Do we really know ourselves?
Many would say, “Of course, I know myself best. Who else would know me better than me? I am closest to myself and my history. I know my personality the best with all my strengths and weaknesses” I have a contradictory view on that subject, and my reply would be something like this “I have been trying to understand myself for four decades but I can’t say I really know myself fully. Every few years I discover a new layer unfolding, which takes me by surprise.”
There’s a famous quote by Aristotle, which says “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom”
I never paid more than momentary attention it a couple of months before. Perhaps I was not ready or interested to open Pandora’s Box then. But lately, this thought occurred a few times as a question. Do I really know myself? That prompted some research and I am sharing the condensed extract here for you, in case you want to explore the unfamiliar territory called – Yourself.
There’s a direct connection between, knowing yourself well and living authentically. You get to know yourself by asking hard questions, which most of us don’t. We live our lives on a conveyer belt, which it keeps moving through different stations of life and we keep chugging along.
But when you set yourself the goal to know yourself, you can begin by taking some time off for self-reflection. Self-reflection is the key and first step
Self-reflection by definition is the activity of thinking about your feelings, behavior, and the underlying reasons for that behavior. It can be quite an uncomfortable process, but a powerful one because it’s the truth that sets you free. Once you become aware of the delusions that you carry in your mind about yourself; you will have set the ball rolling to know yourself better.
Your ally in the process is a Non-judgemental, non-critical, observing analytic mind which sees things as they are without the necessity to feel any shame or remorse. The idea is to see things as they are without adulteration or illusory makeup. For instance, if you see that you were in a confused state of mind you don’t need to justify yourself. Just accept that you were confused like many humans can be at various points of time in life.
Making Notes of the Inner thoughts
During this process, writing down your thoughts and feelings as they occur can unfold and reveal. Most of our decisions and thinking are done in our subconscious, while the conscious mind is aware of only a tiny fraction of that process. Thoughts can come from the subconscious and float on the conscious screen of your mind for a few moments. That’s when you must grab them and commit to paper.
The right questions prompt the right answers. Unlike introspection, this is a very direct process of seeking the answers and then connecting them to know the whole picture. I collected a range of questions about this and worked with the process to get some great insights. If you need, you can message me, and I will share the comprehensive document