Figuring out your strengths and learning to avoid what brings the worst out of you can be a huge plus if you struggle with self-esteem issues. However, like many, you may fantasize about becoming your most authentic self but haven’t quite found the motivation to embark on the exhilarating journey.
In this quick post, I offer some hands-on strategies for kicking off your journey to self discovery. In addition to making you feel more confident, understanding who you are can transform your life in no small way.
Self Discovery: What Does It Mean?
In simple terms, self-discovery is learning and exploring what makes you unique. It involves figuring out your beliefs, values, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses.
Learning some of these things naturally over time (sometimes by accident) is possible, but it takes conscious effort to fully understand who you truly are.
Like many people, you know deep down that self-discovery is an important step in transforming your life. You somehow know that it is the key to becoming the resilient, confident, and successful person you want to be.
But somehow, you may not be too excited about starting the journey to self discovery because you fear what you’ll find.
Then again, your reluctance may have nothing to do with fear but a whole lot with not having a clue where to begin.
Whatever the case, you need to brace up for the task of becoming your best version. Fortunately, the process of understanding who you really are isn’t as difficult or complex as many believe.
Essentially, it involves taking a closer look at your life, identifying what’s missing, and working steadily toward fulfillment.
And to help you with that, I’ve outlined some simple but effective ways to kick off your self-discovery journey in this article.
How the Journey to Self Discovery Can Boost Self-Esteem
Embarking on the path of self-discovery means figuring out what makes you different from the other 8 billion individuals walking this planet. Besides helping you put a finger on what you want out of life, self-discovery can increase your sense of self-worth and confidence.
But don’t just take my word for it.
A study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology supports this assertion. The study reveals that people with high self-awareness are likely to exercise more self-control, express creativity, and experience higher self-esteem.
More specifically, here are ways your self-esteem can get a boost when you embark on the journey to discover your true self:
- Self-discovery helps you become more self-aware: Exploring yourself allows you to understand what makes you tick and exactly what you want. As you probably know, your sense of self strengthens as you become more self-aware. In turn, your confidence level goes up because being self-aware lets you make better decisions.
- It enables you to identify your strengths: Self-discovery is a great way to spot your unique talents, abilities, flairs, and God-given gifts. Recognizing these strengths and values can increase your sense of self-worth.
- It helps you to accept your weaknesses: On the flip side, exploring who you are will spotlight your weaknesses. However, rather than dim your shine, self-discovery together with self-awareness helps you come to terms with your weaknesses, knowing full well that they don’t define you. This understanding makes you feel more confident to take on challenges.
- It helps you set meaningful goals: Understanding what makes you tick and what you want out of life means you can set goals that align with your values. This way, you increase your chances of creating a commitment to yourself. And the sense of accomplishment that comes with checking off your goals will boost your self-esteem.
Ways to Kick Off Your Journey to Self Discovery
The process of understanding the true self isn’t necessarily the same for everyone. In other words, there is no specific path or strict steps you must follow on your self-discovery journey.
I’ll share 5 tips and strategies you can use to discover yourself and boost your self-esteem. It is okay to start with whatever rings true for you and choose as many actions as you think you can stick to consistently.
1. Visualize Your Ideal Self
A good place to start your journey to self discovery is getting a clear idea of what the best version of yourself looks like.
Okay, maybe not the best version, but an improved version ― the person you’ll be proud to become.
This step calls for looking beyond your relationship with others. You want to dig deep and figure out what matters to you or the version of yourself you want to become rather than limiting your vision to your relationship with others.
In other words, think of how best you can live for yourself, not just the people in your life. Periodically ask yourself questions along the lines of:
- What do I really want out of life?
- What are my regrets, and how can I prevent future regrets?
- Where do I see myself in a few (5, 10, 15) years?
Don’t worry about visualizing a perfect picture from the get-go; you’ll figure it out as you go along your journey.
2. Get Curious
Fuel the process of learning about yourself with questions. Indeed, studies show that introspection is a powerful growth tool for gaining insight into what makes us tick.
However, instead of going into the mental rigors of self-reflection or self-analysis ― something many people have a hard time doing consistently ― you can ask yourself a few insightful questions regarding different areas of your life.
- What are my primary motivations in life, and what are my biggest fears?
- What are my strengths and weaknesses?
- What are my short-term goals, and how do they fit into my long-term goals?
The key to fueling self-discovery using this approach is to ask questions relevant to your personal journey.
Don’t be in a hurry to provide answers; take some time to ponder the questions and be honest when you answer. And don’t beat yourself up if you can’t find an answer. It simply means you’ve discovered one area of your life that needs more work.
Do your best to create the required change in that area, and you’ll boost your confidence and self-esteem!
3. Hone in on Your Passion
What are you passionate about? Think about the activities that make you lose track of time. It could be linked to a professional interest or something you do just for fun.
It doesn’t matter whether you are excited about helping others, dancing, cooking, gardening, or organizing things ― whatever makes you come alive is your passion. And you will enrich your life by finding ways to explore that passion, incorporating more of the activity into your life.
But here’s the thing.
Exploring your passion can be frustrating if you don’t have a clue what you’re passionate about.
Not to worry, though.
If you have trouble putting a finger on your passion, I recommend reading this straightforward guide on identifying and igniting your passion.
4. Reconnect With Your Inner Child
Research clearly demonstrates how adults can bring up past events from their childhood and use that to create positive changes in the present.
You are never too old to completely forget your inner child. That inner child holds the key to your dreams, hopes, wishes, and fears.
Make time to dig deep and reconnect with your inner child, especially when you are unsure about what you truly want or have trouble figuring out what’s keeping you stuck.
Usually, an expert, like a therapist, can help you unravel your past and demystify certain important aspects of your life. However, you can use practices like meditation, journaling, and mindfulness to connect with your inner child.
5. Try New Things
Sometimes, figuring out what you want can be difficult because you’re always doing the same things over and over again.
One good way to pinpoint what you enjoy or a hidden passion is to try new things. This approach calls for stepping out of your comfort zone and attempting something completely different.
As scary as taking risks may feel, venturing into uncharted territories is an important aspect of the self-discovery adventure.
Trying new things allows you to learn more about yourself and grow in new and unexpected ways. It can also boost your self-esteem as you accomplish things you didn’t know you could do.
No doubt, the journey to self discovery is filled with many unknowns. That said, attempting to reach your full potential without treading this path is a tall order.
And while it can feel intimidating to start, the strategies in this article can help make the journey a little less daunting.
In the end, grasping who you are and what you want is the key to unlocking your full potential, increasing your self-esteem, and living a life you can be proud of.