by David Bohl
Most people think they know themselves pretty well, but how well do you really know yourself? Do you know exactly how you feel about certain things and why, or do you tend to judge how you feel by how you think you should feel? Are you comfortable with your feelings and the “inner you,” or is that uncomfortable?
Getting to know yourself may be a little different from getting to know the new neighbor or that attractive blond in your building, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be harder to really get acquainted with you.
You may not be able to invite yourself out for a cup of coffee to get acquainted, but you can spend time alone, with no music or noise or interruptions, and use that time getting to know yourself better.
You may want to ask yourself questions about how you feel about things that have been bothering you or that are important in your life at the time. You might find that writing down the question and then writing the first answer that comes to mind makes this process easier.
You may find that just contemplating or meditating on a subject helps you find out your true center in that area and helps you know what you think and believe.
Some people find that doing art or writing creatively helps them discover who they really are, and this has the advantage of being something people generally enjoy, whereas just “getting to know me” can be an off-putting idea.
One mistake people make in trying to learn more about themselves is that they think of it not only as a one-time thing, but as a relatively fast process.
In fact, getting comfortable with who you really are on a very deep basis can take a very long time, depending on how disconnected you are from your true self. It’s almost never something that can be done on one weekend retreat to “find yourself.”
The good news about this time investment is that it allows you to really grow in the relationship with yourself. It’s not a quick fix, but it is a true grounding in who you are, what you believe and what’s important to you.
This is the kind of time you would spend getting to know a best friend or a future life partner, rather than just a work colleague or a golfing buddy.
By treating yourself as this important and by honoring the time and emotional commitments, you can truly become a friend with yourself and find the true self you’ve probably been missing all this time.
And is it worth it? Most people who have gotten to know themselves on a deeper basis think that it is well worth the effort and that they are more deeply happy and fulfilled because of it.
To get to know yourself better,
- Schedule some time each week to spend with yourself
- Think about issues in your life about which you are not clear, and work on clarifying your feelings
- Keep a journal about your discovery of yourself