The Importance of Developing A ‘Sense of Self’

Would you say you have a good sense of self?

Let’s start by thinking about what it means to have a “sense of self.”

A sense of self involves your own perception of oneself, and the way in which you view your values, beliefs, and purpose in the world.

Knowing who you are, and where you stand on certain topics, issues or experiences is important in having a strong sense of self. I think our sense of self changes as life brings us through new experiences. I think our idea of “self” is something that is always growing, and evolving. It’s important to define who you are, and what makes you a unique individual in this world.

In high school I thought I knew who I was, and who I wanted to become. But now in university, after going through more of life’s experiences I have continued to develop and grow my sense of self. When I went through my first break-up I battled with it a lot because I did not have that sense of self developed. I was so used to being in a relationship that I didn’t know who “Olivia” was. I needed to discover the essence of me! Even though post-breakup I felt alone, I also felt full. I felt like there was an entire part of me that needed to be discovered. This situation opened up many doors for me. Graduate school, self-improvement, trips – an entire “new life.”

One of the biggest pieces of advice I want to give to young girls is to make sure they know their sense of self, or be with someone who helps you figure out your sense of self. That cliche line “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else” is actually completely true. I’ve found that the relationships I’ve had beyond my time of personal  growth have been more genuine and real because I know who I am and what I am looking for. I know that all of the women who have come before me, and who are “wise beyond my years” can agree with this statement.

I’d also say that knowing what you want in life, short-term and long-term, is another aspect of having a sense of self. This goes along with goal setting in life. Think about it. I’m sure women in particular have an understanding of themselves as a women, themselves as a daughter, and themselves as a mother. That’s three selves in one! That’s how complex “our sense of self” can be. It’s multi-dimentional.

Your sense of self isn’t perfect, and I don’t think it ever will be. But it’s about taking the moments in life that help you figure it out.

Ask yourself these questions: 

  • What did I learn about myself today? In the past month? 6 months? Year? Decade
  • How has my sense of self changed overtime?
  • Who am I right now? What’s something that is part of the core part of who I am?
  • How do I want to experience self-growth and/or self-improvement?
  • What values, beliefs, and opinions do I stand for?maranatha-pizarras-342561

Having a sense of self is important in being happy each day. Optimum happiness helps you truly live your life the the fullest everyday!


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