If you are questioning who you are, don’t be afraid. Questioning your gender identity can be a very scary and perplexing situation. However, the more slowly and gradually you work through it, the easier it will become.

Many resources can act as a guide to help you through the process of finding yourself. Here are a couple of tips and things to keep in mind when questioning your identity.

Know that your feelings are valid. This may be the most cliché line you ever heard; however, the people around you will have their own opinions. Try to remember that the only opinions that should matter are your own since you’ll be the one living in your own shoes.

Do plenty of research. This is possibly the most important tip. By doing this, you can find what others have already gone through and see what mistakes to avoid. Websites like Youtube are great resources to see what others have achieved and learned while going through their own identity journeys. There are also plenty of videos that can help you explain to peers and family about the feelings and possible further steps you might take in this journey.

Test things out. Think of it like this, would someone go into a shoe store and buy shoes without seeing if they fit right? Chances are that they will try them on and walk with them to see if they are comfortable and fit appropriately. Likewise, it is just as important to make sure the names and pronouns chosen feel comfortable and fit appropriately. The best way to do this is to pick a family member or close friend that is trustworthy, and just explain to them the situation and reasoning behind it. If things end up not working out, choose a new name, pronoun, or both, and try again. There is no limit on how many times one can change or choose names or pronouns.

It is okay not to transition or to do so differently. Do not listen to anyone that says someone can be “Not trans enough” because they simply do not feel the need to medically transition. There are plenty of people who do not feel the need to transition in order to be happy. These feelings are just as valid as any other person’s feelings who are seeking hormone replacement therapy.. There are even ways for people to naturally transition safely. This can be ideal for people who like being organic, have health issues, or cannot afford medical transitioning.

Overall, these are just some things to keep in mind while going through this eventful journey. It can be quite worrisome for a long while, but patience is the key to all happiness. Most importantly, remember that if things ever get too overwhelming, take a step back, observe, and see how life can go on one day a time.