You spend every minute with yourself, but you don’t know yourself as well as you think. You love to deceive yourself, whether you realize it or not. As they say, “You can’t handle the truth.”
Unfortunately, if you don’t know yourself, it’s hard to make progress. It’s like driving a car that doesn’t run well, but you refuse to look under the hood. There are issues under your hood that are in your way!
Try these techniques to get to know yourself better:
1. Take a personality test. There are plenty of tests available online. Some are better than others, so be sure to do some research. The more sophisticated and useful tests aren’t free, but you’re worth it!
2. List your values. What matters to you? What do you stand for? Make a list of your values and put them in order of which are most important to you. Do you live your life according to your values?
- Imagine you’re an acquaintance of yours. How would you order your values based on your words and actions?
3. Whom do you admire? Who are the people you admire the most? Why do you admire them? What character traits and skills do you admire in others? What you admire in others says a lot about you.
4. Whom do you despise and why? Just as informative are the people you strongly dislike. Why do you dislike them? What exactly about them is it that you dislike? Do you see any of those traits in yourself?
5. Ask your friends and family for input. Your friends and family know more about you than you think. They definitely know a thing or two about you that you don’t know. Ask them for assistance in learning more about yourself. Be prepared to be surprised.
6. Imagine watching yourself. Imagine observing yourself for a day. Imagine watching yourself eat. Imagine seeing yourself in your typical clothing. Note how you interact with others.
- You don’t appear to others the way you think you do. This is a chance to see what everyone else sees. If possible, consider setting up a video camera.
7. If you could be granted one wish, what would it be? Imagine being given a wish. What would you do with it? What can you infer from that?
- Wishing for a billion dollars is different from wishing for world peace. Wishing for a loving spouse is different from wishing for the ability to fly or for a new sports car.
- Your answer will tell you a lot about what’s most important to you.
8. What do you believe is the meaning of life? If you had to sum up the meaning of life in one sentence, what would it be? How did you come to that decision?
9. What is your biggest regret? What is the one thing you wish you could go back in time and do over? Why do you regret it so much? How would your life be different if you could redo a few decisions?
10. What makes you anxious? What causes you stress? What makes you worry? Why do these things upset you? What does your anxiety cost you? How does it limit you? How would your life change if you felt much less anxiety?
Knowing yourself is a great challenge. You’ve probably never seriously considered why you think and behave the way you do. We spend a lot of time contemplating people and situations outside of ourselves, but little time investigating ourselves.
If you knew yourself better, you could make a few adjustments and enjoy an easier and more successful life. You’d also be in a better position to deal with old emotional wounds.
Be courageous and take a long, hard look at yourself. Getting to know yourself is challenging, but in the long run, you’ll find that it’s worth the effort.