you hope to find happiness and peace along the way.
You are a child of the Universe and the Universe has a unique purpose just for your life. Your life will unfold just as it is supposed to when it is supposed to.
Try to be patient. Searching for your true self is a lifelong journey, so don’t worry if you can’t figure it out right away. If the search is overwhelming you, then take a break to slow down. You may discover something important about yourself just by letting yourself be for a while.
All of our journeys are unique and so will yours be. Here are some lessons that I learned. Consider these as you experience your journey of realizing who you are and what your passions are:
- You will never find your identity (who am I) outside of you. It’s not possible. Identity comes from within. If you aren’t living from your identity, nothing else matters.
- Take a personal inventory. By taking an inventory of your strengths and areas that need improvement, you will begin to see what you do well and what you need to work on. This can be a good starting point for figuring out who you are.
Know your values. One way to drill down to the attitudes and values that mean the most to you is to assess your personal strengths. It allows you to make decisions in a way that’s meaningful for you.
- Keep in mind that your identity is always changing. Remember that these changes are a normal part of life, so try to welcome them and accept your changing identity.
- Write down what you love and appreciate. If you make a list of the people and things that you most care about, you can get a sense of what is really important to you. Use this list to help you define for yourself who you are.
- Know what’s important for you. Start with five things that are important to your life.
Distinguish your thoughts from the thoughts of others. For most people (it’s more common than you may think) life is pretty easy to go through while on autopilot; we practically get handed a road map for how reality “works.”
Feel free to think more concretely. Is having a career really the most important thing to you? There are absolutely zero problems with not molding yourself to pre-existing norms.
Start relying on yourself. Confidence and reliance are at the heart of finding yourself. If you don’t have a solid sense of self-worth, you’ll listen to what others have to say all the time and be swayed by their insistence on what is appropriate.
Learn to believe in yourself and trust your own feelings. Then, you’ll come up with a structure to base your new sense of self on. Remember, be patient with yourself and confident in your abilities. Everything will come with time.
- Define your core personal values. Personal values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live. They give you a reference for what is good, beneficial, important, useful, desirable, and constructive.
Think about what you believe to be good and bad – not what anyone else has told you.
- What makes you genuinely happy? This one is closely related to your core personal values. However, ask yourself this question once you’ve really nailed down what those values are.
Set meaningful goals for yourself. Take a hard look at your life. Examine your values. Think about the person you want to become. Use this to set goals that are meaningful to you!
- Seek out a passion. When you believe in something or see beauty in something, you should do it no matter what anyone else thinks. If you have found something that is worthy of your best efforts, sacrifice, and tears, then you have found the most important pursuit of your life. Often, that pursuit can lead you to something ultimately fulfilling.
Discover your life purpose. Finding your life’s purpose is a daunting task, but it is necessary to give meaning to your life.
- Be ready for dead ends. Finding yourself is a journey, not a destination. A lot of it is trial and error. More often than not, you hit a bump in the road, and sometimes you fall flat on your face. Be prepared to understand and accept that this is a part of the process and commit to getting right back up and starting over.
- Challenge your negative thoughts. Whenever you have a negative thought, particularly an automatic negative thought, stop and evaluate whether the thought is true or accurate. When you feel like a failure, remind yourself of past success.
Practice positive self-reflection. If you spend a lot of time thinking about your negative traits, interrupt your thoughts with self-praise. Tell yourself you did a great job or that you tried your best.
You are OK just as you are and where you are at this moment. You are whole and complete and were gifted every talent and insight you need to thrive in this world from the moment you were born. You were born with everything you need.
Your job is to accept this truth and then allow it to unfold. Some gifts don’t become apparent until later in life. Some insights only become clear to you once you have life experiences that unlock such wisdom from within you. Trust in this and relax.
You are a beautifully imperfect being, operating in a very imperfect world, and that is just the way it is meant to be. Embrace your quirks, your flaws and the fact that life is a roller coaster at times. Strive for excellence, have high standards, but never confuse that with the crippling behavior of trying to be anyone other than who you are.
Article #: 474058