How to Find Yourself When You’re Lost in Life (9 Steps)

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Photo by THÁI NHÀN on

You’re lost. You are embarrassed to confess that you do not have a firm grasp on who you are at your core. You have no notion what you want to do with the rest of your life. In point of fact, you experience yourself as an absolute outsider to yourself.

Are you able to empathize?

In such a case, there is no need for alarm. There is no need to be concerned about your health. What you are going through is the result of living in a culture that is always attempting to tell you who they believe you are. This society is the one in which you now live. And it is completely overwhelming, not to mention unsettling and discouraging.

To put it another way, not having a firm grasp on who you really are may be disorienting, perplexing, and frightening.

Life will pull you in many different directions, and you won’t be able to hold on to the core of who you are.

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After being involved in one career, relationship, or other life commitment after another, you will eventually come to the conclusion that these endeavors were not intended for you.

… and until you figure out how to locate who you are, you will keep going through the same frustrating cycle over and over again.

Would you desire to have a strong sense of confidence in who you are?

Would you desire to make full use of your abilities, talents, and the path that life has laid out for you?

Do you long to understand the significance of your existence?

Would you like to cultivate friendships, romantic partnerships, and other connections in your life that really feed your spirit rather than deplete you?

If this is the case, it is time to conduct some introspective thinking. It’s time to discover who you are.

Why You Can’t Seem to Find Yourself Despite Your Best Efforts (It Consists of Multiple Layers)

It might be challenging to get a clear picture of one’s true identity for a variety of different reasons. The following are some of the primary explanations:

  • You were brought up in a household that did not place a high importance on uniqueness and had very clearly defined duties within the family.
  • The bad things that have happened to you throughout your life have caused you to have poor self-esteem, and the ideas (or tales) that go through your brain hinder you from perceiving your actual beauty and strength.
  • You are subject to significant amounts of influence from many forms of media, such as television programs, movies, advertisements, YouTube channels, Instagram celebrities, and others, all of which lead you to believe that you need to be someone that you are not (thus demoralizing you even more).
  • You are surrounded by people who fuel the circle of your insecurity and uncertainty because they encourage a lack of authenticity, poor decision-making, and low self-esteem. These individuals support the cycle of your uneasiness and confusion.
  • You are unable to take the time to do some introspection and discover who you really are because of the routines, responsibilities, and decisions you make in your life.

Let’s investigate these aforementioned aspects in a little bit more depth below:

You Were Brought Up in an Unstable Household Environment

Your upbringing has had a significant influence on both your adult life and the way you live your life from day to day.

Your formative years served as a period of formation; during this time, you established the basis for the ideas, habits, and values that you continue to uphold now.

People who are brought up in homes that have problems tend to have a poor sense of who they are as adults since, as children, all of their energy was engaged in other things.

When a youngster is forced to maintain hypervigilance in order to protect oneself from being abandoned, abused, or experiencing other forms of trauma, they have little energy left over to play, explore, or otherwise take pleasure in life.

To put it another way, the child’s identity becomes fragile and reliant on the approval of the larger world around them since there is no longer any inner vitality remaining.

Enmeshment, often known as “grow and change,” is a term that describes the dynamic that occurs when members of a dysfunctional family are forced to conform to predetermined roles.

In fact, any divergence from what “I am meant to be and do” is penalized, and as a result, being an individual is synonymous with going through pain.

It should come as no surprise that a great number of individuals are, on some level, scared of discovering who they really are!

Not only were they not allowed to develop into their real selves when they were younger, not only did they not have any genuine authentic role models to look up to, but they were actively disciplined for being genuine!

You Have Acquired a Poor Opinion of Yourself

Low self-esteem might be another reason why it is difficult for you to learn how to discover yourself. This can be the consequence of being raised in a dysfunctional household or the outcome of the circumstances of your life.

Taking it a step further than self-esteem is the concept of “self-worth,” which refers to how fundamentally worthwhile you think you are as a human being.

It is going to be extremely difficult for you to uncover your actual self if you have internalized the fundamental wound of believing that there is something “wrong with you,” “you’re terrible,” “you’re unlovable,” and other such statements.

In a nutshell, you don’t feel, on some deep level, that you’re deserving of the journey of discovering who you are!

Imagine for a moment that the mind is a mirror. When there is more muck and filth smeared on the mirror, which represents erroneous ideas and attitudes in this context, it will be more difficult to see clearly in the mirror, which represents yourself.

You’re going to need to wash that mirror clean if you want to get a good look at yourself and figure out how to locate who you are.

A little bit further on in the essay, we are going to discuss how to do this task.

You are Quite Susceptible to the Persuasion of the Media

The media may be found everywhere. You only need to turn on your TV to see it. You can find it if you go to the stores. Read the newspaper on the internet; it’s available. Simply scroll through Google, and you will find it. Make use of the shampoo of your choice; it is available.

If you pay attention to the underlying message that is being sent by the media, you will see that it is constantly focused on making you feel as if you need more.

to have hair that is more lustrous, skin that is clearer, a physique that is leaner, shoes that are prettier, teeth that are whiter, legs that are smoother, better sex, etc.—more, more, more.

The belief that “you are not good enough as you are” is a notion that goes one step deeper than that.

It is in the best interest of businesses, goods, internet personalities, publishers, and others to make you dissatisfied with who you are, to cover your eyes with a smokescreen, and to lead you to forget who you are.

It leads you to pursue a person who you believe you must be, which in turn generates a significant amount of revenue for them.

I’ll say it once more because it bears emphasizing: the media have a vested interest in your forgetting who you are since it generates revenue for them. It gives them a strong advantage. It elevates their significanceit bears emphasizing: the media have a vested interest in your forgetting who you are since it generates revenue for them. It gives them a strong advantage. It elevates their significance. And they wouldn’t have that if it weren’t for your feelings of inadequacy.

You are Surrounded by Individuals Who will Continue to Encourage You to be Inauthentic

According to a well-known proverb, sorrow likes company. We are drawn to folks who share our “vibe” and who either reflect or validate the way we really feel about ourselves on a fundamental level.

If you do not have a healthy sense of self-esteem or if you are unsure of who you are, you will continue to attract the same kinds of relationships. Why?

The ego, on the other hand, craves the feeling of being validated at any cost, even if it means receiving a validation that is destructive and detrimental to one’s health.

When we are surrounded by individuals who are equally unsure of who they actually are, it makes us feel at ease and prevents any potential conflicts from arising.

However, when we are in the company of a person who has a presence that is calm, grounded, and focused, we feel intimidated.

We feel vulnerable. Because we have not yet discovered that quality inside ourselves, we are prone to feelings of insecurity.

The majority of the time, the people we spend our time with might make it darn near impossible for us to figure out how to discover ourselves.

In addition, we are aware, on some level, that if we do go on this journey of self-discovery, it is quite possible that our friendships will terminate as a result.

The framework of our existence will come crashing down. We will ultimately feel a sense of isolation. And there is just another cause that is blocking us from finding who we really are!

The Routines You Follow, the Commitments You Make, and the Decisions You Make in Life

On the other hand, our routines are the crowning achievement, since they are the foundation upon which everything else is built.

Commitments that are soul-defiling, hollow, pointless, and false have a way of quickly filling up the majority of our lives with junk and making a mess of things.

These decisions in life have the potential to rapidly construct prison walls that leave us feeling imprisoned and ensnared.

They contribute to our feelings of inauthenticity and self-alienation, and it may be quite challenging to free ourselves from their influence.

However, this is not impossible.

In the near future, we will discuss ways in which you might overcome these roadblocks. But before we get into that, let’s investigate the spiritual cause of your inability to find your way back to yourself.

The Mystical Explanation for Why You’ve Lost Contact with Your Authentic Self

In only three words:

Ego plus soul loss

I’m going to try to avoid going on a tirade that’s twenty pages long and very in-depth by keeping my explanation brief.

Your ego is your false self; it is the mask that you wear when you interact with the outside world. You, like the rest of us, were conditioned as a youngster to construct this ego mask for yourself.

Its goal is to facilitate your participation in societal activities. However, at the same time, it hides your genuine self, often known as your soul.

When we identify with our false self, also known as our ego, and forget about our true self, also known as our soul, we suffer from soul loss.

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Due to the fact that our souls have been taken from us, we are unsure of our true identities. We are also afflicted by emotions of melancholy, anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, and the experience of being like small, isolated islands floating in the sea of existence. These sensations may make us feel as if we are completely alone.

If we were able to establish a connection with our own souls, we would be able to see how intricately all of our lives are intertwined and would no longer experience as much pain.

Mark Nepo, a poet and a philosopher, elucidates as follows:

The false self is a diplomat of mistrust who enforces a lifestyle of guardedness, concealment, and complaint, while the true self is the one who enlightens us as to what is real and what has been fabricated through time.

When we associate with the false self, we feel disconnected from our wildness, the vigor, and rawness of who we actually are, as well as what we truly desire. This happens because the false self is not our own.

This sensation of staleness and dullness is caused by a lack of wildness, soulfulness, and zestfulness in one’s life.

On the inside, we feel empty. We are quick to get disinterested in ourselves, and, as a result, we continue to seek out relationships, occupations, or other things that we believe can reignite that spark of life. However, this is only an illusion.

There is nothing that can come from the outside that can rekindle the fire inside your spirit.

This detachment from our holy wildness or our soul is vividly described by author and psychologist Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

What are a few of the feeling-toned symptoms that might occur when there is a disruption in one’s connection with the wild energy that resides inside the psyche?

When one feels, thinks, or acts in any of the following ways on a consistent basis, it indicates that the connection to one’s inner, innate mind has either been partly broken or completely lost.

Using just terms specific to women, they include: feeling very dry, exhausted, fragile, melancholy, bewildered, gagged, muzzled, and unaroused.

Feeling afraid, immobile, or feeble, devoid of inspiration, devoid of vitality, devoid of soulfulness, devoid of significance, burdened with guilt, persistently agitated, volatile, trapped, uncreative, compressed, and frenzied are all symptoms of this condition.

Feeling helpless, having persistent doubts, being wobbly, being blocked, being unable to follow through, turning one’s creative life over to others, making life-sapping choices in mates, jobs, or friendships, struggling to live outside of one’s own cycles, being overprotective of oneself, being inert, hesitant, stumbling, and being unable to pace oneself or establish boundaries are all symptoms of depression.

This vivid account of what it’s like to lose touch with your wildness and your soul is probably something that resonates with you on several levels. I’m sure this is the case.

But how exactly can you retrieve it?

How do you move into your true self after you’ve decided to cease associating with your false self?

How am I supposed to go back to being myself? The Nine-Step Guide to Finding Your True Self

To paraphrase the words of Mary Oliver, “What is it that you mean to accomplish with your one wild and beautiful life?”

Since the amount of time we have left on earth is finite, there is no purpose in pretending to be someone we are not.

It is a tremendous source of freedom to exist at every level as the genuine, honest person that you are. Once you figure out how to discover yourself, so many other things in your life will begin to fall into place wonderfully.

Your relationships are going to improve. Your situation at work will improve. Your time spent with your family will improve. Your psychological and emotional health will become better as a result of this. And maybe most importantly, your connection with me will become healthier.

The question now is, “How do we get there?”

The following is a list of the nine stages that you may take to discover yourself:

  1. Make time for isolation.
  2. Purge yourself mentally and emotionally.
  3. Determine your top five most essential requirements.
  4. Consider the things that are most important to you in this life.
  5. Accept the responsibility of being an independent sovereign.
  6. Discover who you are by venturing out, going places, and thinking deeply.
  7. It’s time to cut ties with the people and obligations that keep you from being real.
  8. Establish a connection with the core of your spiritual being.
  9. Reestablish a connection with your wild side.

These actions may be completed in any order that you want; you are not required to carry them out one after the other.

Also, keep in mind that some will work for you while others will not. Therefore, don’t be scared to make mistakes, and if you do, pick yourself up and try again.

I’ll go into further detail below:

1. Schedule Some Alone Time

The power of solitude cannot be overstated, as it is the very first step on the path to rediscovering and reclaiming one’s true self.

When we are by ourselves, we are able to put more space between ourselves and the external noise that might cause mental congestion and confusion.

When I say “solitude,” what I mean is that there is no communication with anybody at all, including friends, coworkers, social media, etc.

Being alone in your thoughts without any distractions is the definition of solitude. Meditation is a wonderful practice to engage in for accomplishing this goal.

You do not need to give up everything and live in seclusion at this time. Just set aside a few hours for yourself each week to be alone.

If you need some time to yourself, driving someplace is a good option. If you want some time to yourself, lock yourself in a room if that’s what it takes.

If others are perplexed, just tell them that you need some time to yourself to recharge and refresh your mind and body.

If they are sensible, they will understand what is going on. If this is not the case, you may need to firmly establish limits and make time for solitude.

2. Eliminate the Mental and Emotional Clutter that’s Accumulated Inside of You

Writing in a notebook is one of the most effective methods to release negative thoughts and feelings, both intellectually and emotionally. Additionally, drawing is yet another effective way.

Start by writing down everything that’s going through your head on a piece of paper. Don’t be too critical of yourself. Allow it to develop naturally and be as detailed as you want with it.

After you have eliminated unnecessary items, you are then in a position to examine what you have written. What recurring themes are there? What are the most prominent feelings that come through?

You should try to get some self-understanding, but you shouldn’t stress out if you don’t think you have it all figured out just yet. Just give it your best try and see what happens.

3. Identify Your Top Five Most Essential Requirements

Everyone has a variety of wants and goals, but requirements are more specific. Your needs are something that arises from deep within you, and they are non-negotiable since they are essential to maintaining your sanity.

Concentrating on the aspects of your life that bring you the most unhappiness is a good strategy for isolating your most fundamental need.

Which aspects of your life provide you the least amount of joy? You may be absolutely certain that a fundamental need is not being satisfied.

Put pen to paper or pencil to paper after you have an idea of your top five most essential demands. Next, investigate all of the ways in which they are or are not being fulfilled.

To discover who you are, you have to simplify your life to its barest essentials. You have to rid your thoughts of all of the shallow needs and desires that are clouding them in order to unearth the treasure that is lying deep inside you.

This inner gold is the material that makes up your soul, and it is what gives you your unique identity.

You will be able to conduct your life in a way that is in tune with your inner core if you have a grasp of your fundamental requirements.

You’ll be able to discover professions, housing, and relationships that respect this characteristic that feeds you, for instance, if one of your fundamental needs is to live in close proximity to natural settings. This will allow you to feel nourished.

4. Give Some Serious Consideration to the Things That You Desire Out of Life

As noted in the works of novelist and inventor Stephen Key,

Think about how seldom we engage in insightful, continuous self-reflection over our preferences in terms of food and drink.

Of course, we moan, grab, go along, and struggle on a regular basis; nevertheless, we seldom question ourselves, in a prolonged and serious manner, what it is that would give my life meaning or cause me to be satisfied.

What is it that I truly want to be doing right now, and with whom would I prefer to be doing it?

We don’t often question ourselves, in a very serious manner, about who we want as our closest friends, where we want to live both physically and morally, and what we want to accomplish with our lives.

This person makes a good point: how often do you consider what it is that YOU really want out of life? Put the wishes of your parents out of your mind.

Put aside the desires of your family, significant other, coworkers, and society at large and focus on satisfying your own needs.

I am aware that what I am about to say may come off as harsh, but you have no choice but to tune out everyone else and pay attention to that still, little voice inside of you.

Why? Now, as for how you choose to spend your time, that decision is entirely up to you. Nobody has the authority to tell you what you should or shouldn’t want out of life; that decision is entirely up to you.

Therefore, give yourself some time to contemplate and look inside. How would you spend your life if there were no limits and you could do anything you wanted, regardless of the consequences?

And then, from there, make the proper concessions, i.e., it’s not a wise idea to leave your children, and take the necessary steps toward that objective.

5. Recognize and Exercise the Autonomy That is Rightfully Yours

Becoming self-sufficient implies accepting the responsibility of being your own life’s most powerful and authoritative figure.

We come to the realization that no one but ourselves is accountable for living our lives when we engage in the practice of self-sovereignty.

We are aware that no one else than ourselves can instruct us on what actions to take. We are aware that our lives are the products of our own making and that the things that are successful for other people are not always successful for us.

To claim your rightful place as the King or Queen of your own life is what it means to be “self-sovereign.” You stop acting like a beggar and looking for validation and approval from other people and instead go yourself, where you will find that acceptance already there.

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People who have a hard time figuring out who they are often have the misconception that they do not have the basic right to be in charge of their own lives.

On the other hand, they are of the opinion that in order to be accepted by society, it is necessary for them to conform to its norms.

Accepting the idea that you have the authority to make decisions for yourself requires just a little adjustment to your frame of mind, but it will have a profound and far-reaching impact on every aspect of your life.

Figuring out who you are and who you are not is one of the most effective methods to get started.

The following are some suggestions for topics to write about in your diary that can assist you in stepping into the position of self-sovereignty:

  • Which things do I enjoy and dislike?
  • What kind of style do I have?
  • What does it mean to me to be beautiful?
  • What does it mean to me to be successful?
  • In my opinion, what does it mean to be happy?
  • Who do I believe I am as opposed to what other people believe I am?

If you find that you need some time to reflect when answering these questions, then you’re doing a good job of responding to them.

Finding our genuine ideas, emotions, and beliefs and differentiating them from the interpretations of society may be a time-consuming process that requires a lot of digging.

Get additional information about how to keep a journal.

6. Go out, See the World, Think Deeply, and Discover Your True Calling

To successfully discover who you are, you will need to make a concerted effort to deviate from your typical habits and patterns.

You don’t have to arrange a trip to Bali for the next six months, but you do need to broaden your horizons and experiment with new things.

If you’re not the outdoorsy type, you might do some “armchair traveling” instead by picking up a book that seems like it may be beneficial or watching a documentary that could be motivating.

The things that drive you most deeply are intimately connected to the essence of who you are as a person.

Your calling in life is tied to your passion, and when you’re not following your calling, life might seem unfulfilling and uninteresting.

Exploring one’s own mind and heart, as well as one’s environment on occasion, is required in order to discover one’s own mission, which is the key to unlocking one’s life’s passion and purpose.

Why don’t you begin by reading this essay on the purpose of life and then see where it leads you?

7. Cut Ties With the People and Obligations in Your Life that Encourage You to be Inauthentic

You have every right to seek out who you are, to be who you are, and to travel a road that is authentic to who you are as a person.

You shouldn’t allow other people to bring you down. Your attempts to make good changes shouldn’t be undermined by negative routines and obligations you’ve made to yourself.

A well-known instructor of self-improvement named Jim Rohn previously made the statement that “the five people you spend the most time with represent the average of you.”

Who exactly are these five individuals? What changes do you anticipate these making in your life?

Create a list of everyone and everything that is now a part of your life, including your obligations.

Consider both the benefits and drawbacks of each option. Do they make your life better in more ways than they make it worse?

Redesigning your life from the bottom up could be terrifying, but it’s something you should consider doing if you want to make genuine progress toward your goals.

You should make an effort to establish friends and responsibilities that respect your freedom to be an independent person.

8. Reconnect With the Source of Your Spirituality

According to what Don Miguel Ruiz, a spiritual teacher, writes:

Every time we pretend to be something that we are not, we are doomed to fail. It is quite challenging for any of us to pretend to be someone or something that we are not.

When I was younger, I pretended that I was always extremely happy, very powerful, and very important. Wow!

Living in such a manner is the very definition of living in hell. It’s a trap, and there’s no way out of it alive. The most important thing to remember is that you can never be something that you are not. You can only ever be you, and that is all there is to it.

And you are exactly who you are at this moment, and it comes naturally to you. There is no need to provide an explanation for who we are. There is no use in putting forth extra effort to become someone that we are not already.

Being yourself is the most important part of the journey to discovering who you are. If you want to be yourself, you have to let go of the idea that you have to be someone else.

In concept, it doesn’t sound too complicated. However, when put into reality, it is one of the most challenging things imaginable to really embrace.

We live in a divided culture that is geared to program us with poisonous guilt, insecurity, and self-doubt, as was described earlier in this post.

Because there is so much noise both external to us and inside us, it is very easy for us to lose contact with our true nature, with the voice of our souls, and to confuse our ego selves with our genuine selves.

9. Reestablish a Connection With Your Wild Side

Your authenticity may be found in your wildness. It is whatever seems most natural and genuine to you.

And certainly, even the concept of wildness may be a restrictive box that we strive to squeeze ourselves into.

Even wildness may be turned into a selling point for products. So cut through all of that nonsense and get to the meat of the matter.

According to what Mark Nepo writes:

When we give in to any request, desire, demand, or requirement that runs counter to the essence of our soul, the price we pay is that our most valuable source of life energy is extracted from our very center. This is a fact that cannot be refuted.

In spite of the seeming benefits of conformity, it is ultimately exhausting for our souls to participate in activities that are intrinsically contrary to their nature.

Tuning into your energy is one of the most effective methods to get in touch with the wild side of yourself.

What are some of the things that make you feel exhausted, drained, lifeless, and dry? You may be certain that whoever or whatever “that thing” is is attempting to tame your untamed nature in some way.

On the contrary, pay attention to the things that make you feel bubbly inside and bursting with pleasure, enthusiasm, and passion.

You may be certain that you’ve found something that satisfies your spiritual needs and fulfills you completely—something that is uniquely you.

Learning to reestablish a connection with one’s body is an essential component of reconnecting with one’s wild side.

Anything that is not real will quickly be recognized and conveyed by your body since your body is analogous to an antenna for truth.

The practice of mindfulness meditation, along with other activities such as somatic experiences, yoga, and dancing to the 5 Rhythms, is a great way to be in touch with your physical self.

Make use of these methods in order to embrace your wildness and discover who you are.

When Akiba was nearing the end of his life, he lamented to his rabbi that he believed he had been a disappointment to others.

His rabbi approached him and inquired why, at which point Akiba admitted that he had not led a life comparable to that of Moses.

The poor guy started to weep and said that he was afraid of the punishment from God. Upon hearing this, the man’s rabbi came down close to him and whispered in his ear, “God will not condemn Akiba for not being Moses.”

Akiba will face the judgment of God since he is not Akiba.

The words of the Talmud

Finding oneself may be a difficult and time-consuming process, but it is one that is well worth doing.

If you don’t figure out who you really are, you will spend the rest of your life wandering aimlessly through life and repeating the same errors over and over again, ad nauseam.

To discover oneself is the same as to be oneself, and to discover oneself is to discover oneself.

Finding yourself involves not only your own personal development but also your contribution to the development of others; it is a route that is essential for both inner and outer development.

My wish for you is that you would now take a different course of action and take in some sound guidance in order to do so.

Tell me about the challenges you’ve faced along the way to discovering who you are and how you tick. Please don’t hesitate to rant or impart any words of wisdom you’ve learned down here.

Your MASTERY OF LIFE begins the moment you break through your prisons of self-created limitations and enter the inner worlds where creation begins.

-Dr. Jonathan Parker-

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