The Journey to Self-Discovery: Why It Matters for Midlife Women and Mums

midlife woman or mum looking at a map self discovery

How does Self Discovery help yourself?

According to research around 60% of women report feeling disconnected from their true selves

Sound familiar to you?

I have heard women (including myself in the past) share how they don´t know who they really are anymore.   

Feeling lost. 

Feeling like something is missing. 

We have been so caught up with our kids, careers, family………….. life, that we have lost sight of ourselves. 

This is particularly the case during midlife where so many things can rise up to the surface as we start to reasssess our lives, our priorities, our legacy. I have learn so much about midlife women´s fears, hopes, concerns – for more on this please read this post.

In order to start to connect with our true selves, our true nature and who and what we are and want, we need to embark on this journey of self discovery. It is not about throwing out everything in our lives or denying or all that we are and have done.   That is kind of what a midlife crisis is all about. 

Self discovery is far more gentle and empowering, it is about opening up to each day with a perspective of curiosity, awareness and without judgment.

By taking this path we get to know who we are and what we want to create a life that we love and get excited about (without neglecting our kids, careers, etc, etc)

So what is self discovery all about?

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
– Aristotle

Self-discovery is a process of exploring and understanding one’s own identity, values, and beliefs.  It is essentially a lifelong process and involves introspection, reflection, and gaining insight into one’s strengths and weaknesses.

Self-discovery can lead to personal growth, improved relationships, and a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment.  It involves stepping outside of our comfort zone, taking risks, and challenging ourselves to try new things, even if it is ´just´ a new perspective.  Self-discovery can help individuals make more informed decisions about their lives.

Ultimately, self-discovery is a lifelong journey that requires an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to self-improvement. By embarking on this journey we can unveil our true selves and who we really are, free from societal condition, external expectations to be who we truly are.  Which then allows us to lead a more fulfilling and authentic life.  

Unfortunately, over 80% of women feel that they are not living up to their full potential.  Allowing ourselves to discover our true selves, unblock us and can help us reach our full potential.  This doesn´t have to be scary or overwhelming if we just meet ourselves where we are in that moment.  If we can have awareness to what we are experiencing moment to moment, day to day, that is powerful self discovery. If we then follow up with giving ourselves exactly what we need (without expecting someone else to give it to us or doing something to escape that is not nourishing us e.g. drink, drugs, overworking, etc) that is deepening our self discovery further.

red pathway in the jungle

What are the Benefits of Self-Discovery:

  1. Personal Growth: Self-discovery is the catalyst for personal growth and self-improvement. By understanding ourselves on a deeper level, we can identify areas for development, enhance our strengths, and work towards becoming the best version of ourselves.
  2. Improved Relationships: Self-discovery strengthens our relationships with others. When we understand our values, needs, and boundaries, we can communicate them more effectively, fostering healthier connections built on authenticity and mutual respect.
  3. Sense of Purpose and Fulfillment: Exploring our passions, interests, and values helps us uncover our unique purpose in life. By aligning our actions with our authentic selves, we can experience a deep sense of fulfillment and meaning.
  4. Expanded Comfort Zone: Self-discovery and having our biggest and best lives often involves stepping outside of our comfort zones. It encourages us to take risks, try new experiences, and embrace challenges, leading to personal growth, resilience, and a broader perspective on life.
  5. Lifelong Journey: Self-discovery is not a destination but a continuous journey. As we evolve, our values, beliefs, and goals may change. Embracing self-discovery as a lifelong process allows us to adapt and grow along with our ever-evolving selves.
woman dancing under spotlight

5 Practical Steps for Self-Discovery:

  1. Cultivate Self-Reflection: Create regular moments of stillness and introspection. Journalling, meditation, or simply taking quiet walks in nature can provide valuable insights and self-awareness, especially if we write it down or say it out loud to someone or even into our phones and read or listen back.
  2. Explore Your Passions: Identify activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Engage in hobbies, creative pursuits, or volunteer work that resonates with your interests and values. These experiences can provide clues to your authentic self.  If you don´t know where to start on this, how about going back to when you were a child and what you loved to do, or remembering times that you most felt alive or content and take it from there.
  3. Challenge Limiting Beliefs: Identify and question beliefs that hold you back or limit your potential.   Not sure how to do that?   
    Ask yourself questions and/or journal around your thoughts. For example, finish this sentence:   
    I would do xxxxxxxxxxx but xxxxxxxxxxx is stopping me.   
    Keep writing and exploring shining a loving spotlight on your thoughts, habits, patterns.   Once you have uncovered the beliefs (we all have them!) you have awareness of them, so you can then choose where to act from that place or to act differently and start replacing them with empowering and positive beliefs that align with your authentic self and who you most aspire to be.
  4. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone: Embrace new experiences and take calculated risks. Explore unfamiliar territories, learn new skills, and embrace opportunities for growth. These experiences can expand your comfort zone and help you discover hidden strengths.  In fact we learn so much about ourselves when we are outside our comfort zone, we just need to give ourselves lots of extra compassion when we are there to keep going.
  5. Embrace Self-Care: Prioritise self-care practices that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Develop healthy habits such as regular movement, boundaries, quality sleep, and things that nurture and nourish you, whatever they might be. Taking care of yourself creates a solid foundation for self-discovery.
the word discovery in neon lights

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.

William James

The Journey of Self-Discovery Never Ends

Embarking on the journey of self-discovery is a transformative endeavour that leads to personal growth, improved relationships, and a profound sense of fulfillment. By understanding who we are at our core, exploring our passions, challenging limiting beliefs, and stepping outside our comfort zones, we can unlock our true potential and live authentically.  It can provide us with clarity, confidence and a renewed zest for life!   Embrace self-reflection, embark on the journey of self-discovery, and unveil the incredible power within you to create a life that resonates with your authentic self.

The only journey is the one within.

Rainer Maria Rilke

As always I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, ideas, feedback, questions on anything to do with self discovery, midlife, motherhood, whatever. What do you find most challenging or has helped you? Please also connect with me if you would like to explore further on a call by emailing me (Emma) at: Please share in the comments below and also feel free to share this post if you feel it could resonate for someone else you know.

Thank you so much for reading!

Images: J. Balla Photography, Noble Mitchell

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