I asked myself this question a lot of times, it’s probably the most pressing and troubling question I’ve ever had to answer for myself. Growing up and at quite an early age I tried to find myself, to discover who I was at different times and for a long while it seemed elusive, like I was never going to find the answer I most desperately needed.
Who am I?
I asked myself a lot, at almost every stage of life I got to, I really wanted to know. I had to know. I felt like I wasn’t fully living and really how could I? I would see people make statements regarding themselves, what they could do, who they were, what they wanted and for a long while I couldn’t say nothing for myself.
I gave up at a point and just tried to fit in to what people thought I was, to match people’s description and for a while, I stayed comfy there but soon enough the question came back hounding me. Who am I? I soon realised that I couldn’t be defined by people so the definition I had tried to accept was faulty. It was a serious tug of war going on in my heart. I told myself at a point that I had to be the most confused person on earth.
I remember there were days when I was totally gloomy and down because I really didn’t see the point of existing if I didn’t know who I was. Some days I barely just existed.
Thing is I know I’m not alone, I know there are others out there who have either felt this way or are feeling this way right now, you’ve tried everything you can think of, you tried to fit into the box created for you by others, you tried to blend in but those things haven’t been able to pacify the voice that keeps asking you who are you? The You beneath wanting to burst out even though you can’t figure it out yet. And how can it, you don’t use a screwdriver to drive in a nail now, do you? Same applies to you, you can’t define yourself by the opinions and whims of others. You have to define yourself by yourself and for yourself.
In my journey to finding myself, which right now I realise is a life long journey, let me share what I did and have learnt with you:
For starters, you can’t define yourself based on other people’s opinions of you or who they think you should be. You have to find you and you have to give yourself time, be patient and gentle on yourself as you embark on the journey, like I said it’s not a onetime thing. So relax and enjoy the journey.
Secondly, don’t go around feeling bad that you don’t seem to have it all together and someone else does. Don’t go comparing yourself with another. There’s always the temptation to see someone else who seems to have it all together, who seems perfect and you feel like there has to be something just wrong with you. What you forget though is she also has gone through and very likely still is on her own process, she’s on her own journey. You see the wins and think that’s all there is to it, but there’s more. There is more. Focus on your journey, celebrate others when they are celebrating because it is proof that if they can get that far, you also can and will.
The number one thing that has helped me as an individual on this journey so far is my faith. The creator of a thing defines the thing, he knows what it is, what it should do, all the details.
We also have a creator, someone who knows us, who knows our beginning and end, He has all the details. I would ask God time and time again, who am I and every time spent with Him, His word and His work opens me up to knowing who I am, layer by layer, I find myself in Him.
I also spoke with friends, back then I didn’t really know there was a thing as coaching so my friends were my coaches. They answered my questions, provided support and guidance. You cannot walk this journey alone, you need people. Surround yourself with friends who can help you and be there for you, people who can support you and guide you. If you can afford it, get a coach, it’s a worthy investment trust me.
I have been there and know how it feels to be confused or seem unable to identify and discover who you are. But I want you to know today, that you can and will find the answers you so seek, it may take a while but you will.
Just enjoy the process.
About the Author Grace Ashama