Self-discovery is a continuous life activity that can help us understand our strengths, weaknesses, values, and dreams. This comes organically through life experience, but self-discovery activities can be a great way to proactively examine your life, connect with your inner self, and take steps toward fulfilment.
The best part about self-discovery is that it never ends. Whatever your age and circumstances, there’s always more to uncover.
It’s one thing to know your personality type or your favorite meal. But true self-discovery starts when you evaluate your life and think about what’s energizing and what's not. What will bring more joy into your life? What inspires you to jump out of bed each morning?
Discovering your inner self also requires lots of self-awareness, otherwise known as self-knowledge. Self-knowledge usually refers to your knowledge of your own feelings, beliefs, and desires. If you have more of this in your life, you’ll have better emotional regulation. This will help you better your personal and work relationships, and improve your stress management.
Knowing more about the way your mind works also improves your empathy, helps you exercise better self-control, be more creative, and have higher self-esteem. You’ll even be more honest as a result.
Discovering your true self will help you feel more confident in your decision-making abilities. This is true for all areas of your life because self-discovery helps you understand yourself on a deep level. You’ll know better than anyone else what’s good for you.
As you work to improve your sense of self-awareness, here are seven elements to keep in mind:
Reflect on where you started and what you’re accomplishing each day
Zero in on what gives you energy and what zaps your energy
Visualize the person you want to be
Follow where your passions and interests lead you
Let go of your inner critic and any self-doubt
Choose a life of meaning and be purposeful with your actions
Be proud of your power, grit, and resilience during challenging times
Dig a little deeper this week and learn more about yourself with these fun exercises that encourage self-discovery:
Take A Personality Test
Personality tests are a great way to gain some insight into who you are right now, and not who you want to be. While we humans are extremely multifaceted and can’t be placed in a box, personality types can be a helpful general guide.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs 16 Personalities Test is one of the most popular personality tests in the world and offers a “freakishly accurate” description of who you are and why you might do the things you do.
Big Five Personality Test
Another popular test that’s said to be scientifically sound, the Big Five Personality Test (also called Five Factor) assesses how you score in areas Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.
Five Love Languages
The Five Love Languages quiz reveals how you prefer to give and receive love – Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, or Physical Touch. It can be helpful for you to know this about yourself, and it can also be a fun self-discovery activity to do with your partner if applicable.
Start A Journal
There’s a reason you see this suggested on all those lists about wellness and mental health. Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out and manage stress, and it can also provide an opportunity to learn from your experiences, identify patterns, and increase self-awareness.
When you journal and reflect on your day or experience, you’re more likely to draw lessons and meanings from what you’ve gone through.
Ask Trusted Loved Ones For Feedback
It can help to hear about our strengths and weaknesses from an outside perspective. Ask a trusted friend, family member or significant other for some feedback about what you’re great at and where you might be able to improve.
This might be confronting, but it’s a great way to see ourselves as others do and take a step back from our own thoughts.
Try Something New
What better way to surprise yourself than to try something new? There’s no limit to your self-growth so long as there are new things to do, see and experience.
It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby or try something you’ve always wanted to. Even if you’re a complete beginner, we can almost guarantee you’ll feel proud of yourself simply for giving it a go!
A new activity might include:
Indoor rock climbing
Painting or drawing class
Cooking one new recipe a week
Start a blog about something you love to read and write about
Getting into poetry
Learning a new sport
Traveling solo to a place you've always wanted to visit
Picking up old hobbies that have been dormant for sometime
“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.” ~ Gerard Way