In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve been writing a lot about self-love here on Lovely & Lazy. I firmly believe that the first step to loving yourself is knowing yourself deeply. But how do you do that?
So often, we’re blind to ourselves — our faults, yes, but most of all, our talents. We refuse to recognize our own strengths, whether in modesty or low self-esteem. But it’s knowing yourself, and knowing yourself deeply, that allows you to love the person you truly are!
That includes the good, the bad and the ugly of who you are. Knowing yourself deeply is so much more than knowing your favorite color or which Gilmore Girl you are. It’s understanding why you do the things you do, what your greatest hopes and dreams are and, most importantly, what your purpose is for being in this world.
If you’ve struggled with depression, like I have, you may not believe that you have strengths or that you’re meant to be on this planet for a reason. But believe it or not, learning more about yourself can also be a powerful tool for overcoming depression.
Understanding who you are, the good and the bad, can help you improve your self-esteem and make peace with your prior mistakes. The result? A happier, healthier you. Here’s how to start.
Read to the end of this post to discover how you can get to know yourself deeply. If you stick around, you’ll also get my free printable journal prompts to help you get to know yourself better!
No, I’m not talking about the aforementioned Buzzfeed quizzes that will tell you which Hogwarts house you belong in (though knowing this is obviously critical to knowing who you are!). I’m talking about personality inventories backed in psychology — tests like the Big Four and the Enneagram.
Below, I’ve included a list of some of the best personality tests for uncovering your strengths and weaknesses, as well as links for where you can take them yourself:
- Enneagram Test. Your enneagram is best described as one of nine personality types, calculated based on how you describe yourself and your behavior.
- Myers-Briggs Test. The Myers-Briggs Test breaks personalities down into four traits with two options per trait, and is calculated based on self-description of yourself and your behavior.
- Big Five Personality Test. The Big Five test rates to what percentage you express five key traits identified in psychology.
To get the most out of these quizzes, make sure you take the time to read the descriptions of your type offered to you at the end of each test. You never know what might resonate with you or what you might uncover about yourself!
Keeping a journal is my favorite way to stay in touch with what I’m thinking and feeling. I try to write in my journal every day to purge myself of negative emotions and get to the bottom of how I feel about my life.
Starting a journal can be intimidating if it isn’t something you’ve tried before. Answering daily prompts is one easy way to get started when you don’t know what to write about! Below, I’ve listed a few sample prompts to get you started with journaling.
- What do I love to do?
- What am I afraid of?
- What do I need right now?
- What is my favorite thing about myself?
- Who do I admire the most?
- What are my goals for this month?
Want more journal prompts to help you get to know yourself even better? Scroll to the bottom of this post and you’ll also receive my free printable journal prompts with even more questions to provoke self-discovery!
Last but not least, one of the best ways to understand who you are as a person is to understand what you value. You can learn more about what you value by completing a values questionnaire. These are often performed in therapy to help patients’ clarify their values so that they can start to act in ways that align with what they really value in life.
Some values you might or might not want to live by include:
So, how can you figure out what you really value? Click here to print out a Values Clarification worksheet from TherapistAid and rank your top ten values. Once you learn to act in ways that support your values, you’ll find yourself happier and more fulfilled with the life you’re currently leading.
How to Get Your Free Journal Prompts
Alright, alright — I know this is why you’re all actually here, so I won’t delay you any longer: