Today, I want to discuss ways that you can learn about yourself, hence the title “Know Thy Selfie”. However, before I do that, I want to first touch on why it is important to be knowledgeable about yourself. I believe that if you know yourself it will help you be better able to change self-defeating beliefs and behaviors, improve your self-esteem, have a clearer understanding of what career may be a good fit for you, improve your mental health, and help your relationships with others along with your communication with them.
There are multiple things you can do to become self-aware and gain a better understanding of yourself….
One, counseling or at least talking with trusted others. By sharing your story and struggles with someone else, they can point out themes and qualities within you that you convey through what you share and how you share it. Although others are not always correct, sometimes other people can see the “blind spots” that you have difficulty seeing in yourself.
Two, educate yourself. If you have any conditions or disorders, whether physical health or mental health related, educate yourself on these conditions. Although, your disorders do not define you, they are a part of you and have an impact on you as a person. Knowledge is power.If you understand your conditions it can better help you understand yourself and learn why you are the way you are.
Three, learn about your personality through quizzes. Although, I think some are less than reliable, others can bring insight. Some of the test available are the Myers-Briggs, the MMPI, and The Big 5. I am not on the Myers-Briggs bandwagon per se but I do think it can provide helpful information . Even if you cannot take the official one, there are many spinoff versions for free online.
For a while, I had a hard time hammering down my exact personality type because out of the four aspects of personality the Myers-Briggs examines, I often flip flopped on 1-2 of the aspects. However, after talking with friends with personality types that were definitely a certain type and comparing their personality to mine, I was able to hammer mine down. Once I thought I knew what type I was, I read descriptions of it and I realized the descriptions were accurate. (By the way, mine is ISFJ).
Four, writing. As I worked on my first draft of my book-in-progress, it helped me gain understanding of themes in my life and myself as a person. This helped me be able to communicate my experiences with others.
Five, get creative. Try coloring, drawing, origami, clothing design/modification, crafts, ect. This helps you learn what you enjoy, what you are good at, what you do not enjoy, what things are not your Forte.
Six, learn about your religion and read religious texts. As a Christian, learning about God’s love for me, his promises, and what the Bible says about my identity (and the identity of all Christians) has not only grown my relationship with my God but also with myself.
Seven, take an honest look at your strengths and weaknesses. I use to be afraid to look at my weaknesses and even became very emotional when it was suggested to me to take an honest look at myself. I had a very black and white, extreme way of looking at myself. I was either proud of myself (reflecting on my strengths, my education , and my commitment to my Christian faith ) or ashamed at myself (looking at what I sucked at, my shortcomings, my sins, and my mistakes). However, I have found out that if you can look at your weaknesses graciously, without extreme emotion, and as signs of your humanness, that this helps you grow in self-understanding and confidence.
I hope that this post has encouraged you to learn more about yourself and ultimately know thy self(ie).