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Sense of Self: 26 Steps to Raise It and Feel Like a Million Bucks

Isn’t it hard to figure out your sense of self? Find out why this is important and see if it brings out the best in you.

sense of self

Life is a very challenging, ever-changing journey, but getting to know yourself is the toughest test of all. Most people spent years trying to figure out their sense of self and who they really are, and some are finally starting to become comfortable in my their skin.

Figuring out who you are is never an easy task at all. You can go through a lot of trial and errors, but know that it’s okay! The journey of finding your sense of self won’t be easy, and it will take a lot of heartbreak, tough lessons, successes, failed attempts, broken friendships, and enlightening experiences to get here.

It can be very hard to break through all the layers of who you are to get to the core, but once you’re there, you become unstoppable. [Read: How to find yourself when you feel like you’ve lost your way]

What creates your sense of self?

We are regularly told what we should be and what we should want by the rest of the world. A strong sense of self—or self-awareness, as it’s frequently referred to—can help you avoid being affected by the ideas of others, even when they disagree with your own beliefs.

Your self-image is the foundation of your sense of self. Sense of self means understanding who you are and what you stand for. In the beginning, it’s about assessing and defining your core ideas and values, such as your views about what is right and wrong and what you want in life. [Read: How to find yourself again after a seriously low point in life]

What is a sense of self?

Your sense of self is the essence of who you are as a truly unique human being. It combines your most prominent attributes, morals, needs, ethics, and emotions, to give you your own distinctive personality.

Your true sense of self cannot be replicated, nor taken away from you as it is how you perceive yourself. What you enjoy and what you don’t like are only some things that make you who you are as a person; they all add to your sense of self.

People who can express these facets of their personality quickly have a good grasp of their own identity. An inability to identify at least some of these features indicates a lack of self-knowledge. Self-love and acceptance are incredibly powerful tools, and once you wield them, you can take on nearly anything that is thrown at you.

Without that strong grounding, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the pressures and tribulations of life. Even if you don’t give it much thought, your identity still impacts your life.

Your emotional well-being may be improved if you have a clear sense of who you are and what you want out of life. [Read: How to build self-confidence – 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]

How to raise your sense of self

Here are some of the ways in which you can unearth your deepest sense of self and learn how to make it as unbreakable as possible. It might take a little effort, but trust me, it’s worth it.

1. Find out what your values are

Get in touch with what you believe in and what you stand up for. Your morals are really important, so once you know how you feel about things like social issues, politics, human rights, and culture you’ll know how to define yourself.

Finding your values can help you figure out your true sense of self. When you know your values, you can use them to decide how to live your life, and guess what? You can take control and be your own captain. [Read: 12 ways you can be a high value woman he’ll never want to leave]

2. Believe in yourself

This is a crucial step to creating a stronger sense of self. Believe in your abilities, your mental strength, and your instincts, and it will pay off handsomely. Many people are too quick to dismiss how strong they actually are, but fight this feeling and you’ll soon see how capable you can become.

There will be doubts, but don’t let them stop you from pursuing your goals and living your life to the fullest. Also, many people are constantly on the lookout for ways to pull you down and say negative things about yourself.

The stories that swirl around you will only weaken you. Therefore, you must be stronger than they are. [Read: 10 signs of low self-esteem and 5 ways to increase it]

3. Maintain confidence

Confidence plays a big part in how you handle certain situations, how you react to other people, and how you navigate through general life. Having unflinching, high levels of confidence not only helps you feel better about yourself but also commands respect in other people.

While this is hard for most, maintaining your confidence at all times helps boost your sense of self. Thus, it can help you face life with a chin-up attitude without thinking about other people’s opinions about you. [Read: How to build self-confidence: 16 ways to realize you’re worth it]

4. Don’t fear the help of others

It can be really easy to be skeptical or wary of others if you’ve been let down before or been treated badly. But how you interact with and learn from others is detrimental to developing a stronger sense of self. Don’t be afraid to let people in – they may show you a side of yourself you never knew you had.

Getting help from others may sometimes help open your eyes and give you the ability to see through others, including their true personalities, which can be really beneficial. You may not see the good side of it just yet. Why don’t you give it a try?

5. Don’t be afraid to say no

Never fear not doing something you’re not happy or comfortable with. If you’re in a situation where you don’t feel comfortable, or you’re being asked to do something that goes against your morals, don’t do it. If something contradicts all your instincts, walk away and don’t feel bad about it.

Finding your sense of self doesn’t always have to be saying yes all the time. Think before you act, and you’ll avoid any potential harm or regret in the future. There is nothing wrong with being cautious, don’t you think?  [Read: How to say no – Stop pleasing people and feel awesome instead]

6. Embrace the hard times

Those who have experienced the toughest times are often the strongest of people. Learning how to weather the storm and then keep going is one of the most important things you can do to determine your sense of self. Don’t forget that diamonds are forged under pressure, so keep pushing through if you want to strengthen your character.

Don’t forget, as well, that there are limits to the difficulties that life might throw at you. No matter what happens, being prepared is still the most powerful weapon you can have.

Are you going through a difficult time? Make plans to go out with a friend or family member. Are you going through the loss of a loved one? Contact a friend or family member you trust, or better yet, pray that everything will be OK soon.

7. You are the best person you can be

In life we are all only given one shot at making it count, so why waste that time trying to be someone else? That is not how one goes about pursuing your authentic sense of self. Trying to be someone else is harmful to you and the people you care about.

Consider your mother’s reaction if she sees you trying to live your life differently to fit in, even if this isn’t your true personality. Wouldn’t it be hurtful for you or your mother to witness you make a negative shift in your life?

Always be yourself – express yourself the way you see fit, make an impression, and show the world who you are. In most cases, people respect others who are unapologetically themselves, so be true to yourself. [Read: What is the point of life – Secrets to decode this cosmic joke]

8. Learn to rely on yourself

There will always be hard times to get through, but you have to learn to stand on your own two feet. We’re all only human, so it’s inevitable that people will let you down once in a while. So, learning to take care of yourself, or to get things done with no one else’s help, is invaluable and can determine your sense of self.

The fact that even your closest friends and family members may not be there for you at all times means that you must learn to depend on yourself. If you are rushing late for work and haven’t had time to have breakfast, make a pit stop at a convenience store on your way into work.

It is impolite to ask your housemates to prepare a quick breakfast for you since it would seem disrespectful. You are under no need to ask for help from others as long as you can do the work alone. [Read: How to be independent even if you’re in a relationship]

9. Never stop exploring

Get out there and see the world! Save up money, buy a plane ticket, and go traveling for a while. Go and experience culture shock, try new things, meet new faces, push your boundaries. We are all products of our environment, so make sure to change yours every so often. Is holiday approaching, and you’re excited to get off of work?

Invite your lover or your friends and go to the beach and detox! If you are planning to quit your 9-5 job and start your business to live your own terms, study at night or during weekends on how to do just that. Don’t limit yourself! We only live once.

Exploring new areas of our lives every day is one approach to rediscovering our sense of self. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! [Read: How to become a better person – The golden rules to evolve every day]

10. Accept your flaws

Full self-acceptance can take a while, but it gets a lot easier when you learn to embrace the little flaws that make you who you are and see your true sense of self. Remember the confidence thing we talked about earlier? It’s the same as accepting your flaws. If you learn how to accept or love your imperfections, no one can ever beat the confidence level you’re going to have.

Once you’ve mastered the art of appreciating your own imperfections it’ll make you realize that it’s okay to not be perfect and make you much more comfortable with yourself.

11. Be forgiving of yourself

Don’t beat yourself up too much about anything. We all mess up, but that doesn’t make us any less deserving of success and self-acceptance. Life doesn’t need to be taken super seriously, so relax into your mistakes and appreciate your ability to recover from failure.

It’s far easier to say than do when it comes to moving on with your life. To forgive oneself, one must have compassion, empathy, kindness, and knowledge of one’s shortcomings. Forgiveness is a decision, and it needs you to accept that to find your sense of self.

Forgiving yourself doesn’t have to be a complicated process, regardless of how big or little the mistake you’re attempting to work through. [Read: How to forgive yourself & free yourself of the weight of guilt]

12. Mentally de-clutter

Get rid of useless things floating around in your head that hold you back from realizing who you truly are. Things like bad memories, regrets, and self-inflicted negative opinions. Stop overthinking things that don’t matter in the long run.

Let go of all of the negative thoughts and emotions weighing you down and causing you to feel weighed down. Eliminating unproductive ideas, anxieties, and concerns may help reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and create more mental space. [Read: How to stop overthinking – 11 strategies for instant peace]

13. Pick the right people

Only spend time around positive people who bring out the best version of you. If you surround yourself with encouraging people who care about you, it can only build you up and help you build your sense of self slowly. Having a cheerful buddy within a mile of you may boost your happiness by 25%.

These results were constant over time and effective up to three degrees of separation. So your friends and their friends might affect your happiness. Never waste time with people who suck the joy or positivity out of you – they’re poisonous, and will only drag you down or hold you back.

14. Enjoy your own company

Being alone is not a bad thing, it actually means that you’re more comfortable in your own skin than most people. Practice solitude, and realize that you don’t need anyone else to prop you up or make you happy – you are good all by yourself. We fall into the idea that being alone is better than being with the wrong people.

No one can validate or complete you. When you learn to eat alone, you quit staying with people who don’t value your presence, and that is the essence finding your sense of self. [Read: Fear of being alone – How to let go and start living]

15. Step out of your comfort zone

Shake it up a bit from time to time. Get a new haircut, or try a new hobby, or take up a different form of exercise, and figure out what you like and don’t like. Try something new, because you never know if you’ll like it until you give it a go. Your brain resists change when you’re in a familiar environment.

Zero stress and the brain’s recognition that the body’s survival is met. An excellent recipe for long-term success. You may improve your focus, creativity, pace, and drive by getting out of your comfort zone from time to time.

It also helps you cope with life’s unexpected events and uncover your genuine sense of self. [Read: 5 powerful steps to break out of your comfort zone]

16. Be attentive to what you can learn

Spend less time talking, and more time listening. Use your mind like a sponge, by staying observant and patient, and absorb all the knowledge that you can from your experiences. Keeping our attention helps us plan or preview our thoughts and actions and then monitor and control them.

The first step in learning is paying attention. First, we must pay attention to what we learn, remember, or comprehend. That way, we can grasp the true meaning of a sense of self. [Read: 14 ways on how to be a better listener in a relationship]

17. Stop living up to other people’s expectations

How many times have you looked for validation from your peers, friends, or family? Even though these people are very important, they’re not on the same journey as you and they haven’t been through the same things that you have. Don’t spend your time trying to keep them happy – do what makes you happy.

In the best-case scenario, someone else’s expectations of you are based on their own experiences, views, grief, disappointments, and moral beliefs. Even if you have the most excellent intentions, this is still the case.

This means that such expectations are not about you but rather the other person. This means that you should avoid using them as a guide for your daily activities. [Read: 14 unrealistic expectations that WILL ruin your life]

18. Do some meditation

Re-focus your mind from time to time – not all meditation involves yoga poses and crashing ocean waves. It is a way of deeply re-focusing your mind and bringing mental and emotional clarity to yourself. Try something therapeutic that focuses all of your energies, like knitting, running, or a calming activity.

A feeling of calm, tranquility, and balance may improve your mental well-being and general health by meditating regularly. It doesn’t stop after your meditation session is over.

Meditation may help you stay calmer and more in touch with your inner sense of self while you go about your day. [Read: How to be present: The guide to find your zone of calm perfection]

19. Learn to walk away

There’s no point in fighting things you can’t control, so start walking away from petty arguments, or negative attitudes that dull your fire. Pick your battles wisely, and realize that not every fight has to be won in order to achieve peace of mind and to take care of your sense of self.

Get comfortable with the ability to walk away since doing so will spare you from heartache and save you from extending something that was never intended to be continued.

There is no pain associated with finding out things that may be harmful to you; there is no risk of being tricked; there is no risk of being one of many, and there is no threat of becoming a slave of self-centered games. [Read: How to stop loving someone & read the signs it’s time to walk away]

20. Always be open to new experiences

The world is ready and waiting for you, you just need to be prepared to welcome it. Allow yourself to be open to growth, change, and personal progress if you truly want to become more certain of who you are or determine your sense of self.

Learning new things not only helps us to overcome our fears, but it also enables us to broaden our horizons and gain new knowledge—both about the new object surface and about ourselves.

Then there’s the mad dash to get there. There’s nothing quite like the pleasure of a unique experience—or anything quite as unforgettable as it. [Read: How to live in the moment – 20 positive ways to live in the now]

21. Live your own story

This is possibly the most important thing that people can learn in their lives so far. You are the main character in your own storyline, so stop worrying about how you fit into other people’s stories. Many parts of our lives, including social standards, may be better understood via stories.

That’s how we learn what is good and bad through our own experiences and stories. Live like you’re the star of your own show, and never allow yourself to just be a supporting character in someone else’s plot line. When the curtain eventually falls, all that matters is that you created the best story you could, so never compromise that for anything.

22. Make your own choices

What is essential to one person may not be necessary to another. You can’t have a meaningful life if you don’t make your own decisions about what you do. To feel more in control of your own life and sense of self, it is vital to take the time to think about what is important to you.

For the most part, your actions should positively impact your health and well-being. Even if you don’t have a significant other or children, you’ll need to think about their needs as well.

23. Spend time alone

You spend time with someone to get to know them, don’t you? If you want to get to know yourself better, you’ll need to spend some time on your own to do it. Taking a few days to yourself, even if it’s only for a few days, is good, even if it’s with your family or your significant other.

It’s up to you how you spend your time here. Consider taking up a new pastime or a new volunteer role or reading more books or journaling if you want to go all out in finding your sense of self. [Read: How to make the absolute most out of your alone time]

24. Focus on what you can change

It’s easy to focus on the things you have no control over, but doing so won’t get you anywhere. Instead of focusing on the stuff out of your control, attempt to find what you can do about them and see what you can accomplish.

Find out more about dealing with situations over which you have no control. [Read: How to control your emotions and become the pinnacle of restraint]

25. Celebrate the small stuff

You were awake and ready to leave on time this morning. Your eggs were perfectly poached, thanks to your efforts. That’s a win for you! Celebrating little successes is a terrific approach to boost your self-esteem and begin to feel more positive about yourself.

26. Do what makes you happy

People who engage in exciting activities are more likely to have a good perspective on life. Make an effort to plan in some “me” time every day. Make time for whatever it is that makes you happy, whether it is reading, cooking, or just relaxing on the sofa for a few hours.

[Read: How to love yourself – 15 ways to discover self-love and happiness]

So, how important to you is finding your sense of self in life?

The ability to make judgments and manage life with more ease is enhanced when we have a strong sense of self. When we have emotionally healthy friends and partners in our life, we can open up and healthily share ourselves with them.

Strengthening your sense of self can be a long journey, but with time, it gets easier. One day, you’ll wake up and be so confident in your abilities that you’ll never want to be like anybody else again. Our individuality is lovely, and we should celebrate and enjoy the journey.

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Rebecca Kremer LovePanky
Becki Kremer
Becki is from the big city of London, but is a small island girl at heart. She is of mixed-race heritage, and has wanderlust flowing through her veins. She work...
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