Finding yourself: What it means and 14 great ways to get started
Finding yourself can mean different things to different people. But according to clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manley, Ph.D., in the most general sense, the process of finding yourself can be described as knowing and accepting your true, innermost self.
“When you find yourself, there is often a feeling of ‘coming home’ to a place that feels authentic and familiar. This feeling of coming home is characteristic of those who never knew themselves and those who lost themselves along the way,” she says. mbg, adding, “As a Jungian psychologist, the process of individuation—which entails coming to terms with the conscious and unconscious parts of the psyche—describes the ultimate goal of finding oneself.”
For some, this may involve learning core values and living a life that is consistent with those values. It can also feel like a better choice, which can have a positive effect on self-esteem and help restore internal narratives.
“We live in a society where we are constantly being told who we are and how we should act,” adds licensed therapist Alyssa “Lia” Mancao, LCSW. “Finding yourself can also mean filtering through that noise and [finding] an inner dialogue that is kind, compassionate, and in line with who you want to be, not who you think others want you to be.”
It is important to note that finding yourself is not a one-time event. As you change and grow, you will likely always discover something new about yourself and become more aware of not only who you are, but also who you want to be.