The idea of ‘finding ourselves’ is not a new one — despite cropping up more and more frequently these days as we navigate the choppy waters of modern life. But what does this really mean? And is it even possible?
If you are one of the many that want to embark upon a journey of self-discovery and finding inner peace, it’s worth knowing whether there is an end destination to reach, rather than some unachievable goal to chase for the rest of your life.
In the post below, we’re going to be looking at this concept of self-discovery, and asking: what exactly does ‘finding ourselves’ mean, and is it really possible?
Although it’s hard to break down something so big — and personal to each individual — into bitesize chunks, we’ve highlighted four big steps you can take on the journey toward finding yourself. Read on to discover more.
Learning to understand that your past shapes your present
‘Finding yourself’ in your future means looking back to your past and making sense of it. You aren’t just your biological or genetic make-up; you’re a collection of memories, experiences, and emotions that make up your personality.
Understanding your story so far will give you a greater comprehension of you, and why you feel and act the way you do — and takes you one step closer to finding yourself. Whatever happened in your past — whether it’s good or bad experiences, childhood memories, relationships with your family, and unresolved traumas — has made you who you are today.
Now is a good time to delve into your history and make sense of it all. By doing so, you will find yourself on the path to understanding and peace — and make more mindful, self-aware decisions in the future.
It’s up to you how you do this; it could be your own solitary exploration of your past, such as writing a journal. But it could also mean meeting with a counsellor or therapist to explore your past, or talking things through with people close to you.
Not comparing yourself to others
In an era full of picture-perfect Instagram accounts, it’s all too easy to compare ourselves to others; ‘she’s skinnier than I’ll ever be’, ‘he’s much more good-looking than me’, ‘why am I not as beautiful as her?’. We all find flaws in ourselves — especially our physical forms — and covet the attributes that other people have.
Breaking the cycle of harmful negative thoughts about our bodies can be hard, especially if you don’t fit the mould of ‘conventional’ beauty, or you’ve experienced bullying before, or gone through a huge life-changing event, such as childbirth.
Many mothers, in particular, struggle to accept their new postpartum bodies. Finding confidence and not comparing yourself to others is hard, especially when the media and social platforms are full of harmful messages about ‘beating that mom bod’ and ‘bouncing back’ after birth. If this sounds uncomfortably familiar, don’t worry — it is possible to find beauty in your body.
If you want to be inspired, then there are lots of amazing Instagram accounts you can follow. I Weigh is an incredible online movement set up by actor and activist Jameela Jamil that aims to celebrate body positivity and self-worth, as well as providing an inclusive space to amplify their community’s voices.
Through incredible work like this, as well as that of other activists, we can encourage ourselves and each other to become happier and more fulfilled in our own skin, without comparing ourselves to the people around us.
Being comfortable & confident in yourself
Human beings are, by nature, social creatures. From the moment we are born into this world, we look to the people around us for acceptance and affection — whether this is our family unit, our friends, our romantic partners, or wider society as a whole.
Forming these meaningful connections helps us to lead balanced and fulfilled lives, surrounded by love and friendship. However, when our concept of ourselves rely on validation from the people around us, we can spend our lives full of doubt and constantly seeking reassurance.
Finding yourself means being fulfilled with the person that you are: completely confident and comfortable in yourself as an individual entity, rather than seeking the acceptance of others. You can find strength and happiness from within; that power is in you.
This isn’t something that can be achieved overnight; it’s more something that you will learn gradually over time. But there are some tips you can follow to overcome self-doubt and be more confident in yourself. Start by practising some of these, and you’ll soon find that your mental attitude changes gradually to align with this.
Thinking about what you want and going for it
It’s very easy in life to fall into the same old routine; waking up, going to work, coming home again, watching TV, going to bed, and repeating the whole thing again day after day.
This means we fall into a spiritual rut — living out a tired existence full of negativity and boredom with everyday life.
Finding yourself is about being fulfilled with who you are and what you can achieve: recognise your inner power, as well as your needs and desires. You have control of your life and your attitude, so create positive goals, concentrate on them, and work towards them.
This might mean pushing yourself out of your comfort zone: trying new things, meeting new people, taking up difficult challenges and doing things you thought you might never do.
Through each challenge — with its successes and failures — you will find out more and more about yourself, and get closer to finding spiritual fulfilment — which, at the end of the day, is what finding ourselves is really about.
‘Finding ourselves’ means finding inner peace and fulfilment in the person that we are — and mirroring this in the life we lead. Although the journey may not always be easy, the destination really does exist: finding yourself is definitely possible.
The four points above are just some of the steps you will take on the journey toward finding yourself — just remember to enjoy the ride too!