Life is one big, swerving, often unpredictable learning curve we’re constantly trying to tackle. Figuring life out is like meandering through a maze without fully expecting an actual finish line. That beautiful, albeit intimidating journey, is in fact part of an even more intricate one we call self-discovery. Whatever we learn about ourselves one day will actually change the next day, pushing us to constantly reacquaint ourselves with ourselves, discovering more layers of selfhood.
Empowering your own self-discovery processes calls for imagination as well as perseverance. To know life, you need to know yourself, so it’s crucial to keep looking for creative ways to get to know the depth of your identity and to allow yourself to reshape it as you move forward. Remember, self-discovery isn’t passive at all – it’s an active process of building yourself as you learn more about your dreams, passions, proclivities, and everything in between. And there are ways to empower that process within yourself.
Start creating your fluid vision board
Do you know what a vision board is? The truth is, it can be whatever you want it to be, and it doesn’t have to be anything in particular at all. The idea here is to start exploring all your dreams and future goals without a specific roadmap in mind. Research topics you find near and dear to your heart, professional positions you’d love to see yourself in perhaps during the next five or ten years, and hobbies you’d love to take up.
You can do it digitally or print everything out on an actual board and let patterns (or the lack thereof) emerge. Consider what kind of activities would make you happy and fulfilled, and what types of experiences you’d love to have in life. Fill up the board with them and start thinking about different ways to actually accomplish it all.
Clear your head by working out
Focusing on your healthy living will help you have the headspace for new ideas and self-discovery. It’s in those times when we’re immersed in challenges that we learn about ourselves the most. So, put on those jogging shoes, or pull out that yoga mat – start getting active so that you can push your body a little bit further regularly.
In training, you learn about your boundaries, physical as well as psychological, but you also have the time to let ideas come to you instead of actively pursuing them. This is when your mind is working in your favour, while you’re dedicated to your body and well-being.
Develop existing or new skills
Some hobbies and activities have more introspective power than the rest. Photography, for example, is one such activity that can become a lucrative profession, but it always tells the story of the human being behind the camera. To get to know yourself through your own world views, and to learn to express yourself even better, you can take up different photography courses and start exploring your creative side.
In learning these new, useful, but introspective skills, we give ourselves even more tools for self-discovery. Whether you end up taking more photos with your phone or you dedicate several hours every week to taking nature photos – you’ll learn more about yourself and you’ll start noticing things that you’ve missed before.
Use apps to learn
Self-discovery is by no means only internal. You also need to expand your mind and existing knowledge if you want to be able to understand yourself better. By subscribing to different learning apps, you can get access to diverse types of knowledge. For example, TED is an educational platform where you can learn so much about human nature and the human mind, which can help you understand your own motives, behaviours, and setbacks.
Sometimes, patterns emerge only when we take the time to examine ourselves. If you give yourself some time to write down your thoughts, worries, dreams, and ambitions through journaling, you might be surprised to discover that you’re struggling with burnout, or maybe you need to work on some interpersonal skills.
If every single one of your entries starts with “I’ve been so tired lately”, that might be a good indicator that you need some time off. If you’ve been focused on what makes you angry, maybe you can start taking up boxing lessons to vent in a healthy way – or maybe yoga is more your cup of tea. Either way, learning about yourself by examining your own train of thought can be extremely helpful for your future.
These are, by no means, the only ideas you can use to fuel your self-discovery journey. They are merely ideas that might inspire you to start in a completely different direction or perhaps use several at the same time for maximum results.
Focusing on growth is quite liberating when you discover the means to get to know yourself better. Start with one or two ideas from the list, and let yourself expand your search for the self over time. You’ll notice that your life will get richer and your time more valuable the more you learn about yourself. Not to mention that you’ll learn to love and appreciate yourself the more you get to know the real you.
Sophia Smith is a beauty and lifestyle blogger, and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about eco-friendly and green topics, sustainable fashion, eco beauty, and conscious business. Sophia’s other hobbies center around her love for yoga, wellness rituals, and living in balance with nature. She loves sharing meaningful content that inspires people and has covered topics ranging from organic beauty products and sustainability to self-care and mental health.
Sophia has contributed to a number of publications including Eco Warrior Princess, Naughty Nutrition, Sivana Spirit, Carousel, Cause Artist, Austin Fit Magazine, Awaken, Literally Darling, Art of Healthy Living, and Read Unwritten.
You can find out more about her writing by following her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophia_bri.