The big move isn’t even fully planned yet, and still, I’m already finding myself looking at my home town with nostalgia glasses on. I’ve been many people here, and whilst no phase has been perfect, it still fills me with joy to see just how much I, and the people around me, have grown. I left secondary school almost five years ago (something that feels very strange to put to paper – it feels simultaneously like yesterday and a lifetime ago) as a completely different person. In the past few years, as I’m sure is true for you reading this, I’ve gone through a crazy amount of change and growth. If you’d have told that 16-year-old girl who she’d be today and some of the crazy things she’s done in-between, she definitely wouldn’t believe you.
But even as I sit snuggled on the sofa writing this, I am changing. Even the subtlest shift changes us. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in soul-bending transformations. Realisations, discoveries, connections – they all change us. Your personality is an eternally growing, morphing formulation of all the moments you’ve ever experienced, which when you think about it, is pretty damn cool.
Figuring out who you are is tricky, sometimes other people’s ideas get caught in the mixer, sometimes we lose ourselves, fear ourselves, or come up against a brick wall. Honestly, there’s never a definite answer, but knowing your current self well is essential to finding balance and peace. If you’re feeling a little muddled, here are some ideas maybe not to find out who you ‘truly’ are, but at least to help you find out who you are right now.
“You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be.” – Vironika Tugaleva
Aim for something
There’s a Roy T. Bennett quote that says “If you don’t know who you truly are, you’ll never know what you really want” and I’m a big believer in that. I started seeking advice on personal development years ago and quickly tumbled into a world of self-growth and goal-setting, a world I’ve loved deeply ever since (you wouldn’t be reading this had I not!). Of course, it wasn’t all that conscious, I never set out to learn myself, I just started doing things that really focussed on my intentions, my wants, my thoughts and feelings and had me really commit to investing in whoever I was at that moment.
- Set yourself goals and challenges
- Invest time into your interests
- Try new things and experiment with what you might like
- Journal and write about your feelings, your interests and your desires
- Do lots of things by yourself (it helps to find out what YOU, alone, truly like)
Jump at opportunity
Whenever an opportunity feels right to you, jump at it. I always think gut feelings like cravings, it’s your body giving you a little nudge in a direction that’ll benefit you. And hey, what’s the worst that can happen? Every opportunity ends in one of two ways, either a lesson or a love.
I saw a tweet the other day that said something along the lines of ‘we recognise that time travellers can change something big with only a tiny action in the past, but rarely do we give ourselves that same power in the present’ – so go, take action and make the changes you want to make. Maybe they’ll snowball into something huge, maybe they won’t – as long as they’re true to you, it doesn’t really matter.
Give your all to what you love
We have one life that we know of, do you really want to spend it on half-heartedness?
I used to find myself in a perpetual circle of panic when I came up against a situation. It was always “I think I want to do this thing, maybe I’d enjoy it” and “I would also probably enjoy going home and doing something else” and whichever I’d pick, I’d spend the time thinking about the other. Not a healthy or helpful mindset. So I decided I needed to start really committing to my choices. If I chose to go to the event – brilliant, I’d give that my all, get super excited and make sure to have a good time. If I decided to stay home and work on a project – also brilliant, I’d value the time and invest in what I was working on.
So, whatever it is you’re doing today, working, studying, trying something new, relaxing, or doing something you’ve done a thousand times before – give it 110% and commit.
Become a magpie
Good artists copy; great artists steal. Find yourself role models. Of course, the aim isn’t to become someone else. But, surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, will help you pick up the qualities you love in them and open the door to new things you might love.
Do things your way
Something I always see if people putting a lot of conditions on their ability to do something. Excuses like “I’ll wait until I have better shoes for working out”, “I need a friend to do it with”, “I need X, Y and Z so I can do it the way this person does”. When you find those shiny souls that always seem to completely own their sense of self and the things they do, it’s usually because they don’t use these kinds of excuses. They’ll do anything they can do invest in their thing, making their own combination of practices, finding their favourite parts and investing in exactly what they care about.
One of the most important things here is to be curious. If you go into everything with expectations, predispositions and judgement, you’ll end up as that parent that’s always turning their nose up at what their kid does, and that’s not the type of parent you likely want to be (it’s not much fun for either party).
Figuring out who you are right now will help you make more intentional decisions, that are truly aligned with your values and thoughts. Being in the flow-like state of understanding and connection with yourself is something I can’t describe as anything other than peaceful and content. It’s not an extreme feeling, just a calm state of mind.
I hope these tips will help you find out a little more about who you are and I hope too, that you can be flexible with it, opening yourself to growth and possibility, opportunity and change along your journey.
Enjoy your time as who you are. Love, Ella-Rose xx