How to Figure Out Who You’re Supposed to Be

Every day, I feel like I get a little closer to figuring out who exactly I am. But the funny, and true, thing is that we are who we are! Already. It’s just a matter of figuring that out and peeling back those layers. Not being afraid to take chances, following your gut, and listening to your heart!
Love Maxie’s exercise today:
How to Figure Out Who You’re Supposed to Be
Guest post by Maxie McCoy

Yesterday in the midst of a winter wonderland, I asked a small group of people, “Do you know who you want to be?” I got mixed reactions. One smiled, a grin that only a person with total knowing can manage. I got a few stares at the ceiling. And of course, mostly responses of, “Thanks for bringing up the same question I ask myself daily.”
Here’s a little secret I’ll share from one too many years of asking this question: every person, at every stage of their life, wonders who they’re supposed to be – meaning, what will bring them joy. what type of person they want to show up in life as. who they need to be to create more happiness. what their reason for being is. We’re all asking. 
It doesn’t matter if you’re just trying to get through your final high school year or already kicking butt in the professional world, no matter where you are in your own life, figuring out who you’re supposed to be is a journey. In my experience, there are three “buckets” of experience that  when worked triangulate a life that will bring you the most joy – Contribution, Personality, and Values.
So, whether you’re snowed in from the east coast blizzard, or feeling like you’re snowed in from everyone’s social media posts… Here’s a few keys to help you figure out each bucket:
What does it mean to be radiantly you? 
Confidence is something every person is working on. However, when you know the qualities about yourself that make you feel the most alive and the most you, you’ll be majorly on to something. Take some time to think about when you’re the most confident and expressed version of yourself, who are you being? Maybe it crazy funny. Maybe it’s totally inspiring. Perhaps it is utter kindness. These values that make you feel radiantly you, are like a roadmap to being whoever it is you really want to be. Because when they are on display more times than not, you’ll feel the most yourself. And confidence in the form of unapologetic self expression is a compass for figuring out our reason for being.
What work aligns your talents and interests?
By work I mean: your job. or your volunteering. or you college major. Any of your contribution back to society. If you don’t know what you’re talented at or you don’t know what interests you in life, you’ll never get to a place of fulfillment. Becoming president of your sorority or head of yearbook or landing the big internship – none of it will matter unless your talents are being used and your interests are being satisfied. Bringing those together will lead to feeling like “you’re in your lane” and ultimately to contribution that means something both to you and to the people that you’re working with. Not sure what you’re talented in? Try one of my favorite books, Now Discover Your Strengths. And if you haven’t figured out what interests you yet… it’s allllllll about trial and error!
What gives you the most energy?
You know those people that you leave a coffee date with and feel like you’re little skipping down the street upon leaving? Those are your energizers. (Carly is one of mine!) You know the hobbies you fit into your crazy packed day that you can’t wait to do? Energizers. The relationships, the fun, the hobbies, the travel…whatever it is that lights you up with a little fire every time…that’s what gives you the most energy. I’m not talking about seven cups of coffee energy. I’m talking, “I actually feel like I could do anything right now” energy. It’s total inspiration. Knowing who those people, activities and hobbies are that both light you up and feel like such fun…they’re the ones to focus on. They’re the ones that lead you to a life you’re pumped about living. 
These are the buckets. These are the questions to be asking yourself. And if you’re wondering how to find the answer, grab a pen and paper and start free flowing thoughts to any question I posed in this post. Knowledge is always the first step. 
If you remember nothing else remember this: if you’re searching for who you’re supposed to be, don’t judge yourself. Just because people “seem” like they have it all figured out…they probably don’t. And even the ones that really do are trying to understand how they align their life closer and closer to the answer. It’s a process that never ends.

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Jessica Dempsey

I just turned 30, and needed to read this today. I need to print it out and post it somewhere for a daily reminder to work towards getting out of the corporate job, and do my side gig full-time. So happy for you that you were able to do that! Major inspiration!

– fellow former Hopkintonian 🙂


"Every day, I feel like I get a little closer to figuring out who exactly I am." Wow. Carly, I have been trying to describe how I feel about becoming myself for about a year now, and you just put it into words! I feel the EXACT EXACT EXACT same way. This should be like a famous quote by Carly A. Heitlinger!!! 🙂