How many of us really know ourselves? Although we spend our entire lives in our bodies, most of what we think, feel and become is the result of our upbringing and the cultural mores in which we were reared. Some people live their entire lives without really knowing who they are inside, what they want and the things to which they are adamantly opposed.
So how do we begin to learn these things about ourselves? We must expend the same effort into learning about ourselves as we would into learning about another individual with whom we wanted a relationship. This includes setting aside introspective time each day to contemplate our innermost thoughts and desires. Not the thoughts and desires that are placed upon us, but those that are vital to our physical and emotional well-being. By analyzing the events of the previous day or week and our actions as a result of those events, we will learn whether our values are actually ours by choice or whether they are ones that have been ingrained into us.
Sometimes, keeping a journal can help us to learn more about ourselves. Merely the act of putting our thoughts to paper can gather them into feelings and emotions of which we may have been unaware. This journal is for no one else to read. Rather it is to help us learn who and what we are and want to be, and those areas in which we discern the need for change in ourselves.
There is an incredible amount of self-help information available anymore, online as well as in stores, from books to tapes to webinars. Availing ourselves of those resources helps us learn from those who have been there before us and may provide insights that we haven’t thought of. Continually evaluating our lives and actions, not in the critical sense but as a friend, to determine whether we approve of our actions in a given situation and why is essential to learning to know ourselves.
Another method for learning to know ourselves is to join a local self-help group, which may also result in new friends who are on the same path. Having a friend who is going through the same experience can be extremely rewarding for both parties. It also can help stabilize the transition from old beliefs and philosophies to new ones, which can be a rather unsettling process.
When we are attempting to redefine ourselves, we need to be open to new opportunities and change in all areas of our lives. Being willing to break out of our routine is a big step in the journey of learning to know ourselves. When we are willing to act out of character by taking positive risks, we learn the most about what we do and don’t like and what works for us and what doesn’t. We then know we are truly on the correct path to knowing ourselves.
Additionally, we need to learn to enjoy the new person we are becoming. We may find our lives becoming more enjoyable to us but experience negative feedback from friends and relatives. This is a normal occurrence but should not be a deterrent. There may be friends who will vanish but new friends will take their place and life overall will be much more rewarding.
We are given this life to live and we should maximize our potential whilst living it, both for ourselves and for those whose lives we impact. To quote an ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tsu: “He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is wise.”
Richad H. is a blogger, life coach, and into photography. He like to write about self-help about depression and other problems people have in their lives. Currently working for New York divorce lawyers