What are some deep questions to ask yourself to find out who you are? Do not underestimate how significant of a task it is to find out who you are. Also, keep in mind that the answer to this question may change as you move through the various stages of your life. It is arguably less important to know unequivocally ‘who you are’ as it is to dedicate yourself to always being open to the evolution of the answer.
When you consider the entire journey of life, it seems almost laughable to assume that you will be the exact same person and have the same self-identification throughout. While your core being will always be constant and the foundation of your identity, think about the outer layers and what you must ask yourself as time goes on to hone your true self.
How to tell if you have lost your sense of self
Before we dive into the deep questions on finding out who you are, we need to learn about the signs to pay attention to determine if your identity is absent. Be advised that there are ebbs and flows over time and not to let the ebbs convince you that they are forever; change is always possible.
You feel stuck in neutral
There is a saying, ‘no news is good news, and while that does hold true in certain scenarios, you should not feel stuck when it comes to your perception of your being. If your life is starting to resemble Groundhog Day, you may be losing yourself.
This does not necessarily mean suggesting drastic changes or extreme measures to insert excitement into your life temporarily. Although, for some completing a few items on their bucket list would help. Instead, it should be a push in the direction of finding ways to make your daily life feel purposeful and full.
You have no confidence
A lack of self-confidence is a huge indicator. If you do not believe in who you are, celebrate that person, and enjoy the things that make you, you have some deep questions to ask yourself about your overall confidence levels.
Your routine lacks self-love
If you have pushed yourself to the bottom or entirely off your to-do list, that is problematic. It is admirable to be someone who can be a pillar of strength and support for others, but you also need to do that for yourself. Even something like how much sleep you get each night is an example of how to measure if you may be forgetting yourself.
You are full of envy and comparison
Suppose you see what others have, and it brings negativity to your world. In that case, it may be because you are so clouded about what the important things are in your own life that you automatically compare yours to others and become envious of what they have, simply because you do not know what you need.
You are a people pleaser
If you strive way too hard to make sure that others are happy with your choices, it is likely because you lack self-direction. It can be an avoidance strategy to please others’ expectations instead of setting and meeting your own.
You are full of negative self-talk
How we speak to and about ourselves is in direct relation to our innermost feelings. Even when masked by humor or sarcasm, negative self-talk can harm your overall feelings of self-worth and can influence how you perceive your own reality.
You are hard to excite
While stable emotional patterns are certainly healthy, flatlined emotional patterns are not. If nothing gets your heart pumping anymore, it may be because you no longer have any idea of what can. Feelings of constant boredom and recognizing a lack of energy in your day-to-day are two things that should encourage you to motivate towards a path of self-discovery.
Nobody tells you that we are all working on ourselves in some way, shape, or form at all times. And the times when we are not, we are usually thinking about how we need to be, most of us aren’t consciously thinking this way but we are. So, you are not alone. There is much discussion about self-care, what it means, and why it is important, but secrets within those conversations need to be exposed.
Doing this is often a struggle. It does not come naturally or easy for many to put their own physical, mental, and emotional wellness in the forefront every day. Now that that secret has been revealed go forward knowing that baby steps are ok and that nobody does this flawlessly.
How to reframe your negative narrative
You will not make genuine, sustainable progress if you do not teach yourself how to reframe your narrative of negativity. A huge element of self-discovery is believing that it is possible. Filling your mind and with ‘can’t’ statements and sentiments will only hinder your progress. This is also something that you can start immediately and will help you build in other areas of your life during the process.
Write down your thoughts
Start keeping a personal journal and begin to write down your thoughts. This does not have to have any formality to it, nor does it need to follow a specific schedule or guidelines. Instead, have this be where you go to transcribe your ‘in the moment’ emotions so that you go back to them later and reflect on them.
If you get in the habit of writing down your thoughts as they happen, you will have more details for later when you use that information to answer deep questions about how you truly feel. Pay attention to the tone in which you write as well. What types of words are you using? If the language in which you write down your thoughts is rooted in negativity, how can you expect them to change if you do not actively do the work to do so?
Fact check your feelings
Do not convince yourself that something is true unless you can prove it. A lot of how we lose ourselves comes from believing things that are not true. If you feel that you might not be the best sounding board for yourself, enlist the help and support of someone you trust and who you believe has your goals and best intentions in mind. Thoughts like:
- I weigh too much
- My job is not good enough
- I have a boring marriage
- I can’t………
These are a few examples of thoughts and sayings that hold us back. But why? Are they even true? The odds are, they are not, and before you declare a feeling to be gospel, back it up. For example, why isn’t your job good enough? Good enough by what metric? If you cannot follow up these statements with facts, you need to release them and move onward and upward.
Would you say the same to a friend?
Pay attention to some of the things you say to yourself, and pretend you have said them to a friend. Chances are, you would never because they are cruel or untrue. How come we allow ourselves to talk to ourselves in a manner that we would never talk to others in? Treat yourself the same way that you treat the other people in your circle that you love. How would your friends describe you? If you struggle to challenge your perception of yourself, spend time viewing yourself through the lenses of those who know and love you most, the real you.
Setting goals is important, essential even, but be sure that they are realistic. This does not mean limiting yourself or underestimating what you are capable of. It simply suggests that if you want to experience true self-discovery, you must seek out your true self, not a version of self that is non-sensical. Also, it is essential to ensure that you are working off of your own template. Doing what you want to do, learning about who you are and want to be on your own terms.
Develop a strategy
You have accepted that you need to ask yourself some deep questions, but how will you approach it? As with much else in life, you should have some semblance of a plan. This does not have to be rigid, be all end all guide. Instead, the framework that you determine will suit your goal of achieving self-awareness.
Define your personal values
When you cut out all the fluff of one’s life, what is left? These are your values. Your personal values are the things at your core that makeup you as a person. This list will likely not be very long, and that is ok. There is no numerical target that you should be aiming for. Do not be afraid to include or exclude things that are ‘wrong’ because there is no wrong.
Allow time and space for growth
Get comfortable with the fact that you are not going to change overnight. You have spent this long, living inside this world of ‘I don’t know who I am,’ and you need to give yourself time and space to grow out of it. You should also assume that you will encounter roadblocks, setbacks, and naysayers during this period. You can be grateful for the advice from your friends and family, but your voice should always be the loudest one.
Do not limit your vision
Would you be surprised to find out that the number one thing that prevents someone from complete self-awareness is themselves in most cases? Well, it’s true. Think about any limitations that have been imposed on you; who put them there? If the answer you get is ‘I did,’ consider what this means. Setting realistic expectations, as previously suggested, is important but do not confuse expectations with limitations.
Deep questions to ask yourself to find out who you are and increase your self-awareness
Below are some deep questions to ask and thought-provoking sentiments to ponder as you strive to find out who you are.
What are the most important things I have learned in life?
Looking into your past and acknowledging the biggest takeaways and lessons you have learned will help you get back to who you are.
How do I show myself love?
When you sit inside your own company, what are you doing to appreciate yourself and celebrate the individual that you are?
How long have I felt this way?
Have you been living inside this bubble for an extended length of time? Do not feel discouraged if the answer is yes, but if it is, that can indicate that it is time to make a change.
When is the last time I felt excited?
Reflect on what person, place, thing, or scenario most recently made your heart skip a beat. This can move you closer to determining some of the core things that matter to you most.
Do my loved ones worry about me?
You should always do things to please yourself, especially in terms of inner work, but if the people you love and trust the most have articulated that they worry about you seeming lost, permit yourself to explore that.
What am I afraid of?
Consider not only what makes you feel fear but also the root of those things? For example, are you scared to switch careers? While this is a common fear, the answer to ‘why’ will be unique to each individual. Do you fear a change in status? Salary? Are you scared that you will lack what it takes to succeed? You owe it to yourself to get below the surface.
The National Institute of Mental Health suggests that our brains change when we are in a state of fear or anxiety. This is a chemical reaction to our experiences and is out of our control for the most part. This can even lead to panic disorders if fear is allowed to overrun all our other emotions.
Do I feel gratitude?
Reflect on what encourages moments of gratitude within your soul. More importantly, reflect on if you are even able to tap into this emotion. Sometimes we cannot experience gratitude because we are so lost we cannot identify what elements of our life would even qualify.
This concept is significant, but the details are quite simple. If you accomplish one thing in your life, make it be a keen sense of knowing exactly who you are, what you stand for, and what brings you joy. Once you come to terms with the fact that this process will probably be ongoing, you can settle into it.
Getting comfortable being uncomfortable is hard. Do not fear, hard. Instead, use it as fuel to push you forward in your journey. Something that should provide you with much encouragement is that you are not alone in your desire to navigate who you are. Even the most enlightened persons have periods where they cannot answer this question.