“The more you know yourself, the more patience you have for what you see in others.” – Erik Erikson
Knowing who you are is a very crucial aspect of healing yourself.
How can you avoid a disaster if you are simply floating through
life with no clear sense of what you stand for, and what you refuse to tolerate?
There is a reason why the small town girl with big dreams, who
gets to the big city, often ends up in some miserable and dare I
say, compromising, situation.
Think too of the unhappy Doctor who is only a Doctor because his
parents decided that he needed to become the first Doctor in their family.
What about the hen picked mama’s boy who dates a girl
he cannot stand because it makes his mother happy?
These three have a lot in common.
Their problem can be explained in the old saying that points out
that if we do not know where we are going, any road will be the
right one. And better yet, ‘if we do not stand for something, we will
fall for anything.’ In other words, if we do not understand
ourselves, this includes our hopes, dreams, and aspirations, it will
be easy for just about anyone to push us into a decision we will
regret for the rest of our lives. Living down a choice you regret,
especially if you have to face its consequences on a daily basis, is
going to be one of the hardest things you have ever had to do.
Living with the burden of these choices is part of the reason many
people are so bitter and unkind. This is not the way I want you to
navigate through your life.
When we take the time to understand who we truly are, the
intricacies of our own personalities, we will have the keys to
unlock our true potential. You cannot become your best self if you
do not know what that entails. When you understand yourself, you
are more likely to end up choosing a career that you love. And it is
quite easy to be passionately driven to achieve great things when
you are pursuing a career that you love.
Additionally, when you are at the top of your game, you will seek
out the kind of partners and friends that will make you happy and
thus bring out the best in you. They will understand the way you
think and may very well think the same way you do too. These are
the kind of people who will not laugh at your dreams or be jealous
of your success. Being surrounded by loving, supportive people,
will make you a kinder, happier and dare I say, more successful person.
Individuals who have a deep understanding of themselves, are
often more decisive and optimistic.
That is because these individuals are in full control of their life choices and they chose
well. They are more likely to see opportunities where others see
setbacks. It also takes far less effort to be productive when you
enjoy what you do. Additionally, the fact that you enjoy your
career will give you a competitive edge and you will not depend
on the praise of others for motivation. The satisfaction of a job
well done will keep you pushing forward.
I know that these may seem like ideal circumstances, where our
choices are not dependent on the desires of our family and where
we are all strong enough not to succumb to the pressure they will
put on us to make a certain decision. But believe me, knowing
and truly understanding yourself will open doors to opportunities
you would have never seen coming otherwise. It will be easier for
you to stand up to the pressures around you when you know
without a doubt what the right decision for you will be. I am not
encouraging you to shrug your responsibilities of providing for
your family, I am encouraging you to understand who you are and
be true to who you are at all times. You will be much happier as a
result, and far easier to love, when you are not carrying the heavy
weight of a bad decision around for the rest of your life.
How to Get to Know Yourself
This is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. You can
start with some objective assessment. This does not mean simply
asking the people around what they think of you. Your interactions
with them, whether negative or positive, will prevent them from
being as objective as you need them to be. A better option would
be making use of a reputable personality test. One of the popular
options is the Myers-Briggs Personality type test. This test will
determine which of the 16 personality types of this theory best
describes who you are. It has gained popularity in recent times
because its results can be used to determine the environment you
work best in and even how you interact with the people around you.
Plus whether you like the results or not they tend to be surprisingly accurate.
Career aptitude tests are another great option. These are
designed to help you understand your skill set better and how you
can use these skills to select the right career. It is never too late to
start a career that you can love.
Once you have a carefully thought out plan that will allow you to
care for your responsibilities and still venture into a field that you
love, go for it. It might be a case that money is tight and you are
already strapped for time and may not be able to make a move
right now. But I would encourage you to continue preparing
yourself. Keep learning all that you can about that career online or
from the people around you. That way if the opportunity should
arise, you will be in a position to take it.
Once you have taken the time to learn about yourself, you may
find some dirty laundry and hidden scars that you probably would
have rather kept hidden. Unfortunately, you have been wearing10
these scars every day in the way you interact with those around
you. These scars could have made you too soft to express how
you feel or too cold to care about the feelings of others. Now that
you can see yourself clearly, become the best version of yourself.
Love yourself. And above all else, be true to yourself. Knowing
your limits is another important skill to master in order to navigate
through this crazy world successfully. This will be discussed in the
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