Has the thought ever crossed your mind that you need to do some soul-searching? Maybe you feel stuck in a dead-end job or you just went through a crappy break-up. Maybe you just feel like you live your life through the people around you and not for yourself—you don’t make a point to do what makes you happy, but just ride along with the decisions of others.
It’s important not to forget your identity. Who you are is unique. You were meant to stand out and to live your life for yourself every now and again. A lot of people find themselves drifting along like debris in the ocean, getting pulled farther and farther out. Eventually they get dragged out so far that they can’t find their way back to their source of life, their soul.
I think everyone finds themselves drifting at least once in their lives, and they have to catch it before they get too lost at sea. It’s a scary feeling when you look up one day and realize you don’t recognize where you are or how you got there. This often leads to the most alarming question of them all, “Am I who I wanted to be?”
It takes an intentional, conscious effort to not lose sight of what you want your life to be like. Making a mental list every now and then to remind yourself of your values, and goals you have that are important to these values is a good way to stay on track of the direction you’re taking.
For example, say you want to stay in shape and you have a passion for running, or bike-riding. The sooner you start getting up and DOING it, the sooner it will become a permanent part of your life. Take long-term steps like signing up for a triathlon so that your short-term efforts have you working towards an end goal or at least a first overall level you want to reach. Crossing the finish line will feel so rewarding that you’ll want to sign up for the next one and start training to do even better.
If you have a hobby you want to do on the side, or eventually get a career in, start making little steps toward that direction. Look online for ways you can do that part-time. Say you love crafting jewelry. Do it for fun at first and worry about making money off it later if you already have another source of income. Then look into starting up an online store (actually very easy) and bam. You’re already on your way.
Now, in the event that you don’t know exactly which direction you need to go to head closer to home, take a trip by yourself. It can be a short daytrip to a place nearby you always wanted to go, but no one else was really interested in. It could be a weekend drive to a secluded place in the mountains (or the beach), or it could be a full-blown vacation to somewhere international you don’t mind visiting by yourself.
Being alone is underrated in the generation of millennials. We’re all terrified of it. I know I am, but the times when I was forced to be alone in my life…I look back on them as some of the best. Crazy, I know. If you make the effort to give yourself quality time with you, it allows your brain to start building on its own identity. So instead of looking to others and depending on their opinions and choices for every little thing in life, we get to make each choice on our own.
This creates independence, strength, and empowerment. Simple things like deciding what to eat, what sites to see, and who to talk to are things that we often have to compromise or think twice about when we are with others. When we’re constantly surrounded by other people we end up basing our happiness off of them. Traveling alone teaches us how to be happy alone. It allows us to see what it’s like and enables us to fall in love with ourselves again.
It’s easy to drift. Doing what is worthwhile is what takes effort. Once you get a routine going, everything becomes habitual. You will be motivated to start your routine when you learn to value your goals and this comes with valuing yourself more. It just takes a solo trip to acquire the self-value. Sometimes, we have to get a little lost to find ourselves again.