If you’re experiencing unhappiness or lack of fulfillment in your life, there’s a good chance that, at some point, you lost sight of yourself. Maybe you met a boy who “tamed” your wild and creative soul. Maybe you went to school for something practical rather than following your whims and staying playful and spirited. Maybe you allowed yourself to give into peer pressure when you were younger in order to “fit in.”

Whatever it was, you lost yourself.

The quarter-and mid-life crisis happens because we choose to walk down a different path than the one that’s true to ourselves. We get practical jobs, buy homes and cars, have children… “live the dream.”

And then one day we realize that we’re living a life completely out of line with our truth and we freak out. We think something along the lines of, “Whoa, this is not where I belong!”

So what happens after this moment? How do you find and keep yourself going forward?

Instead of looking at what’s missing, wrong or “lost” about you and your life… discover more of what’s already there.

Fact: You never really lost yourself.

It’s true… you didn’t lose anything, you just tucked it away. Deep down inside yourself and covered it up with layers of what’s expected and what’s acceptable. With the things you thought you should do. What made sense was practical.

“Finding yourself” is more about removing all the layers of crap and less about trying to figure out what you’ve lost. It’s about stepping fully and completely into your truth, living your purpose and doing what lights you up.

How to excavate your truth:

1. Be inquisitive with yourself.

If something is so clearly wrong in your life, explore the why behind it, like a child. Why? Why? Why? Why is this not right for me? Why does this not feel like me? Why do I want something different? Why did I choose this in the first place and how was that not true to who I really am?

When you explore what’s not working and why, you begin to uncover what really matters and what you really want.

2. Listen to your tiny urges.

What’s been nagging at your heart lately? Do you feel a pull to dye your hair a crazy color or totally change things up? Maybe you want to wear four inch heels out on the town despite having been a casual home body your whole life. Do you deeply desire creating art and having your own showing, despite having worked as a banker for years?

Tiny urges are there to guide you to your truth. The fact is, your purpose may not be to paint or become an artist, but the act of painting may allow your mind to shut off long enough for you to hear your truth. Getting out on the town in your high heels may give you back the energy and zest for life necessary to uncovering your purpose and making it happen.

Pick a tiny urge, get to work following it. You never know where it will lead!

3. Stop doing/seeing/being the things you know are wrong.

Just stop. Don’t spend another minute with the guy that’s not right for you. Don’t go to one more party with the “friends” you know you don’t fit in with. Stop wearing what you think you should. Stop saying what everyone wants to hear.

Stop being someone you know you’re not. @StephenieZ (Click to Tweet!)

Stopping allows space for starting to do the things you really want to do. It allows the new great friends to show up in your life. The right guy to bump into you at the store. The room for you to speak your mind and become the person you already are, deep down.

Take Action Now

Tell me one way you’ve been untrue to yourself in the past or present. What steps will you take to discover more of your truth? To allow yourself to be you, all of the time?

Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com, a full-service life purpose development, design, and branding boutique, and author of Awesome Life Tips. Through her Mastery Program, she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help men and women build passion-based lives and businesses they love. Click here to access her free Foundations for Unshakable Joy™ video training series and learn the unexpected trick to transforming your life with one single question! Connect with Stephenie on Facebook and Twitter!

Image courtesy of Kris Krug via Compfight cc