Hard truth: A lot of folks out there believe they understand themselves. However, true self understanding, though one of the most crucial parts of growing as a human, is rare in society.
What does it mean to really understand yourself? It means to intimately know YOU, on a very deep level.
Not sure how aware you are in the “self” area? See if any of this sounds familiar:
Signs you lack self understanding
- You surprise yourself by your decisions. You might often lament to your friends, “I don’t know why I keep doing that!” or “I have no idea what came over me when I ________!”
- You feel like you’re just going through the motions of life, with no real purpose or goal.
- You work to stay busy because sitting still or taking downtime is extremely uncomfortable.
- You don’t necessarily like your friends and those in your close circle. They are a good distraction, but you often don’t even know why you hang out with them.
- You avoid conflict at all costs.
- You feel victimized often, or as if life is out to get you.
- You feel very uncomfortable if someone asks you about yourself, or confronts you about a decision you made (even if they confront you with love and gentleness).
If any of these feel familiar, don’t fret! There are steps you can take to get to know yourself on a much deeper level. Doing this will improve your life dramatically. It will also improve the lives of those around you, because you will become a more genuine and compassionate friend/parent/partner/sibling/employee/employer.
How to begin the process of self understanding
First of all, deciding this is something you want is a HUGE step! You could just bury your head and move through life an unprincipled zombie… which would definitely be easier in the moment. But we promise, taking on this (kinda fun) task will be incredibly rewarding. You’ll also find that though this quest will last a lifetime, you will also get some really good understanding pretty quickly once you start to focus on this.
Understanding yourself involves some introspection, some observation, and some questioning. Think of yourself as a scientist observing petri dishes in your lab. Record (either mentally or in your journal) all the things you notice about your behavior, your feelings, your interactions, and your situation.
Instead of just going through the motions of the day, ask yourself, “What do I really want?” This question could apply to something as small as what to have for lunch or something as huge as what kind of life partner to choose. The answer may not come right away, especially if you haven’t tapped into your own needs in a while. That’s ok though! Keep asking yourself, give yourself time and gentleness as you wait for the answer to come. Then, once you have your answer, trust yourself enough to move toward it.
It is also very useful to begin to notice what motivates you. Are there things/people/places in your life that make you feel amazing? Are there things/people/places in your life that make you feel terrible? What makes your heart rate quicken and gets you really excited? What stirs up dread and anxiety? Start to notice if you’re moving towards money, love, acceptance, fitting in, beauty, solitude, etc. Then begin to question why.
Self understanding is an incredibly deep and rewarding journey. This short blog post is only meant to pique your interest. We are talking about a few different layers of self understanding in our e-mail list all month - plus giving away free journal prompts to help with this process! If this sounds like something you could use, join the list here.
We wish you the very best on your journey of knowing yourself deeper! You are a radiant and beautiful person, so you’re really missing out if you’re not taking the time to get to know yourself better. :) Sending you tons of love.