Self-discovery isn’t for wimps. It takes a lot of courage, strength, and awareness to become the person you were meant to be.
You think you’re on the right path but somehow you feel lost. You think you’re doing your best. And you probably are, but deep inside you hear a little voice crying to get out. You try to silence it but you can still hear it.
Your loved ones want the best for you. Since you were a child your parents had their own dreams about what you will become, who you’ll choose to love, and how you will live your life.
That’s lovely when it works favorably, but sometimes it doesn’t work at all, and suddenly you feel lost and confused. You’ve lost your dreams, desires, and vision of the life you wanted. Caring about what other people want for you can cause you to live to fulfill their desires and forget about what your own.
Happiness cannot happen if you don’t live your truth. It may cause mistakes, failure, and regrets—but it will also bring lessons, wisdom, and personal harmony. If you don’t live your truth, you will become angry, resentful, and end up in a life that doesn’t suit you. But of course, it’s not easy to just be true to who you are.
Of course, you don’t want to end up living on the streets, or sleeping on a park bench. Finding your inner truth is a process that takes time. And sometimes it takes a very long time. You have to work to pay the bills, but while you are being responsible, try to be true to that voice inside you.
Not everyone wants a marriage. Some people love the joys of single life—sharing their bed with empty sushi containers, three dogs and an iPhone—while others can’t imagine eating dinner alone—a night without an argument over the air conditioning (too hot or too cold) and a bathroom floor without someone else’s wet towels on it. Some women came out of their mother’s womb with a natural ability to change diapers, never sleep, and the strength to tolerate a toddler’s temper tantrum. And then there are women who are truly content knowing that a miniature version of themselves will not be brought forth into future generations. Whichever one you are is OK—because that’s who you are; it’s what you want, and who you were meant to be.
When you discover the true you, AHA! happens; you know what you want and are free to go after it with every ounce of your being. When you do, you live contently—comfortable in your own skin—able to achieve whatever impossible dreams you had imagined for yourself.
Listening to your inner voice is a skill. It’s a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s about tuning in to your deeper self and tuning out the noise that is disrupting your own voice. It’s a daily practice of trial and error. Sometimes you have to change the direction you were headed in, make a u-turn, and go back again before you can move forward. It’s about falling down, getting hurt, brushing yourself off, and getting up again and again.
If you want to excel you need to know who you are—then you can move forward. You can fortify your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses, then face your flaws and strive to overcome them. Every day is a chance to become a better version of your self, not a better version of somebody else. As Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”
Here are nine reasons why being the true YOU is the best way to be.
1. You can celebrate your nature!
Even if it’s different than what everybody expects of you, notice what makes you happy. It’s easy to go along with the crowd. Quickly you can slip into becoming what someone else wants you to be. Pay attention to what makes you smile. Do more of it. As we age, we lose our inner child filled with talents, wonder, and amazement. What was your favorite activity when you were a child? Writers wrote, artists painted, and engineers built block towers or took apart their mother’s toaster.
2. You won’t lose sight of your own dreams.
The longer you ignore your dreams, the more they fade away. So don’t ignore them for too long, unless you’ve replaced them with other dreams that you’re content with.
3. You will experience the joy of inner peace.
Peace comes from harmony, when your body and soul align. Peace is a calm feeling that too many people don’t get to experience. Inner peace warms your soul.
4. You will feel good in your own skin.
You can’t be in somebody’s else’s skin. Yours is custom-fit just for you. You’re a unique package. Your personality, style, and way of thinking, acting, and speaking is unlike anyone else’s. Besides, it’s exhausting trying to be someone you are not.
5. You won’t feel like a phony.
Trying to behave in a way that doesn’t match your inner truth feels as if you’re trying to make tight shoes feel comfortable. You may love the way they look, but no matter how hard you try they still hurt with every step you take.
6. You will get that warm cozy feeling when you put your head on your pillow at night—and a good night’s sleep.
There’s nothing as spiritually satisfying as crawling into bed, putting your head on your pillow, pulling fluffy covers up to your chin, and feeling your soul smile.
7. You can become your best self.
It gets confusing when you try to be someone you’re not. It’s like spending your entire day in a clown costume. It’s fun for a little while but after a few hours you start to squirm. The exterior doesn’t match the interior. And remember, Confucius says, “No matter where you go, there you are.”
8. You will learn to spend time alone.
Peer pressure affects adults, too. We succumb to group mentality. If you really want to be your truest, best self, spend time alone. Take walks by the beach, or in nature. Set aside quiet time so that all you hear is the sound of your heart beating. Do what you enjoy.
“The two best days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
9. You will be more willing to reach outside your comfort zone.
Sometimes we get stuck in comfort zones that aren’t very comfortable. We’ve simply adjusted to the discomfort because of fear. It’s scary to discover “the true you.” You worry if people will still like you or wonder what your life will be like if you make a change. Discomfort isn’t a bad thing when it’s helping you grow in a positive direction. Once in awhile, it’s good to measure your comfort zone: it is harmful or beneficial to you?
10. You can still be realistic.
Of course, you have to pay the bills so don’t quit your job right now. Take time to nurture your inner truth so that you can responsibly transition into your dream job. But that doesn’t mean just because it isn’t happening now that it will never happen.
Self-discovery is an endless journey.