As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, you would be shocked by the amount of people who don’t know themselves. You might be wondering what I mean by “knowing yourself.” The best way I can describe it is finally being comfortable with being alone. Being by yourself and content in your own silence. So many people find it impossible to be alone. They are always looking for a new relationship or a new group of people to be surrounded by. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it becomes a toxic habit when you depend on the validation and love from other people that you can’t give yourself. Women are typically attached to this stigma. Women are such giving, loving, and caring people, and we can cling to the idea of fixing people. We can put so much emphasis on others that we forget to nurture ourselves and our own inner growth. So these are some things that I found helpful in the journey of figuring out who I am. With all this being said, I don’t believe there is really an end game or an “ahah!” moment of finally figuring out everything about yourself. We are constantly changing, which is a beautiful thing. But the moment we find peace with who we are at the moment, is the moment we begin to grow into more amazing and powerful women.
1. FIND SOMETHING THAT LIGHTS YOUR SOUL ON FIRE. This is probably my favorite piece of advice I can ever give. Find a hobby or an activity that you absolutely love. For me, that happens to be writing. For you that could be anything in the world that gives you butterflies. Whether it’s volunteering, running, reading, dancing, singing, or even knitting, do it with all of your heart. Put time into the things you love and be good at it. I don’t care if you have a job, kids, or you’re 80 years old. Make time for what you love. When you find something that makes the world seem bright and you put time into it, I promise you will feel more complete. The second I started focusing on writing and photography is the moment I remember gaining a little spring in my step.
2. MAKE BABY STEPS TO BETTER YOURSELF Now on this one I’m talking about physically. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy. This doesn’t have to mean dragging yourself to the gym and mindlessly slaving through 45 minutes on the elliptical. Go for a walk, ride your bike,play tennis, or kick box. Find something that makes you break a little sweat each day. The endorphins released from this makes you feel so incredible, and seeing the progress you make everyday is proof of the things you can accomplish.
3. LAUGH Laughter is truly healing. Watch a TV show or movie that cheers you up. Or heck, go to a live comedy show. Sometimes laughing is the only way to keep from crying and it certainly lifts my spirits. Getting used to laughing is a amazing habit to break the cycle of negativity that could be impacting your life. Smiles can help even in the darkest of times.
4. READ INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES / BE AROUND GOOD ENERGY You become the people and the energy you surround yourself with. A few months ago I created a vision board with my favorite quotes and favorite people on it. Everyday when I wake up, it is one of the first things I see. Seeing that is certainly a positive way to start the day and it gives me a little push to follow those inspirational words. Occasionally, I will even scroll through Pinterest and read Girl Boss quotes (trust me, it is very motivating.)
5. TRAVEL Meeting new people and going to new places is so eye-opening. It really gives you a different perspective on life and the different cultures and ways of living out there. How can you know what you want in life if you don’t go beyond your comfort zone to see all your options out there? The world is waiting for you, it’s up to you whether or not you take advantage of it.
6. MEDITATE Take time out of your day to be alone and reflect. This doesn’t have to be in the stereotypical way of crossing your legs and saying “Om.” It could simply mean taking the long way home in silence and thinking about your day, what went wrong (and how you could’ve handled things differently), and most importantly, what went right. Thinking about your goals, both long and short term, on a daily basis is critical to actually achieving them.
This list is obviously only a taste of getting to know yourself. But hey, it’s a start. And I found if you start with number 1, the rest just starts falling into place. When you have a passion for something and you put time into it, the world is your oyster and the hurtles just become small pebbles in your path. Know your worth and know your power, because no matter what anyone tells you, YOU’RE A POWERFUL FORCE NOT TO BE MESSED WITH. Anyone who tries to extinguish your fire or tell you different, already knows this. Let your flame light the path for everyone. After all, trying to be water on someone else fire never results in the water becoming fire. Focus on your growth and cut out the toxic people and watch just how quickly you attract the right people and positive energy who only add to your flame.