Stop Trying to Find Out Who You Are, Reinvent Yourself Instead

21 February, 2021
You don't need a long journey to find out who you are and you don't have to get lost in order to find yourself. The person you are and the person you want to be are already there. All you need is to do is be free from fears and attachments in order to shape the best version of you, the freest and the shiniest.

Stay near and reinvent yourself instead of traveling far away to try to find out who you are. The person you’re looking for is already inside you and, more importantly, you can let the best version emerge because it’s up to you. You mainly have to free yourself from attachments, fears, and conventionalisms and begin a journey of self-discovery, challenges, and progressive transformations.

Few topics within the field of personal growth are as prominent as self-knowledge. Hence, most people want to know who we really are. However, taking this idea at face value can lead to contradictions.

For starters, people aren’t stable entities, we’re in constant change and any progress or variation is only to promote adaptation and learning. Thus, as you may already know, the person you were ten years ago isn’t the same one you’re today. You must give meaning to your world in order to enjoy it.

Most people know this but many think they must travel to Tibet in order to find themselves. This idea is wrong, as you have to find yourself every day, in every little thing you do, in every mistake and achievement, and in every passion and learning opportunity you might have. However, every one of us must reinvent ourselves from time to time in order to obtain genuine well-being and self-realization. This is the only way to reveal the best version of yourself, the one that’s in tune with your desires, dreams, and needs.

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

-Lin Chi-

A woman taking pictures.

You can try to find out who you are, just push it to the limit

Instead of wondering who you are, wonder who you want to be. This is because doing so will allow you to clarify resolutions, as building momentum will make you stronger. Somehow, much of self-help psychology reminds you of the importance of finding yourself by overlooking the fact that it changes constantly and rebuilds every few years.

Every experience you have, every decision you make, every person you meet, every book you read, every hobby you discover, and every country you visit changes you. As you can see, every experience leaves a mark on you. Thus, don’t go out to try to find yourself, you’re already there in everything you touch, see, and feel. You have a more important responsibility to yourself: to achieve personal fulfillment.

Most people are forced to modify part of their identities throughout life. People don’t only mature by doing so but also gain resilience, self-esteem, and happiness. In addition, no matter how old you are, encouraging change and reinventing yourself is an exercise you can practice whenever you deem it necessary.

Reinventing oneself is the secret to eternal youth

A few years ago, Dr. Ravenna Helson, professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, published one of the most valued works on creative personality. The “Mills Longitudinal Study” analyzed 120 women over a period of 30 years.

The goal was to analyze what personality changes they manifested over three decades. The data was quite revealing. They found out that those women who reinvented themselves (took on new goals, started new activities, etc.) showed higher rates of well-being and health. This group, in their own words, “Became who they’d always wanted to be”.

Likewise, the study showed that the group between 50 and 65 years of age had the most changes in personality and their satisfaction was evident.

A woman dancing.

Don’t try to find out who you are, just find the best version of yourself

Viktor Frankl said that life isn’t made unbearable by circumstances, but by a lack of meaning and purpose. The real secret to finding happiness and personal fulfillment is to have goals, objectives, dreams, and desires.

Life is movement, whether you like it or not. Thus, changes help you survive better and everything continues to have meaning. You must be okay with these variations in order to leave behind what’s no longer useful, what no longer goes with you, what stagnates you and takes away your wings. A timely change or a fabulous reinvention might even allow you to breathe better.

There’s one thing you must be clear about. The task of reinventing oneself isn’t easy, it’s a challenge and requires courage. Moreover, Master Eckhart, a 14th-century philosopher and theologian once said that people cling too much to what they believe to be. There’s much fulfillment in liberation, in letting go of materialism, fears, and obsessions.

A reinvention is an act of freedom. It’s the expression of your own identity and allows you to go beyond your comfort zone and be okay. Thus, ask yourself who you want to be, and be that person on purpose.

  • Helson, R. (1999). Un estudio longitudinal de la personalidad creativa en la mujer. Creativity Research Journal , 12 (2), 89-101. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326934crj1202_2