Have you ever felt like there must be more to life, and wondered how to find what’s missing? Do you want your life to be full of purpose and meaning but don’t know how to get there?

 

Try these 4 steps to self-discovery:

 

Tired of the tension.

Time out. Take a minute to reflect and become aware of what’s going on inside. Living a compartmentalized or fragmented life is totally draining. The effort to change like a chameleon to meet the tastes of others, or to avert judgment or criticism can be paralyzing. Underneath it all is usually a fear of what others would think if they knew the real me. This is not the fullness of life we desire.

Name the masks.

Be honest with yourself and ask: “What masks am I wearing? When do I present a false image of myself? In what ways do I cover up my true self or try to deceive myself, acting inauthentically? Where does my real identity rest? Do I find my value in what I do, in how I look, in the car I drive, in what others think of me? Do these often unrealistic or superficial standards bring me down and weigh on my heart?”

 

Allow His love to heal you.

Restart with a clean slate. Jesus is waiting to lift your burdens in the Sacrament of Confession and set you free. Be bold – find a quiet spot and ask Jesus to help you see yourself as He sees you. Allow Him to love you in those places where you feel you have to hide yourself from others, receive the healing warmth of His mercy. Allow His perfect love to cast out all of your fears. Pray for the grace to receive the gift of yourself, to know and to believe, with all your heart, that you are His beloved son or daughter.

 

The freedom to give the gift of love to others in your unique way.

Ask yourself: “When do I feel most fully and truly alive? What brings joy and a sense of fulfillment? Where do I find freedom to be myself? Where is my love fruitful?” Sometimes, we have a hard time seeing our gifts and strengths. Ask a friend or family member to point out the ways and places that they see you thrive. Through this self-knowledge, you can find that place to give the gift that only you can give. Our lives and our love are meant to be creative, to bring others to life.

 

Originally printed in our Winter 2016 issue of Imprint.