Have No Fear
Finding your purpose allows you to feel centered, true to yourself and empowered to make changes that improve your life and the lives of others. This is a challenge because society trains us to stay the course and to fear change. But when your overall mission in life is crystallized, fear takes a back seat. As Marcus has said, “Have no fear, and be willing to fail.”
The Importance Of Finding Yourself
As we all know, babies are not born with instruction manuals. From the time we enter the world, our parents or other caretakers mold us to conform to their value system. Since we are dependent on them, and our brains have not fully formed, we do not know any different. The boxes we are put in as we grow may be beneficial or damaging, depending on how well our innate personalities thrive within the constraints of these boxes.
As you grow up, you may continue down the path laid out for you or act in rebellion. Either way, it is not uncommon for adults to bypass the journey that enables them to discover their own desires, beliefs and values. Until you find yourself, you will forever be confined to the mold created for you. This can manifest into an inherent sense of something amiss in your life, though you may not know exactly what’s wrong.
The Benefits Of Finding Yourself
Before we can develop a healthy lifestyle, relationship and perspective on life, we need to examine the connection we have with our inner selves. Knowing your true self facilitates decision making. Making choices about your career, relationships and finance is easier when you know what is important to you. Your self-purpose becomes your benchmark and navigator. If education is deeply meaningful to you, would you jeopardize your college fund in a high-risk venture?
When you are in the wrong place in your life, whether it’s the wrong job, partnership or pants size, it wears you down over time, bringing on stress and fatigue with an impact on your overall well-being. Being true to yourself is energizing because knowing where you need to be drives you to get there.
Negative internal dialogue erodes self-confidence. Uncover the truth behind this negativity, and practice positive self-talk. Learn and appreciate your strengths, and embrace your core values. The power of knowledge about your true self instills confidence, which in turn calms your fears because self-assurance won’t let failure define you. When you are confident, you believe in yourself and find inner strength from your values. This enables you to recognize and jump on opportunities.
Some people seem to be lucky in life, but maybe it is not luck at all. People who have found their true selves are attuned to opportunities presented to them. If you do not know what brings you joy and fulfillment, you can easily miss the gateway to the next chapter in your life. If you have self-awareness and a clear vision of the life you were meant to have, you will recognize and open the right doors.
Knowing what you need in life to feel complete will also help you in your career. Your priorities shift so that you can build a career that integrates into your life instead of juggling the events in your life to revolve around a job that leaves you unfulfilled. As Marcus often says, “If you don’t love what you do, then you shouldn’t do it.”
Tips For Finding Yourself
The following are five simple steps to put yourself in the frame of mind necessary to prepare for self-discovery:
- Override destructive thoughts
- Challenge negative attributes
- Abandon defensive patterns
- Ask yourself what fills your life with meaning
- Set goals for your personal and professional life
Make Sense of Your Past
We are a product of our past experiences. As much as you may want to escape segments of your past, you inevitably internalize both painful and gratifying experiences. Your upbringing, relationships, successes, failures and how you managed all those scenarios reveals itself in the person you are today. The past drives your ability to be decisive, to advocate for yourself and to develop healthy relationships in your adult life. There is no judgment in that. This is a time for self-awareness and reflection. Once you acknowledge and understand the past, you can come to terms with it and own it. Make a conscious decision to break the pattern of self-destructive behavior, and reinforce behavior that forms the person you want to be.
Ask Yourself What You Want In Life
As you analyze and unpack the baggage in your life, the following thoughts may help you root out what you truly need for self-fulfillment:
- What are you passionate about? If you could drop everything right now, where would you want to be?
- What are the patterns of behaviors and consequences of your past? What drove those behaviors?
- What is the positive feedback you have heard from people over the years? What has filled you with a sense of pride and accomplishment?
- What causes do you care about? What sparks your sense of compassion? What injustice enrages you?
Find Your “Why”
Perhaps you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a motivational theory in psychology. A five-tier model of human needs in the shape of a pyramid represents the premise that needs at the bottom level must be satisfied before people can address the levels above. In ascending order, the needs are physiological (food, water, warmth and rest), safety (security), belonging (relationships), esteem (feeling of accomplishment) and self-actualization (achieving full potential).
Essentially, once you are fed, rested, feeling secure, have a sense of belonging and self-esteem, your next rung would be to find your why. What brings you to your full potential? Are you at that point or still struggling for a sense of safety? Are you prepared to reach the top rung of the ladder, or do you need to change your environment first? Take it one step at a time.
- Carve out quiet time for yourself for honest self-evaluation.
- Identify your personal beliefs and values.
How You Can Start Today
- Do a private self-assessment by taking an online personality test.
- Select two or three people whose opinions you respect, and ask for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. Encourage honesty, and be receptive to their responses.
- Proactively decide how you will achieve your goals. Formulate a feasible plan of action for the future. This may entail classes, a spiritual retreat or volunteering to support a worthy cause. Once you uncover what gives your life meaning, don't lose the momentum.
We waste much of our youth trying to fit in and modeling the behavior, good or bad, of people from whom we want recognition. Part of being an adult is realizing that it is what sets us apart that makes us special. Finding your true self is about discovering and learning to love what makes you unique.
- What is your “Why”?
- What tips from above can help you find yourself?