Socrates stated that “to know thyself is the beginning
of wisdom.” Hence, it is important to know yourself as a person. But
how do you know yourself? Sometimes you get lost as a person and feel you don’t
really know yourself. That is why many people ask the question “how to know
yourself” or “how do I know myself”
Today, we will reveal some elements of self-knowledge to
help you know yourself better.
Before you learn how to know yourself. It is essential that
you know why such knowledge is important.
Reasons why you should know yourself
It is important that you know yourself because of the
Know yourself to be a happy person
People who know themselves tend to be happy because they can express who they are. It is more likely that you get what you want if you can express yourself.
Experience less inner conflict
You will experience less internal conflict when your outside
actions conform to your inside feelings and values.
It helps to build your self-control
You will understand what motivates you to resist bad habits
and develop healthy ones when you know yourself. You will have the insight to
know which values and objects activate your willpower.
Know yourself to make better decisions
You can make better choices about everything when you know yourself, from small decisions like which sweater you will buy to consequential decisions like which partner you will spend your life with. You will have guidelines you can employ to solve life’s diverse problems.
Know yourself to resist social pressure
When you are grounded in your preferences and values, you
are less likely to say “yes” when you need to say “no.”
Know yourself to enjoy pleasure and vitality
Knowing yourself helps you feel alive and makes your
experience of life broader and more exciting.
Tolerance and understanding of others.
Your awareness of your weaknesses and struggles can help you
empathize with others. It will help you to understand life in a broader way.
Now that you know the reasons why knowing yourself is
crucial, we will now discuss the “VITAL Signs” of self-knowledge or
how to know yourself.
Building Blocks of How to Know
We regard the acronym “VITALS” as the building block of
self-knowledge. The letters in the acronyms stand for Values, Interests,
Temperament, Around-the-Clock, Life Mission and Goals, and Strengths/Skills.
#1 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Values
It is one of the characteristics or building blocks to knowing yourself. “Values”—such as “helping others,” “being creative,” “financial security,” and so on—are guides to decision-making and motivators for goals. Research shows that just writing or thinking about your values can make it more likely that you take healthy actions. The motivation provided by ethical values can keep you going even when you are tired, as shown in many psychology experiments. If you want to self-motivate, know your values!
#2 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Interests – Know What Interests You
“Interests” is about your passions, hobbies, and anything
that draws your attention over a continued period. Ask yourself the questions
that follow to figure out your interests: What are you curious about? What do
you pay attention to? What concerns you? The mental state of being interested
in something makes life vivid and may give you clues to your most profound passions.
A lot of people have built a career around an intense interest in something.
For example, my sister loved her mathematics teacher so much that she decided
to badge a degree in mathematics and now works as a mathematics teacher.
#3 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Temperament
It is important to know your temperament to keep a good
relationship with others. It describes your inborn preferences. Do you restore
your energy from being introverted or from being extroverted? Are you the
go-with-the-flow type of person or a planner? Do you make decisions more based
on feelings or facts and thoughts? Do you fancy details or big Ideas? Your
knowledge about the answers to temperament questions mentioned could help you
gravitate toward situations in which you could prosper and avoid bad
#4 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Around-the-Clock Activities
This is self-knowledge characteristics that deal with the
time you like to get things done—your biorhythms. You can be either a morning
person or night person, for instance? At what time of day does your energy
peak? If you schedule tasks when you are at your very best, you are respecting
your innate biology. As I look back on my life, I understand I’ve been an early
morning person since birth. Those fun sleepovers with girlfriends? I loved
being included and didn’t like staying up late.
The joy of my adult life has been finding a partner with
biorhythms like mine. We get up early and retire for the night early; we both
get snappy unless we eat three wholesome square meals per day. We hate brunch.
While the idea of biorhythm preferences may seem trivial in comparison to lofty
characteristics for the self like “values,” your lifestyle is more
pleasant when you’re in sync together with your biology. In every area, it’s
simpler to enjoy life when you don’t waste power pretending to be somebody you
#5 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Life Mission and Goals Which Are Meaningful
Meg Selig said, “what have been the most meaningful events of your life?” This is a relevant question I liked to ask when people who come to see me for professional counseling at the community university where I worked. One woman of approximately 40 yrs old got teary-eyed as she tried to answer. “Recently, as he declined and went into hospice,” she told me, “I found it extremely meaningful to care for my aging dad. I happened to be able to be here and hold his hand when he died.” She had an “aha” minute and realized she wanted to be a hospice nurse as we chatted about the difficulties and rewards of her father’s last days. (She accomplished her goal and was one of the leaders of her course.)
Ask yourself the same question “What have been probably the
most significant events of your life?” You may discover clues to your
identification that is concealed, your profession, and life satisfaction.
#6 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Strength
An individual should know his/her power because it is vital
to making essential decisions. Your strength is one of the ways to know
yourself; it may include not only skills, talents, and abilities but also
character strengths such as loyalty, emotional intelligence, respect for
others, love of learning, fairness, and more. One of the foundations of
self-confidence is knowing your strengths; you could be on the path to low
self-esteem if you can’t acknowledge your superpowers. Be a person who
“takes in the good,” listening for compliments and noticing skills
that could be clues to your strengths. Likewise, knowing your vulnerabilities
can help you be honest with yourself and others about what you are not good at.
You might decide to work on those weaknesses or try to make them a smaller part
of your professional or personal life.
#7 Factor on How to Know Yourself: Being True to Yourself
Even after knowing your “VITAL Signs,” it’s
challenging to remain true to yourself because you are continually changing,
and because society’s values frequently conflict with your own.
Being yourself sounds more comfortable than it is for all of
us. Although there are a few signposts, when you’ve discovered one of your
“VITAL Signs,” you will feel a sense of excitement. Acting on your
self-knowledge will give you strength and save you energy. You will feel freer
and more effective because you no longer conform to how you “should”
feel, think, or act. For instance, I can remember my relief when I realized I
was an introvert. How refreshing it was to give myself the gift of time alone
without wondering if I were a freak of nature!
Now that you know the building blocks of how to know yourself. I will advise you to pay attention to these six aspects of your personality. That will help you live a better life.