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Discovering Who You Really Are – 10 Powerful Steps

Do you know who you really are? I mean really now who you are? After all, who you were ten years ago or even last year may be totally different than who you are today.

Knowing and understanding who you really are can change your life. It can bring out confidence and inner strength.

In this post, you will learn how to find out who you really are so you can live the life you desire and deserve..

A chalkboard representing finding out who you really are

What Causes You To Change Who You Are?

Throughout life we experience many different types of events. Sometimes those events are powerful enough that they can alter who you become. They can change you in a positive way or a negative way.

Although many things that happen in our life are things we have no control over. We can control how those experiences affect us. We have control over our reactions and our mindset.

Positive Experiences

Some experiences can alter who we are in a positive way. They cause us to change things about ourselves. However, these changes are for the better, in most cases.

Some positive experiences may include:

  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Getting married
  • Graduating from an educational institution
  • Obtaining a new and rewarding career
  • Starting a new business
  • Moving to a new home

In the examples above, we may make changes, but usually, they are positive and beneficial changes. Having a baby requires a change in your time and activities, but with a positive side of being a parent.

Getting a new job means adjusting your social schedule and even getting up earlier. But the reward is a better income to provide a better lifestyle.

Woman with a newborn baby

Negative Experiences

Some experiences can affect you in a negative way. These are the things that happen in your life that cause a gap which can be hard to fill. These events can cause you to become depressed, lost, and insecure. You may develop a negative attitude.

Experiences that may cause negativity include:

  • Sudden career change (retirement, layoff, termination)
  • Death of someone close to you
  • Illness
  • Empty Nest Syndrome
  • Change of relationship status (divorce, break-up)
  • Major lifestyle change (pandemic, moving, war)

Someone who has worked 40 years for the same company may think retirement will be enjoyable and allow them free-time. They may really look forward to the day they walk away from their job. However, when the reality sets in that they are now home all the time, they feel lost and don’t know what to do with themself.

The stay-at-home mother whose children have since grown and moved into their own homes may feel alone and lost with the kids gone. She may not know what to do with herself or her time.

Death of a family member or someone close to you can change you. You may be grieving and depressed. You may not know how to move forward.

Woman looking at wedding ring after a divorce

Using a Period of Adjustment

Before you can start to find out who you really are again, you must go through what I call a “period of adjustment”. This is the time starting immediately after the event until you are ready to move past it.

Some events will have a longer period of adjustment, years for example. Some events you can adjust to rather quickly. Either way it is up to you to decide when you are ready.

The death of a parent or friend may be something you grieve for a much shorter time than the death of your spouse or child. Only you will know when you are ready to move forward.

One mom whose children no longer live at home may take a bit more time to adjust to living without kids than another mom of the same situation.

Everyone’s period of adjustment is different and no two events will have the same effect or solution.

Woman laying down and upset

How Do You Know When You’re Ready?

You will be ready to make changes and start discovering who you really are again when you develop the mindset that you no longer want to feel the way you do. It will be a conscience decision to want to be happy and become who you really are again.

If you are ready to rediscover who you really are again there are some steps you can take. Let’s discuss them now.

10 Steps to Finding Who You Really Are

Step 1: Ask Yourself Some Questions Looking Forward

Get yourself a notebook or some paper and answer the following questions. Think about each question. Don’t rush.

These questions are the start of your personal journey to find out who you really are again.

  1. What do you enjoy doing?
  2. What do you miss doing that you do not do anymore?
  3. What things matter most to you right now?
  4. What are your greatest strengths?
  5. What are your talents, hobbies, or passions?
  6. What do you have time for now that you didn’t before?
  7. What new things do you want to learn or try?

Step 2: Ask Yourself Some Questions Looking Back

Start a new page and answer the following questions. Be honest and take your time.

  1. What don’t you enjoy doing anymore?
  2. What things do you NOT want to do?
  3. What is now not as important to you as it was before?
  4. What are your weaknesses?
  5. What habits do you want to change or quit?

Step 3: Define Your Values and Beliefs

Think about what you stand for. What are your beliefs? What are your values based on. This is a great start to finding out who you really are again.

Some examples of values and beliefs may include:

  • honesty
  • loyalty
  • strong ethics or morals
  • hard work
graphic representation of core values

Some examples of beliefs may include:

  • Anything is possible with hard work.
  • I can do it!
  • Having a routine is important.

When you are done writing down your beliefs and vales, write down the following statement and follow it up with your own answer.

The things I will not stand for anymore are… “

Step 4: Define Your Life Goals

Write your life goals out. Where do you want to be? What do you want to do or accomplish? Where do you want to live? Just write out all of the life goals you want to set for your life. This is your life plan.

Once you have written your goals out on paper, ask and answer the following question:

  1. Does my current habits and activities move me in the direction of achieving my goals?
  2. Which habits or activities should I change, give up, or add so they do?
Life goals list

Step 5: Assess your Surroundings or Environment.

Think about the family, friends, and other people that you may interact with frequently. These may include people from school, work, community, or others. List them on your paper or in your notebook.

Ask and answer these questions:

  1. Do any of the people I listed affect my mood or motivation in a negative way?
  2. If yes, how can I limit or eliminate my time with them?
  3. Does my environment and the people within it match my values and beliefs?
  4. How can I change my surroundings to mesh with my goals and vales and beliefs.

Being around positive people that share in your hopes, dreams, and goals offer more opportunities for you to discover who you really are again. Get rid of the negativity once and for all.

Step 6: Stop any Limiting Beliefs

You must stop any limited beliefs you have that cause you to not move forward. These thoughts may include thoughts of self criticism. Thoughts like “I am too shy.” or “I am not smart enough.”

These thoughts may also include limited thoughts. “I will never be able to…” and I can’t…” are examples of these. Instead, practice positive affirmations daily to change your mindset.

Limited thinking and limited beliefs will stand in the way of you discovering who you really are, so eliminate those thoughts.

Get my FREE Positive Affirmations E-Book here!

Step 7: Stop Worrying About What Others May Think

Follow these tips to start becoming who you really are:

  • Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. You are the ONLY you.
  • Remind yourself of times you’ve felt confident.
  • Stop the fear of rejection. No doesn’t mean never.
  • Believe in yourself and your abilities even if it seems impossible.
  • Learn to just let things go. You cannot control everything and some things are not worth worrying about.
  • Know what your personal boundaries are and stand by them.
  • Always try to have an open mind to new ideas and new possibilities.

Step 8: Learn to Be Assertive and Comfortable Doing So

You know what is best for you. You know what matters to you most. Those elements make you who you really are. Don’t be afraid to say no. Sometimes you just can’t do something for someone else. That is okay!

Listen to what others say and ask of you, make eye contact with them, and then do not be afraid to respond with a no.

Woman looking into the sun over the land

Step 9: Don’t Rush – Changes Take Time

Everything from starting a new hobby or even a self-care routine to learning something new takes time. Don’t rush the process. Take one day at a time. Put your best foot forward and absorb everything you can in the process.

Remember, Beethoven didn’t sit at his first piano and design his greatest work. He had to learn, adapt, and believe in his ability first. For you to discover again who you really are, it will take time too.

Step 10: Find Support

While you are learning who you really are, find the people that support what you are doing on your personal journey. These are the people who will talk you “off the ledge”, congratulate you for a job well done, or just listen when you need to talk.

Who you are today may not be who you were twenty years ago. That’s normal. It is okay. As long as you are authentic and true to yourself, your values and beliefs, you will be on the right path to finding out who you really are.

Ready To Discover Who You Really Are?

You are now armed with 10 powerful steps to learning who you really are again. Still want more? Or maybe you need more assistance on your journey? Download the free self discovery worksheet below!