Do you know yourself?
When I first paused to ask myself that question, I thought, ‘Of course, I know who I am.’ It just seemed absurd for me to think otherwise. I knew very well that I was, and still am, an introvert.
You probably feel the same way I did. After all, you’ve looked at yourself in the mirror long enough to recognize who you are.
But looking back to that day, many years ago, I realize that the question I should have asked was, How well do I actually know myself? Apparently, I didn’t know myself that well yet.
But now you’re probably wondering, ‘Why does that have to matter anyway?’
In this post, let me talk about:
- Why you should know yourself
- 5 ways to know yourself better
Let’s dive straight into the first point.
Why You Should Know Yourself
- Love yourself better
Okay, I admit that I wasn’t necessarily the best example in this area.
Way back when I was first starting out on my journey to knowing myself better, I struggled with accepting my introverted self. I couldn’t even count the number of times I tried to be more extroverted. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being an extrovert, but it definitely wasn’t who I really was. And that was a problem.
You see, knowing yourself means embracing every single thing that makes you, well, you. It means loving yourself for who you are and for who you are not. And that’s what I gradually learned to do.
Keep in mind that it is only by learning to accept yourself and honor your limits, that you could move forward with nurturing your potential and growing into a better version of yourself.
- Achieve a level of independence
I agree, this one’s tough. It’s tough being your own self around others when you’re not even sure about what you stand for. I remember all too well how I used to end up saying yes to things that I wanted so much to say no to. And that was because I couldn’t find the voice (and the courage) to advocate for my needs.
So knowing who you are as a person and fully appreciating your values — the things that matter most to you — will help you find the courage to do what you know is best for you.
Remember, you know yourself better than anyone else.
And only you can control your thoughts and entire being.
You don’t need to let other people dictate your choices. When you understand how much power you have over yourself, you gain the confidence you need to live the life you want.
- Gain clarity when making decisions
Knowing yourself means knowing exactly what decisions are best for you.
Making decisions isn’t always easy stuff. It’s more than just deciding what you want to wear for work. Or what you want to have for lunch. At specific points in our life, we need to make tough choices. Of course, it’s easy to make a decision when your heart and head agree. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
For me, that moment came when I had to choose between what I’ve been doing for many, many years, and what I really wanted to do with my life. I was torn between the two. Do I listen to my heart and transition to life coaching? Or do I just stay where I was in the corporate world at that time?
So I had to revisit my core values. I had to self-reflect on what really mattered to me so I could align my thoughts and actions with the vision I have for myself. That made the decision-making process a whole lot easier.
I’m pretty sure you’ve had to make tough choices yourself. In fact, you’re probably faced with a difficult decision at the moment.
Something that you know is going to change your life altogether.Understanding who you truly are at your core — what your values are, will help you gain the clarity you need so you can choose the better option.
Once you’re clear on who you are, you stop leaving room for doubts whatsoever that you’re doing the right thing. Because now you finally have the confidence that you have chosen the best thing for yourself
When you truly know yourself, you know exactly what you want. You know what makes you happy. You have clear goals in mind and you know how you’re going to achieve all of them.
Because let’s face it. We can’t be truly happy if we’re not even sure what makes us happy in the first place. We can’t make good decisions for our future if we can’t even see the bigger picture — our grand vision in life. And our relationships are bound to suffer if we don’t take the time to understand ourselves and our needs better.
But Siska, how do I get to know myself better? Good question.
That brings us to my next point in this post.
5 Ways to Know Yourself Better
Knowing yourself is a long journey. One that requires a lot of determination and sacrifices. Determination, because it takes that amount of grit to stand up for yourself even when others won’t do the same for you. I waited for decades before I started doing this for myself. The good news is, you won’t have to wait that long.
Here are some things that you can do now to start knowing yourself even better.
- Identify your core values
Most of the time, we fail to realize that it is our values that shape our thinking and the way we interact with the people around us. But if you stop to think about what really matters to you, you’ll understand why you behave the way you do. You’ll also find it easier to identify things that do not align with your values so you can say no to them.
- Rediscover who you truly are
Seeing that you’re reading this blog, you’re most likely an introvert like me. But other than the obvious, we all have traits that make us unique, and that’s something you’ll need to discover. When you know who you truly are, you will be better able to anticipate how to respond when faced with different situations in life.
Need help rediscovering your identity and your values? Download my 5-day journal here and let’s help you get started!
- Decide how you want your future to be like
Other people can try and tell you what to do in life, but it’s really up to you to decide for your future. So try to picture who you want to be in the next 5 to 10 years.
What are the things that you want to achieve?
What kind of life do you want to live?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you make the right choices in life.
- Determine your strengths (and honor your weaknesses)
We all have our unique gifts and talents. But with our strengths also come our weaknesses, and the latter part may be a hard pill to swallow.
Still, it is important that you recognize both,as these are what make you who you are. You can even try listing all of these down so you can have a better, more objective picture of yourself as an individual.
Knowing your strengths helps you identify where you should focus your energy. It’s also a good way to boost your self-esteem and helps you put things in perspective.
And by understanding your weaknesses, you learn to recognize your limits as well. You learn to say No to what you know is beyond your capabilities, which means less stress for you as well!
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- Focus on the things that spark joy in you
You and I are defined by our individual interests — the things that bring us happiness. As introverts, we tend to think more about other people than we think of ourselves. We’re always looking for ways to make others happy. But when was the last time you actually thought about what would make you happy?
If you can’t remember when you’ve last thought about yourself, now would be a good time to start focusing on the things that will help you grow as a person. Focus on what you know will make you feel whole and satisfied with life.
Knowing yourself is not something that you can do overnight. It takes time and a lot of effort. But believe me, the journey is well worth the sacrifice!
Need help rediscovering who you truly are so you could finally start living the life you want for yourself? Book a FREE clarity call with me today and let’s talk about how I can help!