I had no idea who I was, where I was going, or what I was even doing with my life.
Do you feel the same way??
Does your life feel somehow WRONG??
Want to finally know WHO you are and WHAT the hell you’re supposed to fucking do with your life?
Then you’re in the right place!
Special: Do the free self-discovery test and find out what personality type you are. Find out what qualities make you tick and which career paths you’re best suited for. Click here to go directly to the test: Self-discovery test
In this article, I’ll tell you all the tips and tricks that helped me tremendously in my self-discovery phase.
No theoretical babble, but practical methods to quickly and easily find out who you are and what you REALLY want.
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18 practical tips for self-discovery
Here they come now – my best tips from over 10 years of experience in self-discovery:
The Thinker Methods
These methods involve answering the questions either in writing or just quickly in your head. Often you don’t even need to think about it for hours. The first thing that comes to your mind is usually the best – even if the idea doesn’t seem logical and reasonable at all!
And sometimes the questions still have an effect when you "take them with you into the day" after reading them.
So: Read through and let it work.
1. Become a survival artist
Assume you are on vacation and have neither money nor credit card with you. How and with what you could earn money spontaneously at your vacation destination?
Which of your skills and talents could you use to wow the other tourists into paying for your meal and hotel room?
And what of it would be really fun for you too?
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2. Take a time travel
Imagine traveling back in time and meeting yourself as a 10 year old child. It asks you what makes you (or. him) has become.
What would you have to tell to get your kid from that time to light up his eyes and say "Wow, how COOL . " ?
3. Learn from your heroes
Which people fascinate you or fascinated you as a child??
These do not necessarily have to be actors, singers or other famous personalities. Even people from your family, your neighborhood or your company can inspire you.
It is only important that you think about WHAT fascinates you about these people. What are your characteristics and peculiarities and what of them would you like to adopt for yourself?
4. Use your energy compass
Which activities (whether job, hobby or household) drain your energy and which revitalize you??
Most people believe that it is completely normal to be tired and exhausted after a long day at work.
Think about your vacation. You’ll probably go on trips, be on the road all day and still not be as tired in the evening as you are after work. Correct?
So use your energy level as a compass and do more of what GIVES you energy in your life.
5. What your power places tell you
Not only certain activities can give us energy and make us happy, but also so-called power places.
These are places where we feel good and where we really like to be. They can be vacation spots, a certain corner in your apartment, a park nearby, or a nice cafe…
Think about what your power places are and what makes these places special. Are there rather many people, a lot of hustle and bustle, a lot of adventure… or is it rather lonely and quiet, a lot of nature and so on??
All of these are clues to where you would feel most comfortable in your life overall as well.
6. Make the "no way list
For this exercise you really need a piece of paper and a pen, but it is also a lot of fun.
Why don’t you write down everything that you absolutely do not want to do in your life?. Let your imagination run wild (this exercise is also a lot of fun with friends).
Afterwards, look through the list again and think about WHY you definitely do not want to do this thing for each item. Do you find commonalities?
For example, if you don’t want to be a bricklayer, a gardener, or a roofer, you might want to rule out craft or outdoor occupations altogether…
7. No-brainer ways – here’s how to avoid dead ends
Are there things in your life that you really don’t want to do and that you only do because others expect you to do them??
And I don’t mean such little things as taking out the trash or doing your taxes…
I mean something like a study, a professional training, a further education and so on. Things that someone (your parents, your partner, your boss, society…) thinks are right and that you feel you don’t really want them to be? Then leave it!
My advice is this:
ALWAYS follow your heart.
No matter what it is – if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
(You want to take full responsibility for your life and no longer let others decide for you? Then take a look here: Taking responsibility: 6 simple tips for more personal responsibility)
8. Hobby or profession – this is how you find out
Before you start any new professions, always also consider if this is what you REALLY want to do for a living.
You love yoga and so you come up with the idea of doing a yoga teacher training course. But do you really want to do it? Day by day from morning till evening?
Or would you just like to have a job where you have enough free time for your yoga sessions? Not every hobby is automatically suitable as a profession.
So always try to think a few years ahead: Can you imagine still doing this job every day in 5 years??
9. The end time scenario as a signpost
Imagine that by some catastrophe the world was almost wiped out and there are only a handful of survivors.
Civilization is gone. So there are no more supermarkets, no more factories and no one needs money anymore either. (Kind of like "The Walking Dead.".)
What could you contribute to the survival of your group? What skills can you bring to the table?
This exercise is especially suitable for those who are looking for a SENSEFUL activity. After something the world really needs…
10. Follow the animal track
If you were an animal – which one would you like to be?
And you’re probably wondering now what this question has to do with self-discovery…
Think about what characteristics your animal has! Is it a loner or a herd animal? Freedom loving, sedentary or constantly on the move? Always busy or rather relaxed?
(By the way, I don’t know anyone who wants to be a sheep or a worker bee… a free and self-determined life seems to suit us all rather well.)
11. The idea of rebirth – get inspired
Whether you believe in it or not: Just imagine that you will be reborn again.
What would you like to come into the world as if you had the free choice??
Where would you like to live, what strengths and skills would you like to have and what would you like to do for a living??
12. Ask yourself the €100 million question
Finally, here’s a classic:
What would you do for the rest of your life if you never had to work for money again??
And really think a bit further than "house, sports car and world trip". Logical – you first fulfill all your wishes and enjoy your new luxury.
What would you occupy yourself with in 5 or 10 years so that you don’t die of boredom??
The further into the future you think about this question, the more insightful the answers will be.
Special: Do the free self-discovery test and find out what personality type you are. Find out what qualities make you tick and what career paths you’re particularly suited for. Click here to go directly to the test: Self-discovery test
So, that’s enough thinking for now. Now let’s get to the methods where you get into action instead of just brooding:
The Action Methods
Self-discovery questions are great, but remember this:
In the end, you will never find the solution in your head, but only by actually trying things out!
We think many ideas are great in our heads, but in reality they don’t really suit us. That’s why you have to get into action sooner or later and try things out.
My practical and proven action methods bring you directly to the realization of what you want to do with your life:
13. The proof of the pudding is in the eating
As soon as you have any ideas about what you could do: try it out!
Use your free time, your weekend or your vacation and test nevertheless simply times a few occupations. Most companies have an "open day" from time to time. Or just ask if you can come in for a day to check it out.
Especially handicraft businesses and smaller family businesses are happy about any support. Especially if it comes free of charge.
The more you try, the faster you will find out what you like and what you don’t.
14. Plant new ideas in your head
Especially if you have been thinking about what you should do in life for a long time, you might not get any new ideas anymore.
You kind of go around in circles and try out the same thing over and over again..
It helps to consciously gather completely new experiences:
or attend a seminar on a topic that has never interested you before.
- If you usually go to rock concerts, go to the opera instead.
- Go see a movie that doesn’t match your interests at all.
- Or try a new restaurant and order a dish you have never eaten before.
The more often you leave your usual paths, the more flexible your brain becomes and suddenly ideas come to you that you would never have thought of before!
15. Give yourself a ME timeout
Most of the time in our life we are busy to fulfill some expectations of others or to make compromises. So, unfortunately, we never find out what we want SELF most of all! That’s why..
If you have a family and therefore can’t go away alone for a long time, a weekend or a day off is enough..
The most important thing is that you can do one hundred percent what you want. Because it’s only when you don’t have to take anyone into consideration and no one interferes with your daily or vacation plans that you can find your true desires!
Maybe you’re thinking now:
Sitting in the cafe, lying on the beach, reading a book … that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t pay the rent.
But that’s not what this is about. It’s all about getting back in touch with your innermost needs and finding yourself! As long as you do not succeed THAT, you will not find your "vocation".
16. Take the "Who am I?" survey
Our self-image is shaped by our beliefs, our experiences and by what we have heard from our parents, teachers and educators.
Add to that:
We often perceive our own strengths as "normal" and don’t even realize that we are capable of something special!
Therefore ask your friends and acquaintances, which qualities they appreciate in you. Which strengths they see with you. And what potential.
It is often very amazing what others see in us.
Do NOT ask your parents or other close family members. They usually have their own ideas of what you SHOULD be like and are not objective.
17. New people – new inspirations
When it comes to self-discovery, it’s not only people who already know us well who can help us. Strangers are also very good for this.
Maybe you have already experienced this:
You get a new colleague, a new member appears in the sports club or your friends introduce you to their new acquaintances. And suddenly these strangers bring completely new ideas and new momentum into your life…
Maybe they have unusual hobbies or exciting professions. Maybe they dream of emigrating or have already walked the Way of St. James… New people can be incredibly inspiring.
So try to meet new people as often as possible. Thanks to the Internet and Facebook, it’s so easy nowadays.
PS: Should you be rather shy and reserved, this exercise strengthens your self-confidence at the same time.
18. Find the right solution in a relaxed way
Have you ever frantically looking for your car keys because you had to leave in a few minutes? Or turn your office upside down because your boss wanted a certain document from you IMMEDIATELY?
Then you have surely noticed:
Trying to find something under stress doesn’t work most of the time.
Of course, it is the same with self-discovery. The more desperately you search for your "purpose" and the more pressure you put on yourself, the more confused you become. The chaos in your head is getting worse.
As soon as the stress disappears from your mind, there is suddenly room for new ideas and insights.
And the best way to deeply and consciously relax is to meditate. Here you will find a simple and practical guide: Learn meditation – A little guide
Which path to self-discovery do you take??
Now you have 18 methods to find out what you really want.
My advice is:
Pick 1 – 2 methods and get started today. You have the free choice. There is no right or wrong. Try the tips that spontaneously feel best to you.
And always remember
Loosen up and have fun with it.
Difficulties in self-discovery
Having been in the self-discovery phase myself for half of my life, I am of course familiar with the typical problems and hurdles.
To help YOU get to your goal faster and easier than I did, here are a few extra tips:
I have tried a thousand things, but I still haven’t found a solution
Some people find self-discovery a bit more difficult than others. That is quite normal.
In this case, these deeper ones will help you Self-discovery questions. Take a look at this graphic:
(click here to read more)
You’ll see here the 3 most important areas of your life when it comes to finding your "calling". These 3 areas are:
- Everything you love – so z.B. Your hobbies, your interests and what you like to do in your free time or on vacation
- Everything you are good at – these are your strengths, your talents, everything that comes easily to you, as well as all the education and training you have
- Everything the world needs from you – this includes all the things you can help others with or that you are often asked to do anyway
As you can see, there are certain areas that overlap.
You will only find your true "calling" in the middle – where all 3 areas overlap. Because only if you do what you love, what you are good at AND what the world needs, you can develop your full potential and be successful with it.
As soon as one of the 3 areas is missing, the following difficulties arise:
- If you love something and are good at it – but it doesn’t benefit anyone – it’s just a hobby.
- You’re very good at something the world needs, but you don’t love it? Then you will never be happy with it.
- You love something and the world needs it, but you can’t do it? Then you can learn it, but it will cost you time, money and energy.
So it makes sense to find your "middle".
I’m going to explain how to do that:
Get a big piece of paper and a pencil.
Make three columns on the paper and write above them "What I love", "What I am good at" and "What the world needs". Under each of these, write down everything that comes to your mind about the 3 points.
Next, look for the matches. So all the things that in all 3 columns show up. Mark these points with colors.
Exactly THESE marked points are now the clue to your "vocation".
Take a little bit of time for this exercise. If you don’t come up with answers right away – no problem. It often takes something to wake up your inner intuition, especially if you’ve only ever looked outside for your answers before…
Don’t put pressure on yourself!
This isn’t a test you have to turn in after 90 minutes.
Just let the questions work for a while. Go out into the fresh air, take a walk or meditate.
With time you will come up with more and more answers and the right points will emerge.
I have so many ideas and can’t decide ("scanner personalities")
There are people who are always enthusiastic about ONE thing their whole life, z.B. for soccer or mathematics or archeology..
And there are people who want to do everything: be an actor, a programmer and a cab driver and learn Chinese and start a martial arts club on the side.
These are the so-called Scanner personalities.
(click here to read more)
If they choose ONE thing, they always feel they are missing something else important in their life. But to do everything at the same time is of course not possible..
That’s why there are a few special tips for scanners:
- Recognize that you are a scanner and accept yourself as you are!
- Remember: You don’t have to decide on a subject – you can always decide again.
- Make a plan for the next 6 years. This takes an incredible amount of pressure off you to want to accomplish all projects in the next 3 months.
- Find your personal scanner rhythm: some scanners can only focus on one topic for an hour and then need something new to do. Others only feel the urge to start something new after several days, weeks or even months. Find the perfect rhythm for you and then concentrate on your "focus topic" every hour, day, week or month.
- Always write down all your ideas so they don’t get lost.
- Don’t feel bad if you’ve lost interest in something you were totally passionate about a short time ago. This is completely normal for scanners and resisting against it only costs you unnecessary strength and energy.
I do not manage to free myself from the desires and expectations of others
The biggest obstacle to self-discovery and subsequent self-realization are our fellow human beings.
You usually mean no harm in doing so.
Your parents only want the best for you. Your partner is afraid that you will leave him on the path of self-discovery (the same goes for your boss). Your colleagues are afraid that you will climb the career ladder faster than they do. And your girlfriend is jealous when you achieve your dreams…
(click here to read more)
Because what do all these people get out of NOT living the life of your dreams? What do they get out of it if you are unhappy??
So free yourself from the expectations of others and go your own way.
You will have to defend your (new) boundaries more often and also say NO once in a while. How you can do it in a relaxed way, you can find out here: Setting boundaries – How to learn to say NO
And then there is the fear of no longer getting love and recognition when you do your own thing. I can also help you with this: Release emotional dependency – 8 tips for more independence
I know exactly what I want, but I do not dare to realize it
Fears are perfectly normal on the path of self-discovery.
You have to leave your usual path and venture out of your comfort zone. Of course, this feels a bit threatening at first..
(click here to read more)
Most fears are unfounded and take place only in your head. You don’t have to turn your whole life upside down right away. Just start with very small steps.
The best remedy against fear is action!
As soon as you get into action, most fears vanish into thin air. Suddenly you realize that your worries and fears were completely unnecessary. You have a sense of achievement and gradually trust yourself more and more.
Think also always of the following Japanese proverb, which proved itself in my life so far ALWAYS as correct:
Where there is fear, there is the path.
Here you can find many more practical tips to overcome your fears: 3 tips to overcome your fears
The online self-discovery seminar
You have tried all the tips and still not found the right solution for you?
You are completely stuck and need someone to take you by the hand and guide you step by step through your self-discovery process?
Then get my online self-discovery seminar here – your guide to a happy life!
I put all my experiences from more than 10 years of self-discovery in there, so that you can finally find out what you REALLY want.
And the best part is:
You can do this online self-discovery seminar from the comfort of your own home, whenever you feel like it and have time for it. And you have lifelong access to all content and documentation.