This is first and this is key. Do you know who you are? Like really, really know who you are.
If yes, that’s fucking awesome, keep at it. If kinda, that’s fucking awesome too b/c you’re working on it. If not, that’s totally ok as well. Because the more important question is, are you curious to find out?
If the answer is no, then you probably won’t want to read the rest of this.
I’ve been trying to seriously figure this out for at least a decade and I fall somewhere between yes and kinda. I’ve left jobs, relationships, homes and people I love multiple times to go figure out who I was/am supposed to be. Friends have both lovingly and mockingly called these periods soul searches, pilgrimages, eat-pray-loves, pam-can’t-commit-agains, etc.
I think I finally hit my stride two years ago when I realized this question was likely never gonna be answered 100% b/c we’re constantly evolving. But as much as I can, understanding who I am in this moment is critical to figuring out what I want to do with my life in this moment b/c if I didn’t know who I was, I couldn’t know what I wanted.
If you’re still reading and are still curious, here are some questions that might spark some new thoughts for you.
Beyond the factual basics that would go in a book jacket bio, do you know:
- what makes you feel alive
- what motivates you
- what you value in people, work and relationships
- what you would go to the mat for
- what your non-negotiables are
- what you’re chasing in this moment
- where you derive your energy
- what you’re afraid of
- what your insecurities are
- what your triggers are
- why you get defensive
- how you deal with conflict
- what baggage you’re carrying
- what your communication style is
- why you respond the way you do to a variety of situations
- which environments you thrive in and which you don’t
- what type of people do you need to surround yourself with
- how much of your life you’re living for you and how much of it is for others
If not, take some time and get to know yourself. Warning – It’s a whole lot of fun and it’s a whole lot of scary and it can be a whole lot of work. But on the other side is a whole lot of good that will help you figure out what to do with your life. You ready?
PS… A few tools that have helped me:
A Myers Briggs-type Personality Test can help you better understand various elements of how you operate, make decisions, respond to stimulus, etc.
Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies helped me understand how I respond to expectations and how to better set attainable goals.
Knowing my Love Languages and how I communicate with the people closest to me, helped me understand myself and them better. The five love languages are the ways you give and receive love and it helped me make sense of relationship dynamics that previously frustrated and confused.