"I need to find myself," is the type of thing that people say right before they announce a break from dating, decide to go on a silent meditation retreat, or quit their job. It's a pretty vague phrase, but it's also dramatic, so it often gets the point across that you need a change in some capacity. But what does "finding yourself" really mean? And how do you know when you've found it?
"When people say 'finding themselves,' what they really mean is finding meaning in life," says Jenny Yip, PsyD, board-certified clinical psychologist and clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Finding meaning in your life is really just a matter of creating specific, tangible goals, and identifying values, she says. And there are many ways to do this, no drama required.