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  • Paula Thompson
    Paula Thompson

    How Do I Find Myself When I Don't Know Who I Am?

    Dear eNotAlone: I'm 15 and I don't know what to do with my life. And before you say anything, I'm sure something will come up eventually because that's generally how life works, but until then I'm really just lost. I have absolutely no idea who I am, what I want, and where I want to go. I'm completely confused about all of this, and it's making me miserable. I just feel so hopeless and I don't know what to do. 

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    The teenage years can be a time of confusion and anxiety as you try to figure out who you are and what you want to do with your life. It's normal for teens to feel overwhelmed by all these choices and the pressure to make the right ones. The good news is, there are things you can do to help make sense of it all.

    First, take a look at what you're interested in—the things you enjoy doing and learning about. Pay attention to how much of your time and energy you give to certain activities. Ask yourself questions like: Where do I get excited when I talk about something? What am I passionate about? When am I happiest? Knowing your interests can help you to get clear on what direction you would like to take in life.

    Also, it's important to spend time connecting with yourself. You could start a journal, where you can explore your thoughts and feelings in a safe, private space. Taking the time to explore your inner world and listen to what your heart is telling you can help you to gain clarity on who you are and what matters most to you.

    Another suggestion is to talk to people you trust—your parents, family members, teachers, or counselors. Someone who knows you well might be able to offer some insights into your strengths and talents that you weren't aware of. They can also help you brainstorm ideas for different paths in life you could follow.

    Don't give up! Even when you feel down and overwhelmed, know that things will gradually become clearer. Who you are and what you want from life doesn't need to be figured out today. Instead of focusing on the destination, enjoy the journey of becoming more self-aware and taking steps toward exploring new paths. As you walk forward in life, new possibilities may cross your path.

    No matter how lost and helpless you feel, remember that with a little patience, courage, and determination, you will eventually find your way. Life is full of uncertainties and changes, but it's also full of potential. With enough practice and exploration, you will soon start to see which pieces of the puzzle are yours. 

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