Who you are when nobody’s watching is who you are when the masks are stripped and cast aside, when the chilling question hits you: What am I supposed to do with myself?
We spend most of our lives defining ourselves as professionals, partners, parents, or friends. We hear that being different is important, so we develop idiolects, unique taste for arts, and personal fashion styles. Like rovers, we rove, forever in search of a sun-kissed place to call our own.
The moment we think we’ve finally found ourselves, we instead find that everything is fickle. Nature’s transformation, personal growth, existential wheel – they all imply movement. Since the trick is to find something to hold on, it’s really no wonder that the biggest question in the universe is: Who am I?
Since every next level of your life will demand a different you, take your time and don’t rush with the answer. Instead, enjoy every moment in your life, bad or good, it’s here to give you the answer that you are long for.
Schedule an alone time and ask yourself these questions. you’ll be surprised what you’ll find about yourself and the direction you want to lead your life as it did for me.
1. What Do I Love About My Life?
There are so many people who have less than others and yet they are much happier than those who have all the money in the world.
Take comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in your existential crisis. We are all social beings, and we all determine ourselves against our surroundings.
Sometimes, we’re steady and settled, other times, we’re terribly lost. Don’t worry, it’s all perfectly normal.
Start with the little questions, and ask yourself what it is that you love about your life. What makes you happy? What makes the beeps on the clock go silent? It may be a person, an activity, a hobby, or a feeling. It may be chocolate or philosophy.
This is your constant in life, so find it and grasp tightly.
2. What Kind of Work Would I Do for Free?
As I watched and listened to various motivational speakers, the common denominator that I heard is they would do their job for free. Why? Because when you love something so much, money doesn’t matter anymore, it’s the happiness that counts.
In all honesty, that’s how most of them started. They attended different places and gave free speeches to inspire others to do well in their lives while overcoming their own challenges and building their dreams.
What am I supposed to do with myself? is the first thought we have after graduating from college, losing a family member, or having our heart broken. These are all disturbances in the force, ripples on an otherwise calm surface of the sea, and they make us confused and afraid, paralyzed and motionless.
It may be that your identity loss stems from the fact that you still haven’t found a purpose. Whatever the case, it might help you to think of the things you would do for free. Be that volunteering or other activities or hobbies that will make you fulfilled enough to overcome any adversity.
Be that volunteering or other activities or hobbies that will make you fulfilled enough to overcome any adversity. Nothing in life is free but if you would do something for free to help others, you’re one of the lucky few who finds your calling.
3. What Are My Greatest Accomplishments in Life That I’m Most Proud Of?
If the question What am I supposed to do with myself drives you senseless, then chances are you’ve lost all confidence in your abilities to fly. The existential crisis you’re currently in makes you doubt everything you are, including your self-image and your self-worth.
Every life is a yin-yang, and so is yours. We define what’s good by comparing it to what’s bad – together, they create the great dichotomy we call our existence. You are a sum of your strengths and weaknesses.
It’s necessary to stay in touch with both sides, and never allow one to overrule another. If you label yourself with nothing but limitations and failures, you will never get to know the joy of self-acceptance and self-love. Focus on your accomplishments, and don’t dare to undermine them.
If you’re not proud of your past accomplishments or can’t think of any, you will not move forward to other great things that you dream of doing.
After all, there are no small victories in life. Everything you’ve done, every friend you’ve earned, and every smile you’ve shared is a triumph to be proud of. Try to cherish them a little more, and you’ll find it easy to cherish who you are.
4. What Would I Do if Failure Didn’t Exist?
Ask yourself this: How far would I go if I was given to fly? The answer might surprise you, for not all us desire greatness. It’s okay if your ambitions are small, as long as you know that you’re entitled to choose. Step out of your comfort zone, but never push yourself beyond what makes you happy.
Most of your obstacles are self-inflicted, so simply remove them.
We all have different dreams, visions, and goals. Whatever yours might be, approach them with no fear of failure. Once you grow fearless, you’ll know exactly what you’re made of and where you actually want to go. Most importantly, you’ll know who you are.
5. What Would I Do if I Have a Million Dollars?
It’s a million-dollar question, right? and yes, I ask this question to myself and to everyone I encounter! It may seem far-fetched or purely impossible, but it’s not. Material fortune is in your cards just like personal happiness and fulfillment, so feel free to entertain this thought.
Why ask such question when trying to find yourself? Because the answer will help you realize what kind of a person you are. You’re welcome to laugh but believe you me, if you answer this question honestly, you’ll be surprised the qualities that you possess that you’d never thought you have.
Also, it will encourage you to chase your goals and work harder. Visualising what you want to achieve is the most powerful thing you can do to actually make it happen, so dream on. Once you’ve seen the things you can become, the goal becomes less fictional, and the obstacles become less real.
6. What Would I Stand for if Nobody Judges Me?
You don’t have to reach a breaking point to ask yourself What am I supposed to do with myself. On the contrary. Living a conscious life means living with this question in mind. Anything less would lead to an empty existence, and there’s no genuine fulfillment in that.
If your roads are wide open, and you are brave enough to pack your bags and pursue your dreams to the end of the world, nobody has the right to stand in your way. When somebody you love condemns your choices or judges you for your ambition, they don’t love you for who you are.
Peek beyond that judgment and taste what the world would feel like. If you find out that your partner, family, or friends have no real reason for slowing you down, be considerate but decisive.
Love is not about captivity or restraint – if they truly love you, they’ll support you unconditionally.
7. What is the Environment that I Would Create for Myself that Would Make Me Happy Personally and Professionally?
If I were to tell you that everything begins and ends on the inside, it would be a dirty little lie. Through personal growth asks for intrinsic motivation, the things that fuel our engines reside in the outer world. After all, humans are only whole when they’re one with their surroundings.
That’s why most of us get lost in the first place. The quest for meaning and purpose is the quest for our place under the stars – for some, this place is a spiritual habitat, for others, it is a happy home or a creative shrine. Where we imagine ourselves in the distant future is who we are in the present.
Close your eyes and go to your happy place. Now, try to picture the way that place would look like in your office and your home. You cannot earn a living or raise your kids on a desert island, but you can build your professional and personal environment to reflect the same comfort and serenity.
8. What Does My Fulfilled and Happy Future Self Look Like?
Some existential crises can never be overcome. Try as we might, we can never untangle all the mysteries of life and universe, but there’s beauty in not knowing as well. It gave us primitive myths and religion, it enriched our uncertain existence with philosophy and arts.
And, that’s the word we should stay focused on – uncertainty. It takes a small change of attitude to make us realize that the thing that frightens us the most holds the key to a happier, more fulfilling life. Uncertainty urges us to hold tight to the only constant we have – ourselves.
It’s because of this that you should never stop asking yourself What am I supposed to do with myself. When you feel like you’re starting to lose yourself, just remember the person you want to be at the end of it all.
That future version of you is your essential self, the only certainty worth pursuing.
9. What Are the Qualities and Interests that I Would Never Compromise in a Relationship?
Every person we choose to spend our time with leaves a little bit of themselves behind. We learn from all of our partners, the same way as we grow from every relationship. No other force in the universe can change as much as love can, for better or for worse alike.
There’s nothing in the world that most of us wouldn’t do for love, which is exactly why it’s so easy to get lost in a relationship. The line between a compromise and identity loss is a thin one, especially if the people we care for are manipulative or emotionally abusive in any other way.
Since so, the values, qualities, and interest you would never compromise in a relationship are a good indicator of who you actually are. If you’ve already defined the things that you’re not ready to change for the person you love, then you already know what you’re supposed to do with your life.
10. Who Do I Admire the Most? Why?
As long as you don’t compare yourself to others, having a role model to look up to is perfectly normal. Don’t choose them for their specific traits and qualities though, but admire them for the drive and energy they put into reaching their goals.
Role models should inspire you to carry on, not make you ashamed of where you are. The person you hold in respect is a soulmate of the person you want to become. When you’re unsure of who you are, think about what makes your role models so inspiring.
Pick out the qualities that you wish to see in yourself that you see in them and work toward those qualities and eventually the most who admire the most is yourself.
11. Who Do I Dislike the Most? Why?
If the question What am I supposed to do with myself still rings in your head, it may help you to ask yourself What it is that I don’t want to do be first. When choices are overwhelming, try the elimination principle, and separate the things and people you like from those that you frown upon.
Also, think about what these choices mean for your character and personal growth. Learn from the people that you dislike, the way they do things or how they treat others it will give you mental notes the turn off traits or personalities that you will avoid at all cost.
12. I’m Happiest When I’m…
Whatever you do, do more of what makes you happy.
Personal satisfaction is the strongest motivation of all, and there’s little that you cannot accomplish when you put your heart into it. Always do what you love and love what you do – the truth is, that’s the best mantra a person can have.
When you’re not quite yourself, make a list of everything that makes you relaxed, soothed, and fulfilled. Life is as much about little things as it is about big ideas.
So remember both the trifles that bring the sunshine to your days and the dreams that propel you to move forward.
13. What Do I Value Most in My Life?
Finally, think about what you value the most in your life. Is it a friendship, or passion? Is it a career and professional development? Maybe it’s stark optimism, the genuine love for life? If it helps, write your core value on a piece of paper and begin every day by reading it out loud.
Know your priorities and plan everything around it as most people do the opposite including myself a few years back.
Time is on your side if you know how to use it properly.
What Am I Supposed to Do with Myself?
True, the question What am I supposed to do with myself is the trickiest question of all. It’s also the most mindful one, so don’t try to shush it. If you spend the rest of your days searching for an answer, so be it. It only means that you’ve lived a life full of movement and that you are a person full of life.
After all, only the best us are.