Find out how to know who you truly are and why this is so important.
What is your level of self-awareness? Do you know who you truly are? Do you know what makes you, you? Well, here is how to know.
We are all aware of what society expects us to do and who our families expect us to be. And it is all too easy to get wrapped up in our projections of ourselves, or the projections society and others impose on us, losing sight of our essential beliefs, wants, and ambitions. It is also tough to select a life path that brings you joy and fulfilment if you do not know yourself properly. You may indeed see yourself in problematic situations or just unhappy with your work and so on if you are not true to who you are. You might also feel isolated since no one knows your “true” self.
So, whether you want to improve your job performance, strengthen the most critical relationships in your life, or feel more at ease in your own company, working on self-awareness can help.
It’s critical to be open to whatever you discover before using any tactics to get to know oneself. After all, you might be startled by some elements of yourself, especially if you have trouble separating yourself from other people’s opinions.
However, once you have an open and inquiring attitude, the journey of self-discovery should be fun and exciting. Thus, here are eighteen of the most important steps to begin getting to know a variety of elements of yourself, as well as some of the most notable benefits you can anticipate acquiring from each one.
Society frequently clashes with one’s values. The first step toward knowledge is to know yourself. But what do you mean when you say you “know yourself?” This article will discuss six aspects of self-awareness that can aid in your understanding of your own identity. You can hunt for indications to these essential self-building blocks as you go about your daily life.
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What are the benefits of knowing yourself / being self-aware?
Perhaps it’s self-evident, but here are a few reasons why you would want to know your nature in a nutshell:
- Greater Happiness. You will be happier if you can express yourself. It’s more probable that you’ll receive what you want if you express your wants.
- There is less internal strife. You will have a less internal conflict if your outward activities align with your inner feelings and values.
- Greater emotional intelligence is one of the most critical outcomes. When you’re more emotionally intelligent, you’ll be able to recognize and control your emotions as they arise, rather than repressing or becoming lost in them. Emotionally intelligent people are also more at ease with themselves, focusing on meeting their standards rather than the expectations set by others. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are also linked to higher levels of achievement. According to current psychology studies, many top corporate executives possess these characteristics, which plays a critical role in their sustained success.
- Improved decision-making. You can make better decisions about everything when you know yourself, from minor decisions like which sweater to buy to big ones like which spouse to spend your life with. You’ll have standards to follow to solve the many challenges that life throws at you.
- Self-control. When you know yourself, you can figure out what drives you to break negative behaviours and form new ones. You’ll be able to recognize which values and goals energize your willpower.
- Social pressure resistance. You are less likely to say “yes” when you wish to say “no” when grounded in your values and preferences.
- Tolerance and empathy for others. You can sympathize with people if you know your flaws and challenges.
- Vitality and enjoyment. Being who you are genuinely make you feel more alive. It enhances your life experience by making it more prosperous, meaningful, and fascinating.
Now that you have been persuaded that self-awareness is worthwhile, not that you needed persuasion.
The most important skill you can have is the ability to discover your true self. Instead of seeking permission from others, you know what you need to do when you know who you are. It allows you to avoid a lot of frustration from wasting time on the wrong things. Yes, life is supposed to be full of mistakes, but this will enable you to zero in on the most significant places to explore. You will gain confidence, grasp your mission, and begin to have a more substantial impact on the world after a better understanding of yourself.
So, how do you figure out who you are and what you should accomplish with your life? The following are the seventeen (17) steps on how to know your true self:
Step 1 on how to know your true-self: Quiet your mind.
You cannot and will not learn about yourself until you take the time to be still. Many people are unacquainted with themselves because quiet terrifies them. Being alone with their flaws glaring back at them is too uncomfortable. But you will not be able to view every aspect of your life, the good and the bad, until you get alone, analyze yourself, and be honest with yourself. Quiet yourself, and you will find your genuine self.
Quick tips on how to quiet your mind include having some alone time to reflect away from distractions, practising journalling, reducing screen time, spending time in nature, practising yoga and exercising. If all this is new to you, start small and build on that, 5 minutes a day to start and gradually increase based on your comfort level.
Step 2: Recognize who you are rather than who you wish to be.
I know you have a clear concept of who you want to be, but it may not be the person you were born to be. When you understand who you are, you’ll be able to see how you and your unique gifts fit into the larger picture.
And while there are numerous times along your path to help you discover yourself, taking a personality test and the Strengths Finder test is a great place to start. (If it’s been five years or more since you completed either of these, you should retake them.) No, these self-evaluations aren’t flawless, but they do help you focus on the difference you’re supposed to make in the world by identifying your top areas of strength.
Step 3. Discover your temperament.
“Temperament” is a term that describes your natural preferences. Do you feel more energized when you’re alone (introvert) or when you’re around other people (extrovert)? Ate you a person that likes to plan or prefer to go with the flow? Do you choose to make decisions based on your feelings or your thoughts and facts? Do you favour small details or significant concepts? Knowing the answers to questions like these about your temperament might help you gravitate toward situations where you can thrive and avoid problems where you could wilt.
In the 1960s, spontaneity was regarded as more important than planning. I did my hardest to go with the flow, but it seemed like I was wasting a lot of time in the process. Going against my own personality’s grain proved to be a challenging endeavour that wasn’t worth it.
Step 4. Discover your true personality.
How to know your true personality? Let’s start with figuring out who you are at your core. You can achieve this through reflection alone, but taking notes and constructing lists can help you make sense of what you’ve learned.
Pose the following questions to yourself:
- What five to ten characteristics do I believe describe who I am?
- If others had to characterize me in 5-10 words, what would they say?
- In my circle of friends, what role do I play?
- What would a stranger think of me?
- How do I want others to perceive me?
In addition, consider the critical decisions you’ve made in your life, both good and bad.
Why did you make the decisions you did? Which ones were genuine reflections of your personality? Which decisions were made under duress?
Consider how your past experiences have affected your future self, focusing on your childhood. What we go through as youngsters often impacts our future patterns, preferences, and requirements.
Step 5: Figure out what you’re good at (and not good at).
This may be the most challenging stage in figuring out who you are, but it’s also the most important. Sure, it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what you’re good at. Sure, I don’t want you to give up before you’ve given it your all, but understanding when to quit is a skill that everyone should master.
Quit when you’ve put in enough time, and your efforts aren’t paying off. How much time is enough? You are the only one who can make that decision. But quitting correctly isn’t about giving up; it’s about making a place for something greater. When your actions exhaust you rather than instil tremendous enthusiasm and drive to do more, it’s time to shift your emphasis. Your abilities will reveal who you are.
Step 5. Figure out what you are interested in.
Following any form of passion is a beautiful thing. You should pay attention when it comes up since it indicates an area of life where you need to focus more. It’s a good thing if we’re talking about following your love for work. And it’s a positive thing if we’re talking about having more extraordinary life passion. You’ll have a more significant influence if you focus more on your desires and better understand yourself. Passion fuels work, and consistent effort fuels results, leading to a greater understanding of yourself.
Step 6: Request comments.
Hearing what people say about you can be beneficial if you don’t know yourself. Ask them two straightforward questions: “What strengths do you believe I should work on more?” and “What weaknesses do you think I should work on more?” “What do you believe my flaws are?” and “How do you think I can improve?” Of course, their view isn’t going to be perfect, but it will most likely point out a few areas where you should examine again. This phase is crucial for those who are having trouble figuring out who they are. Those closest to us may be able to see something in us that we cannot perceive in ourselves.
Step 7. Assess your relationships.
Your relationships play an essential role in discovering yourself. The value of knowing oneself becomes even more apparent when you realize you’ll never genuinely know anyone else until you find out yourself. This is especially true for business executives because you will be lost as a leader if you do not know the people on your team. This law, however, applies to whatever relationship you have in your life. Other people, almost as much as you need to know themselves, need to know who you are. People require you—the genuine you.
Use your reflections to overcome your worst concerns because once you know who you are, your purpose will outweigh your fears. You will spend less time spinning your wheels once you understand who you are. Focusing on your strengths will provide you with the traction you need to create a bigger and better impact in the world. When you realize who you are, you will have more peace and achieve success faster than ever before.
Step 8: Identify Your Core Values.
Values such as helping others, being creative, fitness, financial security, and so on, serve as decision-making aids and goal motivators. According to research, simply contemplating or writing about your beliefs can increase your likelihood of taking suitable actions. As several psychology experiments have proven, the motivation offered by meaningful ideas can keep you going even when you are fatigued. Know your values if you want to be self-motivated!
On a related point, it’s critical to consider your characteristics and your values. In other words, what is most important to you?
According to psychologists, most of us have roughly eight fundamental values that drive our decisions at work, at home and in everyday life. Make a list of the eight values you believe will lead you in the right direction. In many circumstances, you will be bound by moral obligations.
For instance, via honesty, compassion, and open-mindedness. On the other hand, others will indicate where you find the most joy in life, such as values such as learning, having fun, or having a variety of experiences.
Spend some time thinking about how and when these values originated to discover even more about yourself.
Did your parents instil these ideals in you, or did your values evolve in contrast to what you witnessed as a child?
Step 9: Hobbies and passions
Your Interests refers to your hobbies, passions, and anything else that has held your attention for a long time. Ask yourself the following questions to determine your desires: What are the things you pay attention to? What sparks your interest? What are your main concerns? The intense mental state of being interested in something can reveal your deepest desires. So to know your true self and become more self-aware, you have to pay attention to your hobbies and passions. Pay attention to those tasks you can do for hours and on and end and yet not realize how much time has passed because those things give you joy. It is very fulfilling for many people who have made a career out of pursuing something they are passionate about.
Step 10: Get to know your life purpose.
Your life purpose is essentially the vision you have for your life, also known as your life mission. What are the most significant events in your life? In other words, what moments in your life are you most proud of, that has the most meaning to you? Write your answers down and get some clarity and self-awareness on the kinds of things you value that bring you joy and happiness. You might even find clues about your hidden talents and identity.
Furthermore, while reflecting on the past is essential for understanding yourself, setting plans for the future is equally crucial. Rather than coasting through life and reacting to the actions of others, consider what you see as your life’s goal.
What kind of legacy would you like to leave? Where do you see yourself in two years, ten years, or twenty years?
It’s important to remember that a life’s mission does not have to be grandiose or world-changing. Consider your goal to be defined by what makes you feel genuine, enthusiastic, and passionate. Meanwhile, consider how this quest could benefit others, even on a small scale.
It is also worth noting that you can have many missions going on simultaneously. For example, you might want to be a particular type of parent to your children while also completing a separate duty linked to your profession.
Step 11: Know your strenghts and capabilities.
Getting to know yourself entails forming an accurate picture of who you are, including the aspects of yourself that you are proud of and the aspects that you struggle with regularly. Starting with your strengths, make a list of your assets and liabilities. Consider what you admire in yourself and which parts of yourself usually receive positive comments. Perhaps you’re frequently complimented on your patience with others, or you’re aware that you have a vivid imagination.
Character strengths such as loyalty, respect for others, love of learning, emotional intelligence, fairness, and others are examples of strengths. Knowing your strengths is one of the cornerstones of how to know yourself; failing to recognize your abilities can lead to low self-esteem. Develop the habit of taking in the good, listening for praises and observing capabilities that may indicate your strengths. For instance, where you receive several compliments as to how soothing the tone of your voice is. That should be an obvious indication that voice is one of your strengths. What would you be able to do with that information?
Step 12: Recognize and address your weaknesses.
On the other hand, knowing your flaws might help you be honest with yourself and others about your shortcomings. You can either improve on those flaws or try to make them a less significant part of your personal or professional life.
When it comes to identifying your flaws, consider whether there are any recurring themes in your failures or life’s unfortunate incidents. Consider whether you’re frequently requested to work on a particular facet of your personality. Perhaps your supervisors constantly point out that you don’t speak up during meetings, implying that a potential flaw is a lack of self-confidence.
Step 13: Stay true to yourself and your core values.
Even when you are very aware of your core values, it can be sometimes difficult to stay true to them because not only are you constantly changing, so is society. And society’s values could possibly conflict with yours. However, the only constant in life is change. And as human beings we are very good at adapting, is all a matter of striking the right balance between your core values and those of society. Just remember that in staying true to yourself, other people also have a right to stay true to themselves as well. Your right ends where another person’s right begins.
All in all, being ourselves sounds easier said done, this varies between individuals of course. Self-awareness will provide you with energy while also saving you energy. Because you are no longer conforming to how you should feel, think, or act, you wll feel more liberated and powerful. For example, some people feel relieved when they discover they are introverts. As they then have a better understanding of why they think and feel the way they do, and why they enjoy alone time more than others.
Step 14: Become acquainted with your own body.
When it comes to self-awareness, it’s all too tempting to focus on the psychological rather than the physical. Getting to know your body, on the other hand, is just as vital as getting to know your head. Our bodies are frequently considered as the enemy or as an afterthought. Learning more about your body allows you to set more realistic objectives to understand your limitations and feel more comfortable in your skin.
Be open to attempting new things to see if they suit your body and reflect on your physical capabilities. Meanwhile, engage in mindfulness meditations, such as body scanning exercises, to help you become more aware of your breathing and movements. If you’re having trouble with your body image, try to discover five things you like about what your body can or has done.
Step 15. Want to discover how to know your true self? Well, keep a journal.
We’ve talked a lot about making lists and taking notes. Still, a more general habit of writing can also help you better understand yourself. Self-reflection becomes your default if you write in a journal every day. You begin to see your core needs and emotions by looking behind your surface reactions. Keeping a journal also aids in the identification of your voice, allowing you to distinguish it from the voices of others whose approval you may be seeking.
You don’t have to stick to the tried-and-true method of writing a little about each day. You can, for example, write about what you eat, see, dream, or think in your journal. Instead of writing, you can sketch or do collages.
If you are not sure what style suits you, try experimenting with different ways over the course of a week. You’ll be striving toward increased self-knowledge in some form as long as you keep a notebook.
Step 16. Put your instinctive thoughts to the test.
Many of us tend to have negative, self-defeating, and unreasonable habitual thoughts. You might take these cognitive distortions at face value if you don’t know yourself very well. As a result, you can be in a poor mood and feel horrible about yourself.
On the other hand, higher levels of self-awareness allow you to “catch” these distortions as they arise, diverting your mind to more accurate thinking.
Take a breath and question yourself if you catch yourself catastrophizing, making negative assumptions about your worth, or dismissing positive input.
For example, change “I’ll never finish this project” to “I’m struggling with this project right now, but I know I can do it after a rest.” In the meantime, rephrase “I’m not good enough to do X” as “I’m insecure about X, but it’s worth trying because this is something I care about.”
Positive thinking will become instinctive to you over time with consistent practice.
Step 17. Become aware of your biorhythms and plan your activities accordingly.
How to know your biorhythms, you ask, or what are biorhythms in the first place? Firstly, your biorhythms pertain to when you like to accomplish activities around the clock. For instance, are you a night owl or a morning person? What time of day are you most full of energy and most productive? The answer to these questions will tell you how to know your intrinsic biology and thus better understand your nature. This, in turn, will help you make decisions in your daily life and help you become more successful in life. If you plan your most essential activities around the time, you are intrinsically more productive, and thus at your best, you are more likely to accomplish more and succeed.
Secondly, if you have not figured this out yet, you get to know your biorhythms when listening to your body and by paying attention to what makes you happy. Be present in the moment and assess how you feel as you carry out tasks throughout your day. The step mentioned above on journalling also comes in handy here as you can journal your feelings, making you more aware of yourself and your state of mind.
Another aspect to this would be to have a partner or friends with similar biorhythms as you do.
This would ensure more synergy in the flow of things in your relationships and lifestyle with the people around you. This is however not essential for happy relationships but it is definitely a plus. As you and your partner or friends would enjoy doing similar or same activities together.
While biorhythm preferences may seem insignificant compared to higher self-values, being in sync with your biology makes your daily life more enjoyable. It is easier to appreciate life in every way when you do not waste time and energy claiming to be someone you are not, by perhaps allowing “the world’s” perception of you to control how you do things instead of staying true to yourself. Follow your biorhythms and have a more enjoyable life experience.