Self-knowledge is a lifelong process. That’s why it’s important to learn to enjoy it. And once you realize who you are and where you are going, you need to keep rethinking and improving your knowledge of yourself and the world. In this article, we will look at several ways of self-knowledge, describe their merits, and show you how to apply them.
Self-knowledge is a person’s study of his or her mental and physical attributes, making sense of the self. It is formed gradually as you get to know the world around you and your own personality. It is a very slow, but at the same time a fascinating process. At some stage a person may realize that he has made a mistake about himself and rethink, clarify his values and goals. This is also part of the work and it is worth treating with understanding.
Why Do You Need To Know Yourself In The First Place?
If to answer briefly, self-knowledge allows a person to find happiness and peace of mind. It’s sad when a person has been doing something for decades and then realizes that he wasted his time and that he was actually interested in completely different things. For example, you work in confectionery, but you always wanted to own your own business, like a paper writing service. But if these regrets are not uttered on one’s deathbed, then there is time to make things right.
To answer in more detail, it gives one the capacity for self-improvement, personal growth, and self-actualization. A person who is at arm’s length from understanding himself feels the fullness of life and realizes its meaning. We say arm’s length because, as mentioned in the first paragraph, this process lasts a lifetime. And there is no problem with that. We can be in perpetual search and still feel the world as it is, enjoying every moment of our lives.
And in the end, when you understand who you really are, there are no deep and painful conflicts within you. Domestic conflicts will arise every day, but you will cope with them because you have resolved the main ones. You will perform actions only because you know clearly – they are fully within your value system and self-understanding. You will not take meaningless actions or be in unconscious states where a variety of situations lead you, rather than you directing your own life.
The prospect is tempting, and everyone understands that they need to strive for it. He feels he needs it. Let’s look at effective ways of self-knowledge and learn how to use them.
Ways To Know Yourself
Before we start sorting out the tools, it’s worth mentioning that by applying them, you may learn some unpleasant things about yourself. So tune in beforehand to assess yourself objectively. If it helps, imagine that you are evaluating a complete stranger, to exclude heightened emotionality and self-injury.
This is the first step toward self-knowledge. As already mentioned, you have to assess yourself completely objectively. You observe yourself, your behavior, and your reactions to external stimuli. Self-observation involves constantly increasing your level of awareness.
There are several ways to do this. For example, you can hang stickers above your desk (or wherever you spend most of your time) with these questions:
– What am I doing right now and why?
– What am I thinking about right now?
– What am I feeling right now? What can you call this feeling or sensation?
– What makes me feel alive and present?
– In what moments am I being hypocritical?
You should focus on five points: feelings, sensations, thoughts, images, and actions. Remember that you should not judge yourself, you are only getting to know yourself. You need to see the real picture, not the one you want to see. If you often feel insecure, admit it. Remember that it prevents you from reaching an understanding of yourself and your goals.
You can write down everything you are doing now or have been doing today. If possible, you need to keep such records at least once every 2-3 hours. After a while, you will realize that you are monitoring your emotions and actions and have stopped reacting on autopilot. This is a sign that the first step is successful. Nevertheless, it is worth going back to again and again, as you will change over time or gain a deeper understanding of your motives and values.
Now you are ready to analyze your observations. In this way, you begin to reflect more on your behavior and reactions. You see the consequences of actions and try to determine their causes. This stage is very important and psychologically challenging. You may realize that the roots of more than half of your reactions come from childhood, as well as from your subconscious mind.
And you are faced with a serious choice – to deal with it yourself or to go to a specialist. If you feel you can handle yourself, start taking notes.
Concentrate on the negative emotions and thoughts that arise in you day after day. These can be resentments, the desire to criticize others and the rejection of it by people, increased irritability, anger, and apathy. If you, for example, have dealt with your resentments, it will greatly change both your understanding of yourself and your life. Surely there have been times when you weren’t offended by anyone and you were in a great mood, and other days it was the opposite. Did you want to know why? You do realize how much better you will feel and understand if you learn not to be offended by the words and actions of others.
Most of us just do not have enough experience and knowledge to properly assess our personality. That is why we recommend that you read more books on the subject. In addition to giving you a structure for evaluating your personality, they can often provide you with a list of questions whose answers will help you get to know yourself better. By the way, if you don’t have enough inspiration, you can always turn to a site that specializes on the inspiration edit.
People love comparisons by nature. Both comparing yourself to others and categories (“best” to “worst”). But it can both hinder you from getting to know you and it can help you.
Comparing yourself to others is not unequivocally evil. If it makes you feel broken, worthless, and envious, then yes, you need to change your approaches. If comparing yourself to other people inspires you and makes you even better, then you are doing the right thing. As has been said, self-knowledge helps to determine what you are really like. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to develop and get better at it. The biography of a successful person can help you understand and perhaps even identify hidden talents and resources in yourself that you didn’t know you had.
Comparisons in categories, on the other hand, are likely to lead to bad consequences. Calling one person lazy and another hardworking, worsen communication and criticism, which can result in internal conflicts. After all, by such standards, you too are lazy if you wake up in the morning and don’t want to get to work. This leads to unnecessary stress and the development of complexes.
So we can give you two pieces of advice. First: comparing yourself with other people is a good thing, if you do it the right way, inspired by other people’s actions. Second: since comparing categories is sometimes unavoidable, use all points of view, or at least do not judge yourself or others. If someone you know can’t get down to work, it doesn’t mean he’s lazy. Nor does it in your case.
At this point, you accept yourself for who you are. That doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with it, because self-development is necessary for anyone. But now you know where to start. You understand what your weaknesses and strengths, aspirations and motivation, values and goals are. It is also important to look for the advantages of your shortcomings because this allows you to reduce the pain in their perception.
At this stage, you can’t do without introspection, because you can be wrong about yourself, and you’re constantly changing. So do not be satisfied with the picture that you have. Develop, change, but constantly observe yourself and try to understand yourself and the changes that are taking place inside of you.
In conclusion, I would like to advise you to study psychology, particularly such sections as social psychology and personality psychology.