What would be an appropriate word for "A journey of self discovery and introspection" or possibly, "To discover that you are not how you conceptualized yourself"?
Self-actualization has this sense in it.
The term was originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one's full potential.
Expressing one's creativity, quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give to society are examples of self-actualization.
A detailed explanation from the book "Emotional Intelligence in Action: Training and Coaching Activities for Leaders, Managers, and Teams" by By Marcia Hughes, L. Bonita Patterson, James Bradford Terrell:
When I think of someone going through introspection, self discovery, and change the word soul-searching pops into my head. The term searching would infer a journey and soul would infer inside yourself. It is quite possible that the 100s of adults that told me I had some soul-searching to do after getting in trouble as a kid helped answer this question.
Inner Trip may describe the experience you are referring to.
Just for reference:
Inner Trip Reiyukai International (ITRI) is a progressive Non-Governmental Organization in the field of mental, physical and spiritual well being and education. The organization facilitates and implements projects in the area of value education and spiritual growth for all round growth of human personality.
Introspection is defined as:
- Observation or examination of one's own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act of looking within oneself."
I had the same question for AP Literature after reading heart of Darkness, and I think this hit the nail on the head.