Would you agree if you were told you don’t know yourself that well? The truth is you probably haven’t taken the time to get to know yourself.
You don’t know the darkest parts of yourself, though you instinctively know they exist.
You avoid knowing yourself because the idea of it is just too uncomfortable. Whenever you’re faced directly with yourself, you retreat.
You retreat by playing on your phone, getting a snack, turning on the TV, getting sleepy, or finding another way to distract yourself.
Consider this: If you talked with someone for 30 minutes, you would have a solid handle on what they were all about. You’d know what their weaknesses are and why their lives are less than ideal.
However, you can’t quite figure out why your own life isn’t going as well as you’d like.
Isn’t it interesting that you could have a deeper understanding of someone you barely know than you have of yourself?
Follow this process and you’ll get to know yourself intimately
Spend some time alone with yourself each day
This can be as simple as 20 minutes at the end of the day after the kids go to sleep.
Or you can go off by yourself. But, you need to be truly alone. No husband. No kids.
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.
Have a conversation
Now that everything is quiet it’s time to have a conversation with yourself.
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.
Answering these questions will help you to get to know yourself on a deeper level.
Ask yourself the tough questions
Take time to review your life from the very beginning.
Think about your childhood. Think about the painful experiences you suffered and how those affected you. Even the people that you need to forgive.
What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time?
Next, think about what you want for the future.
What are the challenges in your life right now? What should you be doing?
Have a conversation with yourself about the things that make you cringe.
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 you being a chicken. This is no different than turning on the TV or playing with your phone. It’s avoidance.
Don’t stop. Stay with it so that you can truly get to know yourself.
Learn to meditate
In conjunction with having intimate conversations with yourself, learn how to meditate and make it a regular part of your life.
Mediation doesn’t have to be complicated or super spiritual. All you need to do is find a quiet space to sit still and either repeat affirmations, mantras or follow a guided meditation.
You can use the Headspace app if you are getting started if you need a little help.
The truth will come out
When you take the time to get to know yourself thoughts and emotions will come up.
Avoid judging your thoughts. Just observe and accept them.
You may think that your thoughts are crazy or depressing. The truth is these thoughts may have been suppressed over time.
Understanding your thoughts and feelings will help you to understand the inner conflict that you may struggle with.
Few of us have taken the time to examine our life or ourselves.
We can look at others and point out their weaknesses quite accurately, even if we barely know them.
Yet, we can’t see the things that others can see in us immediately. We’d rather distract ourselves than know the truth.
You’ll continue to struggle in the same ways you’ve been struggling all your life if you’re not willing 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.