An Easy Way to Get to Know Yourself

An Easy Way to Get to Know Yourself

Over the years, I’ve learned that many people don’t know themselves as well as they think they do.  They are out of touch with the darkest parts of themselves, despite instinctively knowing these parts exist.  Is this true for you? Really think about it…

Do you avoid really knowing yourself because the idea of it is just too uncomfortable?  Whenever you’re faced directly with yourself, do you retreat by playing on your phone, getting a snack, turning on TV, playing music, getting sleepy, grabbing a drink or finding another way to distract yourself?

I’m going to make an assertion here, so go with me for a moment. I say that if you truly connect deeply with someone for 30 minutes, you’re likely to gain insight into what that person is all about. You’ll see their strengths and have insight into their weaknesses, and you’ll get a picture of why his life is less than ideal. Yet when it comes to yourself, you can’t quite figure out why your career and/or life isn’t going as well as you’d like it to.

I find it so fascinating that it’s possible (and dare I say common), for you to have a deeper understanding of someone you hardly know than you have of yourself. This is precisely why I’ve written this blog post.

Below I’ve outlined a process for you to follow to get to know yourself much more intimately:

  1. Spend some time alone with yourself each day. This can be 10 minutes at the beginning of end of each day.  The only requirement is that you be by yourself, completely alone.

  2. Avoid any distractions during this time. No books, electronic devices, or anything else you find amusing. It’s just you and yourself. The ideal setting is sitting in a chair while facing a blank wall. Now you have nothing left to do but converse with yourself.

  3. Have a conversation. What do you say to yourself? Say the same things you would say to another person you were trying to get to know. You know how to do this. Ask yourself questions and answer them.

    • What do you do for a living? Do you like it? Really, you don’t like it? Why do you stay there?

    • What’s most important to you? Why?

    • What are you afraid of? Why?

    • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

    • Talk about your childhood – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    • And so on

  4. Be thorough. Ask yourself the tough questions. Review your life from the very beginning. Think about your childhood. Think about the painful experiences you suffered and how those affected you. What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time?

    • Think about what you want for the future. What are the challenges in your life right now? What do you wish you were doing? Have a conversation with yourself about the things that make you cringe.

  5. Stay with it. At some point, it’s likely you’ll say to yourself, “This is stupid. I’m wasting my time and have other things to do.” This is just the voice of fear.  The fear that lives in your mind. This is no different than turning on the TV or playing with your phone. It’s your brain’s attempt at avoidance.

  6. Learn to meditate. In conjunction with having intimate conversations with yourself, learn how to meditate and make it a regular part of your life.  Guided meditations are a great place to start. My favorite app for this is Headspace. Your truth will come out.

    • Avoid judging your thoughts. Just observe and accept them.

Few of us have taken the time to examine our life or ourselves. We live in a culture where we’re trained to look at others and notice their weaknesses, sometimes quite accurately, even if we barely know them. Yet, we often can’t see the things that others can see in us immediately. We have a habit of distracting ourselves from the truth.

I invite you to put an end to the struggle you’ve been experiencing in your life.  Find the courage to take the important step of getting to know yourself. Once you do, you’ll pave the way for creating a life that’s more meaningful and satisfying.

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