Do you really know yourself? Do you know what you want to accomplish? These questions are important if we want to achieve our goals. We often assume we know ourselves and know what we need, but when it’s time to act, we realize things aren’t as we thought. To make positive decisions, we need self-knowledge.
What is self-knowledge?
Self-knowledge is knowing our own essence. It means having full control of ourselves: our thoughts, desires, hopes, frustrations, and beliefs. This concept uncovers who we are and, especially, where we want to go. It affords greater focus and reveals the purpose for which we exist.
Self-knowledge includes the awareness of our emotions, control of our thoughts and feelings. This emotional balance provides mental well-being and allows conscious responses to various problems.
To practice self-knowledge is to understand yourself in all areas of life. Knowing yourself increases the capacity for empathy and understanding towards others (and yourself) and drives you to find opportunities to grow.
How can I develop self-knowledge?
Self-knowledge doesn’t happen all at once. It takes time and reflection. Here is how to begin:
- QUESTION YOURSELF: THE BEGINNING OF SELF-KNOWLEDGE
Remember to always ask yourself: What makes me feel good? What do I like? What do I want? What do I need to improve? Be aware of yourself. What makes me feel strong? What makes me feel weak? What makes me feel motivated? Knowing the answer to these “little” things helps prevent external influences from swaying you as much since you will make more conscious decisions.
- LEARN TO SAY “NO”
Being kind is a virtue, but don’t let that cancel out your own desires. Always be kind and helpful, but you are not obliged to do things against your will just to please others.
- EXPLORE NEW THINGS AND EXPERIENCES
Try to leave your comfort zone. Only by trying something new will you really know whether you like it, and you will also learn how to deal with changes in the meantime.
- ALWAYS BE OPEN TO CHANGES OF OPINION
Do you really believe in everything you defend? Reworking old concepts and changing your mind results from a process of reflection. It means that you are exercising your thinking and getting to know yourself. Be humble enough to allow yourself to think and change!
- TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Make time to relax, read for pleasure, do something active, aim for a healthy and balanced diet, maintain a regular sleep cycle. Put yourself high on your list of priorities.
- LISTEN TO YOURSELF
Be careful that your concern over what others think of you doesn’t become an obsession. This will impair self-esteem and hinders self-knowledge. After all, how can you know yourself if you always act as others expect you to?
- PRAY MORE
In prayer, describe your most intimate realities: your thoughts, feelings, anxieties, and gratitude. This simple contact with God strengthens your faith and helps you better understand who you are, where you come from, and what your purpose is.
Place your trust in Jesus—the fullness of life—and live this new year with purpose, fulfillment, and abundance.
I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.John 10:10
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