Psychotherapist Reveals 6 Habits That Help You Find Your True Self — And Actually Live Your Life's Purpose

Finding your true self is all about what brings you joy.

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In order to be content and happy with your life, you must first find your true, authentic self.

Finding yourself means becoming aware of those around you, what makes you happy and what does not, and when you feel good about yourself and when you don't.

They don't teach this in school, so how will you know how to do something you have never been taught? Don't be so hard on yourself if you're feeling lost or have no real identity. Look around and inside yourself, and you will begin to find your true self with the right guidelines.


Here are 6 habits that will help you find yourself and start living your purpose

1. Identify what affects you in a positive way

The first step in finding yourself is noticing what you are doing and who you are with when you feel your best.

You may want to be around people who are kind, spiritual, playful, or maybe around individuals who are passionate about a specific topic. Or, perhaps you prefer people who want to continue to grow.

You may feel good when interacting with others who share the same hobbies, hopes, or dreams.

Whether that means being around people who make you laugh, are reliable when making plans, or who listen to certain music, all of these things should really touch you and make you feel good.


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2. Identify what affects you in a negative way

Much like being around people who fulfill you can make you feel good, being around people who drain you can easily put you in a bad mood. These outcomes indicate what does not fit your true self.

For example, a consistently late friend can easily cause your mood to fall, especially when you've talked to them many times about being late and that this really bothers you. Or, having to go somewhere without proper directions may cause you anxiety and create negative feelings about going to a particular event.


Really negative people can also be emotionally draining to be around. Likewise, controlling people can cause you to feel stifled and annoyed that your needs don't seem to matter.

The unknown may negatively affect you, and that's perfectly okay. Finding yourself requires a little introspection to determine what you don't want in your life.

3. Think about what makes you happy

Knowing what makes you happy is as important as knowing what doesn't! Because when you know what brings you true joy and what doesn't, you will tend to avoid those negative experiences while embracing the positive ones.

For instance, you may feel joy being at the beach or looking at the Full Moon. Perhaps it's little kids or puppies that bring you joy. Helping people in need may also leave you content, as well as being out in nature or taking up a new hobby.


No matter what it is that makes you happy, make it a point to think intently about it every single day. Ask yourself: How often are you doing things that give you joy? And if it's not often at all, make the change.

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4. Think about what you admire about yourself

Strengths, talents, and values — do you know what these are for you, and what they mean?

Feeling good about yourself is different than just being happy. It means you recognize something you do well or a quality that makes you feel like a good person. It is a sense of feeling worthy, that you matter and can make a difference in this world.

These are some of the things that shape your true self. Maybe you are honest, a gifted painter, very intelligent, generous, or have other good qualities you admire.

Feeling good about yourself is also about liking who you are, how you treat others, and what you are talented at doing. Think deeply about how you feel towards yourself. Do you like this version of your true and real self?


5. Recognize the signs of emotionally healthy people

Emotionally healthy people tend to want to be around other healthy people.

People who are in a good mood tend to be healthy, and those who seem to truly enjoy their life likely have found their true self — and live it unapologetically. When things in their life no longer work for them, they make positive changes.

Setting healthy boundaries with those around you shows respect for yourself. For example, instead of getting annoyed that your friend is consistently late, let them know it bothers you and ask them to make a concerted effort to respect your time.

So, recognize those who make healthy choices about food, jobs, and relationships, and try to learn from their choices.


RELATED: 8 Tiny Habits Of People With The Highest Self-Esteem

6. Discover the unhealthy people you know

The last part of finding yourself is finding the unhealthy people in your life and removing them.

People tend to choose friends with about the same degree of emotional health as themselves. So, take a look around you. If your friends do not make healthy choices, do you?


Examine this window into your true self by determining if the choices you make really work for you. And, if not, will you make some changes?

People who don't value themselves tend to make unhealthy decisions. This could be people who complain a lot about others not feeling good about themselves, or people who pressure others to do something; both instances signify that their needs matter more than yours. And it means they are emotionally unhealthy.

When you've finally find yourself, how do you put it all together?


Most people often judge themselves harshly, and you are not alone if this describes you. Sometimes, parents inadvertently teach their children not to value themselves. And, likely, the lesson came from each generation before them. This may mean that as a child you did not receive a true picture of your real worth.

When a parent does not have healthy self-esteem, they tend to treat their children as they were raised, which may likely have been unhealthy. It may not happen on purpose, but it's important to separate a negative childhood upbringing from your true self — or, at least, who you want to become.

If you don't know who you really are, look at the habits above, and see what fits you and what doesn't. 

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If you find you still don't know what truly fits you, don't be afraid to seek out a psychotherapist who can support you while they guide you through that process.

Knowing your true self is a journey. You will likely continue to change in the future. Don't be afraid to be who you really are. The right people around you will truly want you to be happy and healthy.

RELATED: 7 Tiny Ways To Be Kind To Yourself In Just A Few Minutes A Day

Susan Saint-Welch LMFT is a couples and individuals counselor and psychotherapist who works with dating, marriage, and family issues. She's a regular contributor to Life and Relationships 101, helping men and women find lasting love.