Do you have a clear sense of who you are? We all want to understand ourselves, to have purpose, fulfillment, and belong. Teens and young adults wrestle with “finding themselves”. It is common to revisit these themes in middle age. I see many clients in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s who have lost themselves over the years of work and parenting. This isn’t necessarily a “mid-life crisis” (although it may be). I especially see this loss of identity amongst people who are caretakers, workaholics, and people-pleasers.
Big life transitions such as a divorce or break-up, losing your job, a death, or another traumatic event can also result in losing your sense of self.
Sometimes we also realize that we never had a strong sense of self. Perhaps you felt you needed to hide parts of yourself; you were ashamed or confused; you got messages that you weren’t OK.
I’ve created some questions or journaling prompts that will help you in rediscovering yourself.
- What are my strengths?
- What are my short-term goals? Long-term goals?
- Who matters most to me? Who are my support people?
- What do I like to do for fun?
- What new activities am I interested in or willing to try?
- What am I worried about?
- What are my values? What do I believe in? (consider politics, religion, social issues)
- If I could have one wish, it would be ___________
- Where do I feel safest?
- What or who gives me comfort?
- If I wasn’t afraid, I would do___________
- What is my proudest accomplishment?
- Am I an introvert or an extrovert? Am I energized being around others or being by myself?
- What am I passionate about?
- What is my happiest memory?
- What do my dreams tell me?
- What is my favorite book? Movie? Food? Color? Animal?
I’ve given you a lot of questions. I suggest answering no more than one per day. Work at your own pace. Perhaps one per week is more realistic for you. There is no judgment and this isn’t a race. Rediscovering yourself is a process. It will take thinking, talking, writing, and doing.
Please share with us what has helped on your rediscovery process. What other questions might be helpful in rediscovering yourself? And, of course, please share this post with anyone else who can benefit from it.
This is so true. It is so easy to forget about taking care of ourselves – especially when we are so busy taking care of everyone else! I like your journal questions. It is a good launching pad to get to know yourself again.
Thanks Natasha. I think it’s great that self-care is getting more attention and we can all support each other in it.