Why I’ve Given Up on “Finding Myself”


After so many years of trying to “find myself,” I’ve come to realize that it’s never going to happen. I can answer as many year-end reflections prompts and workbooks from various online counselors as I can, but if I’ve repeatedly listed “find myself” as my top goal for the new year, then am I really even trying?

I think there’s the harm in aiming to “find yourself” that not a lot of people realize. It subjects you into this mindset that you’re lost — not knowing where to go or what to do or who to be. And in a long and desperate attempt to get in touch with your deeper calling, you risk losing yourself even more before you can truly say “This is it. This is what I’ve been looking for.”

I had to lose myself a number of times before I could finally realize this.


I got tired of waiting for something to come that will eventually lead me to where I was destined to be. Tired of enduring crappy jobs, even crappier bosses, and a crippling feeling of insecurity that comes with trying as many things out as possible in my spare time to find that spark, but learning in the end that I’m not good at any of them.

Tired of telling my friends and family that “I’m still trying to find myself as a writer,” and sounding like I wasn’t proud of who I was and who I was trying to be when what I should truly be saying is “I’m still learning.”

Most of the time, the process of “finding yourself” is actually just you learning how to do things and not to do others. And notice how drastic the difference is between the two — between wishing for your ideal self to pop up unexpectedly, and admitting that you are taking action to become that person.

And so I’ve stopped trying to “find myself.” I’ve stopped wishing and hoping to be at a better place than this, to be a better person than who I am now, to reach that happiness and contentment that I was definitely not feeling right now. Because, whether I liked it or not, I may never find that person. But what I can do, instead, is to fully embrace who I am — flaws, fears, and all — just BE myself.

Because if I can’t love who I am now, then how do I expect to love who I will be in the future?

Header Photo by Marcos Rivas on Unsplash