10 Signs You’re a Free Spirit (& How to Be One)

I can admit that I don’t often think of myself as a free spirit. I’m someone who loves structure. Panic attacks often ensue when things don’t go accordingly to my carefully coordinated plans. I’m a Capricorn through and through. It’s not my fault that the universe has dictated my love of rules and order.

All that said, I’d like to be a free spirit. I’d also like to believe that a true free spirit isn’t someone who is constantly fleeting, untethered, and unbothered – but rather someone who at their core is free from shame, pursues passions unrelentingly, and emits self assurance even when they themselves aren’t always sure.

To be quite honest – I’d like to think I’m a free spirit. If you know me in the real world, you’re probably laughing. Because I’m admittedly pretty uptight.

But what about my spirit? The thing that pushes me to try new hobbies and things always. The thing that tells me right from wrong. The thing that’s allowed me to move cities, meet new people, and forge new connections. What does being a free spirit actually mean?

Whether you’re wholesomely free spirited now – or looking for a little inspiration on how to get there – this is a topic we can all dive into.

Whether you're a free spirit now - or wish you were one - this list will help you feel just a little more free.

10 signs you’re a free spirit.

You lead more than you follow.

Free spirits are far more often leaders than they are followers. Free spirits are confident in themselves and their ideas – and often ruthlessly passionate about what they believe. That conviction often makes them amazing leaders, infecting others with their passions. People want to follow a free spirit.

Because being free spirited doesn’t mean you aren’t dependable or don’t have a plan. It just means you trust yourself enough to lead others as well.

Being a leader does not mean that free spirits talk more than they speak. Free spirited people recognize the value in listening. Free spirits also recognize the value each individual person brings to the table – it’s individuality that makes one a free spirit, after all!

You hear your own voice loud enough to cut through the noise.

Free spirits know their own truth and their own voice. A true free spirit knows their own beliefs, preferences, and truth so well that it doesn’t matter how loud the person next to them is.

It’s so incredibly easy in today’s age to lose sight of the things you love and believe in. We’re in a world run by social media. The streets are packed with protests. It’s no wonder that it’s hard to know what YOU like and YOU believe when everyone else in the world is so incredibly loud and opinionated.

A free spirit knows their true self and is able to stick to their own guns regardless of all the noise. This doesn’t mean free spirits can’t change their opinions or can’t partake in a healthy debate. Free spirits aren’t stubbornly attached to their beliefs – they’re open to change. But a free spirit IS confident enough in themselves to be willing to BE themselves despite the noise surrounding them.

You love hard.

When free spirits love, they love hard. Free spirits aren’t afraid of being tied down by relationships, but rather thrive in healthy relationships by being free enough of a spirit to give some of themselves to someone else.

Free spirits aren’t inherently single or locked down – they just give love openly and, cough cough, freely.

You know life is short.

Free spirits know that life is short and time is finite. There’s simply not enough time to be anything other than happy, persistent, and thriving. Honestly, once you come to terms with the fact that you can’t live forever – it really frees you up to have a whole lot less shame, try a whole lot more things, and be whatever “free” looks like to you.

You dabble in a lot of different things.

Again, free spirits know that life moves real quick! This means free spirited people love to dabble in new hobbies, try new restaurants, meet new people, and just generally soak up all that life has to offer – because they know we don’t live forever.

I’ve always been a little embarrassed by the somewhat insane amount of hobbies I have. As I’ve gotten older, and let myself be a little more free, I’ve actually come to view this trait of mine as wildly lovable. It feels freeing to channel my inner child and read loads of books, paint, draw, or do whatever any other activities come to mind.

You recognize that hurt people hurt people.

Free spirits feel plenty of pain. Being happy or free doesn’t mean you’re immune to the hard times. But free spirited people also have the wisdom to understand that, for the most part, when someone lashes out, gossips, or hurt you – it’s not really about you. Hurt people hurt people. This knowledge allows free spirits to let go of the things (and sometimes people) that hurt most and move on when need be.

Change doesn’t scare you.

I’d like to believe free spirits aren’t people who don’t have plans – they’re just open to them changing. Feeling frustrated by chance doesn’t mean you aren’t a free spirit. It means you’re human. Free spirits don’t have to love all the changes that come their way – but they need to not resist it.

You have faith.

Sometimes in life, doors close that I wish didn’t. There are jobs I didn’t get. Relationships that didn’t work out. Friendships that fell through. At the crossroads of each and every one of these moments I’ve let myself feel whatever it was I needed to feel: sadness, anger, frustration. But when the day is done, I say out lout to myself that whatever didn’t work out wasn’t meant to be. For me, this isn’t religion. It’s just plain old faith.

Being free doesn’t mean you have no feelings or fear. It means you have faith.

You love yourself just the way you are.

Free spirits are the ultimate practitioners of self love. Not to say that those of the free spirited variety don’t have their flaws, and know about them.

It’s the loving yourself anyway piece.

We’ve all got stuff about ourselves we wish we could change. I’m the first to admit I’m not always super body positive about my own body. I wish I was less anxious or wish I could let loose. But at the end of the day, I think it’s about learning to love yourself despite all the things you sometimes wish weren’t there. Because if they weren’t – would you even still be you?

A few resources to help you learn how to be a free spirit (or give yourself the space to practice).

Books to read.

Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Book club pick for Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf • “A deeply spiritual book [that] honors what is tough, smart and untamed in women.”—The Washington Post Book World

Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species. For though the gifts of wildish nature belong to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls.

In Women Who Run with the Wolves, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés unfolds rich intercultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, many from her own traditions, in order to help women reconnect with the fierce, healthy, visionary attributes of this instinctual nature. Through the stories and commentaries in this remarkable book, we retrieve, examine, love, and understand the Wild Woman, and hold her against our deep psyches as one who is both magic and medicine.

Dr. Estés has created a new lexicon for describing the female psyche. Fertile and life-giving, it is a psychology of women in the truest sense, a knowing of the soul.

Free spirit quotes to keep you inspired.

“Wild woman are an unexplainable spark of life. They ooze freedom and seek awareness, they belong to nobody but themselves yet give a piece of who they are to everyone they meet.
If you have met one, hold on to her, she’ll allow you into her chaos but she’ll also show you her magic.”

Nikki Rowe

“I never said it was easy to find your place in this world, but I’m coming to the conclusion that if you seek to please others, you will forever be changing because you will never be yourself, only fragments of someone you could be. You need to belong to yourself, and let others belong to themselves too. You need to be free and detached from things and your surroundings. You need to build your home in your own simple existence, not in friends, lovers, your career or material belongings, because these are things you will lose one day. That’s the natural order of this world. This is called the practice of detachment.”

Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps

“Dance with the waves, move with the sea. Let the rhythm of the water, set your soul free.”

Christy Ann Martine

“We were willing to explore and be surprised. Willing to trust that there was beauty out there and love and joy. Ready to have our hearts touched and our souls hugged.”

Meara O’Hara, The Wanderess and her Suitcase

“This is the day I give birth to my liberation.”

Helen Edwards, Nothing Sexier Than Freedom

“Who’s got the right to tell you what YOU ARE when everyone is still trying to figure his or her own life out?”

Helen Edwards, Nothing Sexier Than Freedom

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