15 Simple Ways To Find Yourself When You Feel Lost

man in yellow coat looking out
Justin Luebke

There is no stronger compass in life guiding you in the direction of your deepest desires than self-actualization. Never given, only earned through trial and error, triumph, defeat, and most importantly taking that very first step in the right direction. Your journey begins with a single thought, turned feeling, accompanied by massive action. If you wait to know yourself before starting anything, you will forever be where you are right now. Every destination has the gap between you and it, where you are and where you wish to be. That gap is where you will discover yourself. It’s less about getting there, but rather who you become along the way.

How does one become self-aware?

I don’t know. I don’t possess the answer, you do. It’s not so much an answer, more so an adventure. The power of becoming self-aware will make all the difference in your life moving forward, living from a truly authentic place. It allows you to live life with joy and confidence when derived from authenticity. No one can tell you how to achieve it. There’s no map to a treasure such as this. However, you can start by asking yourself the right questions in light of what drives you from within.

The greatest wisdom is to understand your invisible self, rather than polishing your public appearance. What does that person want? What drives your desires deep beneath the surface? What is seen on the outside is for everyone else, and what you know about yourself on the inside is what you need to be bringing into the light. What am I good at? What am I bad at? What do I like? What are my dislikes? Dig deep and ask yourself, who do I want to be? Not what, but who. Put your ear to your heart and act accordingly.

We tend to hide behind a veil of excuses and actions contrary to our authentic selves. The truer you are with expressing your feelings, de- sires, and needs, the less you’ll need to think about how thick that veil is. That’s the ultimate goal after all, right? Know yourself and becoming comfortable enough to live as that person, being guided by your choices and habits that get you to that place of self-actualization.


1. Never be ashamed of who you are. You must find and embrace your identity. Never abandon it. You are unique and destined for greatness in your life, and it’s up to you to unlock your potential.

2. Never settle for anything less than exactly what you want.
To settle means to accept mediocrity or something that’s “good enough,” and that’s not who you are; know yourself and let others follow your lead.

3. Never find yourself among the herd unless you wish to be lost.
Avoid aimless wandering, adopting the qualities of others in sad attempts to create false identities in place of the one you are gifted with, but fail to recognize the beauty of. I’ll tell you a secret you may or may not believe: you are good enough and deserve nothing less than exactly what you want out of your life. No exceptions. Find your- self and never let go.

4. Never give energy to what conjures negative emotions.
It only produces negativity inside and out, feeding false beliefs that you’re not good enough. Put yourself in positions where your strengths are highlighted, thus creating confidence and a genuine interest to explore that side of yourself, while allowing your personality to shine. Seek challenges, but never defeat yourself.

Identity-Shaping Choices

Start making conscious choices that point you in the right direction. To truly live a successful and happy life, your decisions must reflect your true authentic nature in accordance with who you are. There are two paths, on which do you find yourself traveling?
Right path…

5. Trust your gut.
Never ignore your intuition. You unconsciously know more than you’ll ever be aware of.

6. The right choice is harder than the wrong one.
What’s right for you often requires sacrifice, abandoning your comfort zone, and appeasing others.

7. Accept, don’t suppress your desires.
Recognize, accept, and explore what stirs your curiosity.

8. It’s frightening.
If it scares you, then do it. Find out who you are in the face of fear.

9. It may hurt you now but help you later. Focus on what your future self will thank you for.

Noticing a pattern? We all know what we really want and what we know we should do, but it often drowned under the noise and scrutiny of the world and societal standards. The hardest choices to make are usually the right ones. Listen to your inner voice of encouragement and ignore the one who intends only to doubt and deter you from who you are.

Wrong path…

10. Ignoring your gut. Short and sweet: Stop second-guessing yourself.

11. Doing it because it’s easier.
 Never do a thing simply because it is easier, do it because it is right for you.

12. Making someone else happy at the expense of your own.
What matters most is YOUR happiness before anyone else’s. Sometimes it takes stepping back for a moment to realize that putting yourself first is not selfish, but necessary.

13. Making excuses for things in your life instead of changing them.
If you don’t’ like it change it. You are absolutely and fully in control of your life

14. Coping with the bad to hold onto the good.
 Like the saying goes, sometimes holding on hurts more than letting go.

15. Immediately regretting the moment you knew you could change your life, but didn’t.
Take the leap, roll the dice, if you feel that this is your moment, then take it! Live so passionately that regret becomes a word you merely know the definition of, not a feeling you’re familiar with.

Question everything and resist conformity; march to the beat of your own heart, and nothing else. Make each decision as your own. Never do things out of fear or coercion. Embrace the power of the freedom to decide for yourself, and do it with confidence! Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog