6 Ways to Build a Strong Sense of Self
Your “sense of self” is the answer to one main question: who are you as a person? It refers to how you would describe yourself to others and what you hope to accomplish in the future. Your sense of self affects how you interact with others and the world around you.
At times, we start to lose our sense of self, especially in relationships. Maybe your behaviors are changing to mirror your partner, or you develop new interests or goals just to appease them. Your friends and family might start to notice and point out changes in your personality, and sometimes, you may not even recognize yourself.
So, how do you build a strong sense of self to avoid losing it? Here are 6 ways:
1. Setting boundaries
While being a people-pleaser isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you do have a greater risk of losing your sense of self. Why? You want to make others happy! This typically takes precedence over making yourself happy, which leads you to take on new hobbies or behaviors that don’t mirror your personality. Of course, a good friend or partner should never put you in a position where you have to compromise your values or who you are as a person – but if you are unable to say no to anything, they may not know if and/or when you are compromising. This is why it’s important to establish boundaries, stand up for yourself, and learn when to say no – which is essential for keeping your sense of self.
As cliche as it sounds, it’s important to get some distance from your life every once in a while so you can reflect on who you are. Sometimes it takes a change of pace and space to rediscover your sense of self. if you stay in the same environment, it can be easy to get caught up in the same old habits that caused you to lose your sense of self in the first place. So, how about booking a trip for a little eat, pray, love?
3. Saying positive affirmations
People lose their sense of self for many different reasons, but a lot of times it’s due to a lack of self-confidence. This can cause you to be easily swayed by other people, leading to a loss of self. So, how do you become more confident in who you are? Positive affirmations! It’s important to learn how to pump yourself up and become your own biggest fan. Sure, it can feel a bit silly to repeat affirmations to yourself, but it’s necessary! Whether they’re for work (“I deserve what I’ve accomplished”), self-validation (“I believe in myself”), or for a romantic relationship (“I am worthy of giving and receiving love”), repeat them as much as you need to boost your self-confidence and maintain that solid sense of self.
Sometimes, people lose a sense of self because they simply forget to take care of themselves! Exercising is vital for your physical, emotional, and mental health. Getting your endorphins going is a great way to help settle your head and work through things that have been on your mind. Go for a run, try some yoga, take your dog for a walk, or go for a swim. Do whatever you need to get your blood pumping and your sense of self regulated.
5. Practicing self-care
Along with exercising, it’s important to practice other types of self-care, too! This includes things like eating well, getting enough sleep, journaling, or trying some meditation. Self-care is about carving time out of your day to address your physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. No one can be their true authentic self if it’s not taken care of! Getting in touch with your physical needs in terms of exercise, sleep, and nutrition can help you get more in touch with your emotional needs, which are at the core of who you are as a person.
6. Talking to a therapist
Sometimes it can be difficult to recognize when you have lost your “sense of self” – and it can be hard to rediscover it, too. Talking to a therapist can help you identify the problem and how to take steps toward finding yourself again. A trained counselor can help you find your personality, values, and goals again to get you back on track.
Building and maintaining a strong sense of self is vital for personal well-being and relationship health. Keeping the above tips in mind will help keep your self-awareness on track! Remember, knowing who you are – and embracing it – is the key to your own happiness. (And you deserve that!)