07 November 2019

Three ways to work out who you want to be in life

Feeling unsure about who you can be a scary phase of life. If you're struggling to find your rightful place in the world, these tips will help you put your fears aside and view your insecurity as an opportunity to connect with who you are deep down and experience profound growth.

Get Lost (and Find Yourself Along the Way)

The most reliable way to find yourself is to deliberately get lost. Once you remove yourself from your regular context—your neighbourhood, your home, your social circle—you will create a new space for yourself to experiment with different versions of how you want to present to the world, allowing you to discover who you are deep down, and who you want to be in the future. In a foreign place, when nobody that you're coming into contact with knows who you are back home, you are free to be yourself, without worrying about judgement in the same way. Whether you start signing up for trips for school classes or get your backpack out and start planning your South-east Asian odyssey, leaving town for a while is the perfect way to get lost and find yourself along the way.

Disrupt Your Routines

While travel can expand your horizons and help you find your authentic self, there are ways to create a feeling of unfamiliarity within your normal life, without leaving home. Disrupting your regular routine in some way could open your mind to other possibilities in terms of lifestyles and social norms, expanding what you think of as possible for you. You'll start to ask yourself why you live the way you do, and what makes you adhere to certain codes.

Why are you in this job, or studying this subject at college? What choices brought you to where you are in your life right now? You could experiment with big changes to your routine like starting a distance learning course or working as a bartender for a while, but not everybody is ready for a big change. You could start small, by playing around with little things like cycling to work instead of taking the bus, or going out once a week on a school night, there's nothing quite like a new routine to help you see that you can live a less conventional life if that's what you want.

Be Honest About Your Journey

When you're feeling unsure about who you are in the world, one of the biggest challenges of all is meeting new people. Making friends is hard enough when you feel confident, but when you don't have a real sense of your identity, it can be even harder. The trick is to learn to be comfortable with showing people the real you. Rather than feeling ashamed that you don't have a water-tight identity at the moment, try to feel proud of yourself for allowing yourself to exist in a state of flux. (Really, it's a great achievement, and takes courage!)

Owning your insecurity and confiding in people that you're struggling with self-definition will ensure that the people you end up connecting with are the kinds of people who are willing to accept you as you are, rather than people who need you to fit into a certain group. You have to be really honest and brave to be this way, and people you meet will respect you for that.

If you're still trying to work yourself out, don't worry. This is a natural and productive process, and these tips will see you clear!


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