Discovering your true identity can feel impossible. Maybe you're like Simba from Disney's "The Lion King" ... running from your true identity or confused about who you really are.
How do you know who you are? How do you find out?
For Simba, it took one look at his reflection to come to an understanding. For us, it may take more than a good, hard look in the mirror. It takes internal reflection and a willingness to follow these 5 steps to truly come to know who you are.
1. Reflect on the kind of child you were
Before you really understood right from wrong, you were a child full of innocence. Go back to that stage. Look through old photo albums or home videos and reflect on who you were when you were young. Life was so much simpler then - as a child, you're most likely to be your true self because there's no reason for you to hide it.
As you've grown up and faced all sorts of challenges and disappointments, you lose touch of the child you used to be. Walt Disney put it best when he said, "That's the trouble with the world. Too many people grow up." Though that child in you is long gone, you can still learn from your inner child's innocence. Reflecting on that simplicity can help you recognize what made you happiest and help you implement those things in your life, starting now.
You know what you like and dislike, and have developed your own opinions about life and the rest of the world. If you want to know more about who you are, sit down and start writing down your core principles and values. Write down what defines you - things that make up who you are. Write about what you believe in, the things you know for sure to be true, and the rules you live by.
Once you've made your list, read through it. You'll be surprised by the things you write down. Now that they're all together in one place, you can have a deeper understanding of your morals and ideals and know exactly what it means to be you.
3. Consider the past opportunities you have had
Think back on all of the opportunities you have had throughout your life. If it helps, make a list of those that have left the greatest impact on you. When you have a good idea of what those opportunities were, ask yourself this question: What made those opportunities possible? Break it down into if/then statements. If you hadn't done [blank] then the opportunity wouldn't have happened. Take note of the choices you've made that have brought you here.
Realize that those things fell into place to get you where you are today. If choices that have made you happy in the past aren't a part of your life now, start them up again.
4. Put together a vision board
Sometimes, the best way to understand your true identity is to think about your future. If you're a creative person, put together a vision board. Think about all the things you want out of your life. Now, narrow it down to the next 5 to 10 years and lay it all your goals out on poster.
If you're not a visual person, simply make a list of the things you want out of your life in the next few years. When you're finished making the list and/or vision board, put it someplace where you will see it on a daily basis. This way you can remember the things you want out of life and do what's necessary to make it possible.
Who would you be if you couldn't fail? The answer to this question is eye-opening. Without any roadblocks, challenges, or failure, what kind of person would you be? The answer is only something you will know, and will help you recognize what you want most in the world. Additionally, you'll recognize how past failures and trials have molded you into the person you are now.
Once you've made it through all these steps, you will have a better understanding of your identity. More than that, you'll finally have an answer to the question a monkey once asked of a lion: "Who are you?"
Callie has two Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communication and when she isn’t writing, she’s reading. Some of her favorite things include Harry Potter, all things Disney, road trips, and telling stories.