Ever feel disconnected from your true self? Use these five prompts to evaluate your needs, desires, and the things that drive you – so that you can take the next step with confidence
Throughout our lives, we’ll inevitably go through periods of feeling a bit lost, with a weaker sense of who we are and what we want. This might be following an important transition in our lives – for example, following the birth of a child, or the start of a new career – and it can begin to unsettle our relationships with ourselves and others.
To help you start a dialogue with yourself and evaluate your wants, needs, and values, we’ve collected together five key questions to ask, so that you can get to know yourself better.
1. If I had to describe myself in one word, what would it be?
Kind, ambitious, funny, confident, generous, adventurous, intuitive?
It may seem like a big challenge to sum yourself up in one word, but getting there will help you discover a key quality that you’re able to identity in yourself.
If you find the challenge difficult, whether that’s because you can think of too many things or you find it hard to come up with just one, reflect on why that might be.
You might struggle with your focus, or maybe you haven’t stopped to think about your characteristics like this before. Whatever you might conclude, acknowledge the process and evaluate what it can teach you.
2. Where do I want to be in one week, one month, and year’s time?
A goal of any sort, whether big or small, can help us to set our focus. And we don’t have to tackle it all at once. By this time next week, is there something that you would like to achieve? Perhaps it’s to spend an evening dedicated to self-care, or to finish reading your book.
In a month, you might wanted to have learned a new skill or spent some time with someone special to you. And then in a year, maybe you want to be somewhere else in your career, or have finally got round to that big experience you’ve been dreaming of.
Our goals are personal to us, and so often they exists only in the abstract. Take some time out to jot down what you want to achieve, and then take a look over what you have come up with, to see what it can tell you about what you need to prioritise, and what might be preventing you from moving towards these goals.
3. What is my happiest memory?
To look forward, sometimes it can help to look back. Think back to a time when you were really happy. It might be from your childhood, or perhaps even last month! What was it about this memory that makes it so happy?
Would that same thing make you feel just as happy today – would you still respond in the same way? This question can both show us how our needs evolve over time, and remind us of our core values, likes, and dislikes.
4. What am I like when I’m alone?
Whether it’s in the workplace or at social gatherings, we all have to adapt the way that we present ourselves throughout the day. It’s a natural thing to do, and it’s part of understanding social situations and getting on with other people.
But at the end of the day, when you’re on your own, what are you like? What’s your focus, or your default mood? What activities do you find yourself drawn to? What music do you listen to, or films do you watch? Reflect on this question and, if you find it hard to answer, perhaps try to schedule in some alone time, so you can concentrate on tuning-in.
5. What really matters to me?
What things make your heart sing and your blood boil?
You might be very passionate about a particular cause – if so, take some time to think about what it is about that cause that matters so much to you. It may be your job, or your friends or your family. It could be a hobby, or volunteer work. Or it might even be a dream that you’re still chasing.
When we understand what’s driving us forward, it’s easier to take the next step with confidence.