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“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”Aristotle, Ancient Greek Philosopher
Despite the veracity of this quote, many of us barely make the time to reflect on our deepest thoughts, feelings and experiences to get a good sense of who we are. Life moves so fast, it sometimes feels like we don’t even have time to breathe much less make the time for introspection. But getting to know yourself and learning more about who you are as a person can actually do a lot to make you happier, resolve your inner conflicts, improve your relationships with others and most of all, improve your relationship with yourself.
So, here are eight of the most important things you should know about yourself.
1. What makes you happy
One of the most rewarding things you can learn about yourself is what makes you happy but you might rarely ever take the time to reflect on it. And although asking yourself this can seem like such a loaded question, being honest about what you’re most passionate about and who you enjoy spending time with, is crucial to finding your purpose in life and nurturing your mental and emotional well being. Finding your happiness, even if it’s just in the little everyday things can do so much to improve the quality of your life and help you realise what you should and shouldn’t prioritise.
2. Your core values
We can’t always have the same perspectives as each other and this diversity isn’t always a bad thing. We all have valid reasons for whatever contention we hold. Probably you think honesty matters more than sensitivity or hard work weighs more than resourcefulness to you. You have your take on ambition versus loyalty? Perhaps you would prefer others to be more open minded or more opinionated? What about community versus self interest or freedom versus loyalty?
Knowing what ideas, virtues or principles you value the most is crucial for not only your understanding of who you are as a person, but also what you want from your relationships. Your core values are the ideas you want to uphold, and they give your life meaning and direction when you need to make a difficult decision or when stuck in times of strife.
3. Your physical health
When you take care of your body, you make it easier for yourself to manage stress and fight against the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and fatigue. So it’s important that you know what illnesses and medical conditions you may have and treat them as soon as possible to avoid further complications. For example, when left untreated hypothyroidism can actually lead to developing depression. *Tap the link below to read the full article*.
So the more you know about your physical health, the better off you’ll be mentally and emotionally. I also recommend frequent medial checkups, once a year is good enough.
4. How you respond to stress
Are you calm under pressure or panicky and anxious? Do you usually run away from conflict, or face it head on? Knowing your go to stress response is key to succeeding in difficult and demanding situations. Responding to stress in an unhealthy way like denying all of your problems, or procrastinating until the very last minute, holds you back from achieving your goals by trapping you in a dysfunctional pattern of behaviour. When you’re more aware of how you react in a stressful situation, you’re better able to manage your anxiety, avoid the pitfalls of these unhealthy coping mechanisms and stay resilient even amidst emotional distress.
5. Your weaknesses
Just as it’s important to know where your strengths lie. It’s also important for you to be aware of your own faults, flaws and limitations. Of course, even though we all know that nobody is perfect it’s not always easy to admit to yourself what your weaknesses are. But having some insight into the things you struggle with and why can give you a clearer understanding of all the ways you could be holding yourself back. Are you trying to force yourself to be good at something you don’t even enjoy? Or are you pursuing a career that doesn’t suit your interests and skill sets?
Once you know all of your weaknesses, you can either work to overcome them or learn to work around them. Either way, it’s a good step to take towards personal growth and self improvement.
6. Your strengths
Knowing your strengths as an individual is very important because the sooner you learn what you excel at, the sooner you can start honing these skills and realise your full potential.
Are you good at cooking or dancing? Probably you have a nice singing voice or talent for writing. Are you a problem solver; you easily finish puzzles and riddles? Or are you more interested in debate and public speaking? Are you a people person? A natural born leader? A gifted athlete?
The truth is until you put yourself out there and give it a try, you’ll never know.
7. Your personality type
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What’s your MBTI type? What is your enneagram type? How do you rank in terms of the big five personality factors? Now, you might not even begin to know how to answer these questions and that’s fine. It really is a gradual process but taking a personality test is actually one of the easiest and most insightful ways you can get to know yourself better.
Knowing your personality type can give you a deeper understanding of all the things that make you who you are and why you are the way that you are. It’s a simple, fun and interesting way to learn new things about yourself. Fortunately, one of my Thursday Talks features a detailed but simplified article explaining Myers Briggs Personality type. I’d link it here for interested viewers.
8. Your ideal self
If there’s one thing about yourself you should always keep in mind it’s who you want to be in the future.
Who are the people you look up to?
What is it about them that you admire?
And what is it you see in yourself that you feel is worth nurturing?
Getting in the habit of asking yourself things like, “what does this choice or action say about me?” and “is this in line with my best self” brings you closer to the kind of person you’re striving to be. It helps you stay true to your own values, passions and goals.
So, how well do you know yourself? Did this blog post help you discover what your core values are, or help you realise what makes you happy? Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? Or what kind of personality you have? Discovering self knowledge can pave the way for self love, acceptance, self confidence and personal growth.
Please like and share this blog post if it helped you and if you think it could help someone else. I appreciate you if you made it this far. If you’d want me to write on a topic of interest please reach out to me using the contact us page. Also I’d love to know your thoughts on this article and where you might agree or disagree. All entries are exclusively between myself and you, thank you and be safe!❤️