Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”- George Bernard Shaw
Have you ever heard people say, “I need to find myself?”
I think I’ve made this statement a time or two. Usually when I was feeling particularly lost or unsure of myself.
What does “finding yourself” even mean? Aren’t you “you” at any given time? Is finding yourself similar to being on a scavenger hunt, but instead of collecting items, you are collecting life experiences? Is the prize and end goal to find the real you?
Life isn’t about finding the finished you, it’s about creating and growing the best you every day. Stating the need to “find yourself” is like going on a journey you have no control over.
But you do have control. You have the ability to create, grow and change yourself daily. In fact, we are the only thing we truly have control over.
So, now that you realize you are not going to find the golden ticket to the real you—what do you do? Let’s start by defining what you want to be.
Remember when you were a little kid and you were asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It was always something cool like professional baseball player, ballerina, veterinarian, or in my little brother’s case—rock star. It never crossed our minds that we couldn’t be any of these professions, it’s just that perhaps our interests changed as we grew older.
Through our experiences in life we are able to eliminate things that we don’t like and begin to create a life that we want. Along the way though, we might experience failures, tragedy, heartache and other disappointments that makes us question who we are and what we are doing. That doubt and uncertainty in ourselves will often create this need for clarity in who we are and what we want, thus the need to “find oneself.”
And sometimes on this quest to find oneself, we will take a detour on the highway to hell and find that the self we were looking for—we don’t like so much.
This is where emotional maturity comes in. Those who are not emotionally mature with not take accountability for their actions or will blame others for their wrong turn. An emotionally mature person will realize their mistakes and use them as lessons for identifying what they don’t want to do or who they don’t want to be.
Who you want to be will change, just like what you wanted to be when you grew up changed. That is why finding yourself is an impossible task. Instead, create the person you want to be by concentrating on the things you are passionate about—the things that bring you joy.
1. Don’t be afraid to try out new things—even if it is outside of your comfort zone.
2. Don’t follow someone else’s path when pursuing interests.
3. Never stop learning through educational, professional and personal pursuits.
4. Be open to new challenges, experiences and ideas.
5. Surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you.
6. Be still at times so that you can reflect on where you’ve been and where you want to go.
On your journey of discovery know that you have control over your destiny. You have the opportunity to create the life you want, but it will take hard work. It is never too late to get started because there is no expiration date on this journey of becoming the person you would be proud to state is—the real me.
Let's embrace Mondays, and everyday, with excitement. We will do it together, each Monday —for a moment.