There comes a point in a person's life when the human soul starts to search for more, whether one is ready for it or not. Day-to-day activities become meaningless, and you feel lost and empty inside. When this happens, it is necessary to do some soul searching to rekindle the lost zest for living.
Every human being goes through an existential crisis at some point in life, and it is not something to bring you shame. It is okay to feel sick of your job, relationships, friendships, and being alive in general. However, it is not okay to give up in life. Instead, you should engage in soul searching to find your purpose and passion.
What is soul searching?
What does it mean to do soul searching? When we define soul searching, we mean examining one's conscience, especially with regard to values and motives. It is a return to the center of your being, which requires a conscious and intentional mind.
What's another word for soul searching? Introspection, self-reflection, self-contemplation, self-examination, self-questioning, self-observation, and self-scrutiny are some of the synonyms you can use.
Introspection entails an honest evaluation of your feelings and motives as a human being. It is a process that is often laden with stress and anxiety, but in reality, it has the potential of sweeping us away on a wonderful adventure.
Whenever you go on a soul searching journey, the key to a successful outcome is in your outlook. A positive frame of mind usually results in good results.
We must, therefore, be very vigilant, intentional, and aware as we explore our true selves. Negativity has no room on this journey.
What is its purpose?
When you feel disconnected from your inner self, you experience anxiety, depression, loneliness, isolation, and being chronically dissatisfied with life.
Now that you know soul searching meaning, you need to know that the main purpose of doing it is to find your life purpose, values, and passion. Another motivation for doing it is health-related.
Research from the University of Rochester Medical Center and professors from Carleton University shows that people who know their purpose in life have a 15% lower chance of death. In a nutshell, introspection helps you to
- Know how you have made decisions in the past that shape who you are today
- Understand why you feel specific things, including underlying negative emotions that you may not have noticed before
- Discover the things you may feel that you have not always had the time to address
- Discover the things you genuinely love and are passionate about as well as the things that you simply need to do
- Discover your values and establish if you are living in a way that aligns with them
How to tell if you need some introspection in life
Every human being has a higher purpose that goes beyond existing, pay bills, and dying. When we are not living that purpose, or actively pursuing it, it manifests itself as a search to find harmony and congruence.
The following are simple things that may help you to know whether or not you should soul search;
- You unplug from the matrix
- You start noticing things that you did not do before, and they bother you
- Material possessions no longer hold much significance to you
- It dawns on you just how meaningless material things are in the grand scheme of things. You lose interest in money and material possessions as a source of success, validation, and purpose.
- You cannot tolerate negativity, hate, and gossip
- You find that you are no longer interested in negative conversations or hang around certain people and shift your focus to more meaningful things.
- You start to question everything and yearn for meaning and purpose
- You no longer want to be part of meaningless tasks, activities, relationships, and situations
- You desire freedom from addictions and toxicity
- You cut people off and out
- You feel like some people are no longer on your vibe, so you slowly cut them off your social circles
- You feel lost, out of place and restless
- The feeling of being lost and the increasing self-awareness makes you desire for more in life
How do you do serious soul searching?
Many people want to know how to soul search. Whether you are doing soul searching in a relationship or not, there are simple steps that you can follow to do it properly.
1. Look within yourself
Are you wondering how to do soul searching? The first step is examining your immediate situation.
To get to the heart of your life and have a more connected experience with yourself, you should view your life through a different lens than the one that you are currently using.
Most people are not aligned with their inner selves because they have intense internal conflicts. Sit by yourself and ask, "Do I like what I see or hear within me?"
Spend some time alone to recognize what you're missing and what your heart's desires are. Solitude is your greatest friend during introspection. Think about yourself when you are alone.
To get to know your inner self and have a better and more meaningful connection with yourself, you need to have time with yourself. You have to be intentional about creating "me-time."
2. Look into the nature of your ego
The human ego appears to have form, but it changes constantly. This is why we put on different roles with different people.
Usually, your ego can hinder growth of any kind because it is always trying to protect itself. It can be the biggest block to tasting and embodying who you really are.
You can explore your ego via meditation, writing a journal, and self-inquiry. A soul searching book can also assist you with this.
3. Work on reconnecting with your child self
Your inner child carries the original qualities of your soul, so you should reconnect with them. To do this, you can write a letter addressed to your inner child.
You can also do a child visualization or something that you enjoyed in your younger years. These activities should be done with caution so that you can make observations about your inner child.
Reflect on how you are living today versus back then and learn the qualities from your past that you should integrate into your present-day life.
4. Connect with nature and the wildness within you
Nature is both healing and rejuvenating for every human. Many times, we think of nature as separate from who we are, but the truth is that we are inseparable.
We must realize that the center of our being is free and that we all need to get in touch with nature for us to grow. By connecting with nature, we re-discover ourselves.
To do this, spend some time in the outdoors observing the clouds, trees, animals, and even the sun's rays. You can visit natural reserves or go for picnics as well. If you live in the city, visit your local park.
Simple things such as observing an animal can teach you something new about your character.
5. Ask yourself some soul searching questions
Questions offer a direct way of finding your personal truth. It takes a considerable amount of time to do introspection and to find out your true passions in life.
To make it easier, you can use the following questions to unearth your needs, wants, desires and goals:
- Who am I?
- What is the meaning of life?
- What is the one thing I have always wanted to do?
- If I could spend the entire doing what I truly desire, what would it be?
- How do I feel when I put all my effort into achieving one of my goals?
- How do I feel whenever I achieve a goal?
- Where do I really want to live, in which location and type of residence?
- What places would I like to visit?
- What is something that I talk about doing but never do?
- What are the reasons I do not chase after my dreams?
- What are the things that I would like to get rid of in my life?
- Who are the people who inspire my life, and why? List them and purpose to spend more time with them.
- If I were to make just one major change in my life right this minute to make it better, what would it be?
- What do I feel is missing from my life?
- Who are my biggest supporters and cheerleaders and do I support them as well?
6. Find your soul place
This refers to a physical location that speaks to your inner self. The place gives you a nostalgic longing, a sense of deep resonance.
It does not necessarily have to be a dream location. It can be a mundane place that gives you deep peace. Spending time in this place allows you room to reflect and grow as an individual.
7. Take part in one spiritual practice and evaluate your values
The spiritual practice you choose does not have to be a religious practice. Practices such as meditation change the brain, nervous system, and mood.
Do this for one hour or so a day, and your life will be more purpose-driven. You must also remember that your values shape who you are and how you do things.
Are your values in line with your spirituality, and perhaps, religion? Spend some time listing your values and evaluating how they influence the person you are today.
8. Identify your source of energy
Different people gather their energy from different places. For some, peace comes from solitude, while others get energy from the people around them.
Knowing your source of energy is instrumental in connecting with your inner self and feeling whole again.
9. Evaluate the people who surround you
Are the people in your circle positive, encouraging, and kind? The people you surround yourself with influence who you become in life.
You are unlikely to find the true meaning and purpose of your life if you interact with toxic, malicious, and selfish people day in and out.
You must be aware that cutting people out of your circles, especially those you have been close to for an extended period, is a daunting task. However, if you find out that they impede your growth, you have to let them go.
Keeping positive and supportive people around you motivates you to become a better person each day. It also encourages you to engage in things that you are genuinely passionate about.
10. Evaluate your career
Many people are unhappy in their current places of work. If you are not satisfied with your job, you will lose motivation in life.
While you need the job to pay bills and to enjoy all the other basic and luxurious amenities, you must ask yourself whether it is worth it. You may discover that a change of career is the right thing to do to get your mojo back.
Everyone needs to calibrate their career trajectory. When you align the work you want to do and the work you are meant to do, you find peace and happiness.
11. Take a break from social media
What is soul searching? It is an exercise that nourishes your soul by helping you to find meaning in your life. For this reason, distractions such as social media should be disconnected.
Be present in the here, ignore social media, log out of your apps, and turn off your notifications. The less time you spend on social media, the more you will have clarity about your own likes, needs, wants, and desires.
Besides, it will help you to make unbiased decisions about where you want to go and who you want to be. You do not necessarily have to quit social media but instead, take periodic breaks.
12. Keep learning and take a U-turn if the need arises
There is always something new to learn each day. Reading, writing, talking to people, trying new things, and even failing in something, teach you to keep pushing on until you achieve your goals.
You will not find the true meaning and purpose of life if you just lie down, waiting for some magic to happen. You have to face and overcome obstacles, have new experiences, and see yourself as someone with the power to make a lasting impact on the world.
Learning keeps you fulfilled and enriched in life. If a point comes when you are up against a wall, be humble enough to acknowledge defeat and look for an alternative route to success.
Soul searching quotes
Becoming a soul searcher is not an easy task. While soul searching definition makes it look easy, it is a challenging task, and many people have failed to do it properly.
For this reason, we have compiled ten quotes to encourage and motivate you to do it properly.
- Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure for fulfillment, for validation, security, or love – you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer. – Eckhart Tolle
- Give yourself the gift of time in coming to answers for your life... It takes time, and a lot of introspection and soul-searching, to get clear about what you really want to manifest in your life. – David Emerald Womeldorff
- You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. – Alan Alda
- And in this game of life, we all search for ourselves. When I say selves, I mean 'inner selves,' the thing that created life in the first place. Now consciously, most of us are not aware of this. But if you're searching for happiness, if you're searching for tranquility; if you're searching just to have a nice, peaceful, loving, understanding life... in actual fact, your searching for your inner self. – Sydney Banks
- To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. – Thich Nhat Hanh
- Life is like a game of chess. To win, you have to make a move. Knowing which move to make comes with IN-SIGHT and knowledge, and by learning the lessons that are accumulated along the way. We become each and every piece within the game called life! – Allan Rufus
- A person who does not understand your soul can give you only winter! And you too, you can give nothing but winter to the person whose soul you did not understand! – Mehmet Murat ildan
- But I do believe that's when you do your soul-searching. I think when you have these trials that life gives you, it is an opportunity to find out who you are. Not just who you are when everything's great, but who are you when everything is taken away from you, and you have nothing. – Ellen DeGeneres
- Mindfully practicing authenticity during our most soul-searching struggles is how we invite grace, joy, and gratitude into our lives. – Brené Brown
- I am not shy about admitting my modest talents. For example, I am happy to admit that I am better than average at clever remarks, and I also have a flair for getting people to like me. But to be perfectly fair to myself, I am ever-ready to confess my shortcomings, too, and a quick round of soul-searching forced me to admit that I had never been any good at all at breathing water. As I hung there from the seat belt, dazed and watching the water pour in and swirl around my head, this began to seem like a very large character flaw. – Jeff Lindsay
Soul searching is essential in every human being's life, especially when you feel lost and without any motivation in life. It helps in determining your purpose and passions in life. Transform your life today using the introspection steps that are explained above, and share the outcome with us.