Feeling uncertain about who you are doesn’t mean that you are nobody. It means you haven’t worked yourself out yet. These ideas will empower you to see your rudderless state as an opportunity to reconnect with your dreams and reaffirm your intentions.
Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
When you’re feeling uncertain about who you are, it can be challenging to meet new people with confidence. Rather than feeling ashamed that you don’t have a watertight character at this point in your life, why not embrace your ‘in flux’ identity? Own this exciting state by letting people you meet know that you’re engaged in a process of self-discovery and you’re seeking meaning in the world. It takes bravery to be open about your lack of self-knowledge, and people will respect you for it. If you can feel comfortable in your ‘influx’ identity, you’ll find it easier to put yourself in situations that are outside of your comfort zone, which is exactly where you need to be if you want to grow and discover your strengths.
The most reliable way to find yourself is to get lost. Taking yourself out of context is a great way to try identities on for size, as you don’t have to get over the hump of presenting your new self to people who knew you before. When nobody knows who you are anyway, you are free to be you. Whether it’s a year backpacking in South-east Asia, a stay at National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World in Ecuador, or an art pilgrimage to Florence, leaving town is a great way to figure out who you are. Travel will not only expand your horizons, but the break in routine will open up your sense of possibility. Why do you live the way you do? What choices have you made to get here? There’s nothing like travel for making you realise that you can opt out of a conventional life.
Do What You Love
When you don’t even know who you are anymore, knowing how to spend your time in a satisfying way is a tall order. Start small: think about the little things you’ve done in life that have given you joy, and do that. Love the smell of cut grass? Head out and mow the lawn. Enjoy the buoyancy of water? Sign up for a swimming membership. Once you’ve reconnected with the little things you enjoy, move on to more serious activities, like work. If you’re at a career crossroads and you’re at a loss for the kinds of work you find motivating, try to remember the last time you felt totally engrossed in what you were doing. Rediscovering a flow state is a good first step to understanding what makes you tick. And if you discover that the thing you love doing is the thing you used to do but have stopped somewhere along the line, don’t be hard on yourself: adulting is hard. It’s natural to lose touch with pleasure when you’re bogged down by work and other responsibilities.
If you’re baffled by the question of who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing on this planet, know there are lots of others out there who feel the way you do. These ideas will help you get started on your journey of self-discovery.