How To Know Who You Are: 14 Tips to Discover Your True Self

If you’ve ever wondered how to know who you are, this article is for you.

According to one study, knowing yourself better can help you make better judgments and achieve your goals. Outside the realm of science, the importance of understanding who you are is recognized by everyday people and pop culture celebrities alike.

Knowing who you are is the best knowledge a person can have. Know your goals, passions, values, demands, standards, what you will not accept, and what you are willing to die for. This defines your personality.

Remember that as you get older and as you come into contact with new people and situations, who you are changes. If you have difficulty identifying yourself, try self-reflection to find your true self.

How To Know Who You Are:

1. Identify what makes you happy and what doesn’t.

People often put the most effort into doing what they enjoy. While identifying what makes us happy or enjoyable is very important, it is equally beneficial to understand what makes us unhappy or dissatisfied. One of the first steps in self-reflection is to sit down and make a list of everything you like and dislike.

Your preferences and likes are often used to define who you are to others. They are the things that can divide or unite us with others. Understanding these factors allows you to choose what you want to pursue in life and what you want to avoid. Knowing your likes and dislikes can help you choose your profession, where you live, your hobbies, and the people you spend time with.

This exercise will test whether your tastes and preferences are too rigid. Have you become closed-minded? Is there anything you would like to accomplish or try that goes against what you think you should? Gather the courage to try something completely new. You may discover a new side of yourself.

2. Reflect on your talents and weaknesses. 

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, as well as what you like and dislike, can provide invaluable insight into who you are. On a separate sheet of paper, make a list of strengths and problems.

Most people’s strengths or abilities may coincide with their likes, and their dislikes may coincide with their dislikes. Suppose you like sweets and cakes, and your strength is baking; the two qualities complement each other. On the other hand, you may despise sports and find physical coordination or endurance to be a struggle.

Often, things that are difficult to do become things you despise because you are not inherently excellent at them. This explains why we like or dislike something.

Knowing these things is important in itself. However, you can go further and determine if you want to focus on improving any of the things you find difficult, or if you want to devote your efforts to areas you are already good at.

3. Think about what gives you satisfaction.

We can learn a lot about ourselves when we are at our best, but we can also learn a lot about ourselves when we are down. Think about the last time you were depressed or stressed. What form of comfort did you seek during that difficult time? What did you do to make yourself feel better?

Knowing what comforts you reveals a lot about your personality. Chances are, you turn to the same people over and over again to lift your mood or distract you from your problems. You may watch your favorite movies or delve into reading a beloved book. Food may be a source of comfort for you, which is typical of emotional eaters.

4. Write down your thoughts and feelings.

Become an observer of your thoughts and emotions to better understand yourself. Do this for a week or more to better understand things that regularly pop up in your thoughts or to identify emotional states that you encounter frequently. Are you thinking positively? Do you think negatively?

Analyzing your diary can reveal all sorts of subtle comments about the life path you’d like to take that you’re not aware of. You might write about a desire to travel, a person you admire, or a new pastime you want to try.

Take a moment after discovering recurring themes in your notebook to consider what these ideas and emotions mean—and whether you want to act on them.

5. Take a personality test.

Another way to find out more about yourself is to take an online personality test. Some people dislike being labeled, while others find that labeling themselves and their habits gives order to their lives. A free online personality test can be beneficial for people who value learning about themselves by seeing how they connect with (or differ from) others.

Personality test websites ask you to answer a series of questions about your preferences and how you view the world or yourself. The program then analyzes your answers to determine your personality type, which can help you understand what hobbies or professions you might excel in, as well as how you interact with other people.

Remember that no free online assessment can be considered completely correct. These tests can give you a general idea of who you are. If you want a more in-depth examination of your personality, you should consult a clinical psychologist.

SEE ALSO: How To Speak Up With Confidence: 17 Effective Strategies

6. Dive deeper to discover your core values.

Your values are the fundamental principles that guide your actions, behaviors, and attitudes. They are the ideals or principles you will fight for or stand for: family, equality, justice, peace, gratitude, dependability, integrity, financial security, honesty, etc. You cannot know if you are making decisions that are consistent with your core values (1) if you do not know what they are. You can identify your core values by doing the following activity:

Think of two people you admire. What qualities do you value in these people?

Think about a time when you were really proud of yourself. What was the most important thing that happened? Did you help someone? Did you complete a task? Did you stand up for your own or someone else’s rights?

Think about what issues in your city or around the world you are most passionate about. Examples include government, the environment, education, feminism, crime, and other issues.

Consider what three items you would keep if your house burned down (assuming all living things were already safe). Why would you keep these three items?

7. Think about whether you are living a life you are proud of.

Are you living a life you are proud of? If you discover that you don’t, I hope you have the courage to start over. Do you believe that if you died today, you would leave the legacy you wanted?

8. Think about what you would like to do if money were not a problem.

During childhood, we often set ambitious goals for ourselves. As we get older and more influenced by society, our aspirations change.

Think about a time when you had an irresistible desire to accomplish something, but you put it off because there wasn’t time or you didn’t have enough money. Make a list of how you would spend your day if you didn’t have to worry about your financial situation. What kind of life would you lead?

9. Consider what your life might be like if you weren’t afraid of failure.

We often pass up fantastic opportunities or refuse to take risks because we are afraid of abject failure. If you don’t try to overcome self-doubt, it can determine your entire life. Unfortunately, it can also have a significant impact on the number of “what ifs” you experience as you get older. If you feel that fear of failure is preventing you from being the person you want to be, consider the following strategies:

Recognize that failure is necessary. When we make mistakes, we can evaluate our actions and improve our approach. Failure allows us to grow and learn.

Visualize your accomplishments. One technique for overcoming the fear of failure is to consistently see yourself achieving your goals.

Maintain perseverance. Regardless of setbacks, don’t stop pursuing your goals. We often achieve our greatest aspirations just when we are ready to give up. Don’t let minor setbacks make you lose sight of the bigger picture.

10. Ask how other people see you as a person.

After asking yourself these additional questions, approach a few people you care about and ask them who they think we are. Their assessment can be a list of characteristics or an example of one event that, from their point of view, sums us up as a person.

Reflect on the responses of various relatives or friends once you have asked their opinion. What did people say about you? Were their conclusions surprising to you? Were you disturbed? Do these opinions reflect who you want to be or how you see yourself?

If you value these people’s views, you might ask yourself what you need to do to achieve greater harmony between how they see you and how you see yourself. You may have a distorted view of yourself and need to rethink your behavior.

SEE ALSO: How To Be In Control Of Your Emotions: 28 Top Strategies

11. Determine if you are an introvert or extrovert.

One of the criteria on which you might be tested in an online personality test was whether you were introverted or extroverted. Carl Jung used these terms to explain where you get your energy in life—from your internal or external environment.

An introvert is a person who gets energy from studying their inner world of thoughts, ideas, memories, and feelings. These individuals love isolation and may spend time with one or two people with whom they have a bond. They may be contemplative or reserved.

Extroverts are people who get their energy from interacting with other people in the outside world. They enjoy participating in different activities and interacting with people from different walks of life. They come alive when they are in the presence of people. They may take action before they have fully thought through their choices.

Many common interpretations portray introverts as quiet and withdrawn, while extroverts are seen as friendly and extroverted. These interpretations are incorrect because most researchers believe that these traits occur on a continuum. No one is completely introverted or extroverted, but rather leans toward one or the other depending on the situation.

12. Identify what type of friend you are.

Knowing who you are also requires understanding your expectations, emotions, and behaviors related to the friendship. Think about your previous friendships.

Do you prefer to talk to your friends every day or once in a while? Do you schedule get-togethers often, or are you just who they invite? Do you value spending time with your friends? Do you reveal sensitive things about yourself in conversations with your friends, or do you keep them to yourself? Do you comfort or encourage your friends when they are depressed? Do you give up everything to help a colleague in need? Do you set appropriate expectations for friendships (e.g., do you expect your colleagues to always be available or to be friends only with you)?

After asking yourself these questions, consider whether you are satisfied with the kind of friend you are. If not, talk to your closest friends and ask them for suggestions on how you can be a better friend in the future.

13. Think about the people around you.

You are said to be the average of your five closest friends (2). This concept is based on the law of averages, which says that the outcome of an event will be based on the average of all possible events. This principle also applies to relationships. The people you spend the most time with have a big impact on you, whether you like it or not. Carefully analyze your closest relationships, because they also shape who you are.

Nevertheless, you are an independent person, capable of making your own decisions and drawing your own conclusions. Nevertheless, the people around you have a subtle influence on your life in various ways. They introduce you to new foods, clothes, literature, and music. They may recommend you to potential employers. They may stay up late with you at parties. They may cry on your shoulder after a breakup.

Are you able to see aspects of yourself that come from those closest to you? Simply put, if you surround yourself with cheerful and optimistic people, you will feel and behave accordingly. If you spend most of your time with negative, toxic people, their views can seep into your life. If you want to find out who you are, look around you.

14. Think about what you do when you are alone.

What you do with others says a lot about you, but so does what you do alone. Our social groups often have a strong influence on how we think, behave, and feel. However, when we are completely alone, we are closest to our true self, which is not influenced by society.

How do you spend your time when you are alone? Are you unhappy when you are alone? Are you happy? Do you enjoy reading in silence? Do you listen to loud music and dance in front of the mirror? Do you dream of your wildest fantasies?

Think about these facts and what they say about you.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to know who you are. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.

Przemkas Mosky
Przemkas Mosky started Perfect 24 Hours in 2017. He is a Personal Productivity Specialist, blogger and entrepreneur. He also works as a coach assisting people to increase their motivation, social skills or leadership abilities. Read more here