Self-knowledge & Ways to Rebuild my Relationship with Myself

Whenever someone asks you to DESCRIBE YOURSELF, what do you tell them?

Almost always, whenever we answer the question DESCRIBE YOURSELF, our answer will depend on where we’re at in out lives. The common answer will be what’s in your CV/resumé like your educational attainment, job or profession. It can also be your current position and status in the society.

But do you really know yourself?
Have you met yourself?
Who are you without the titles?

WHAT AM I LIKE?

Self-Knowledge is defined as the understanding of one’s own capabilities, character, feelings, or motivations  It’s being aware of your traits and behaviors,. Or in short, it answers the question “WHAT AM I LIKE?”

And did you know that people are not born completely self-aware? We develop the concept of self as we grow and establish consciousness. And as we grow older, we experience being part of a group.

Aside from our family, we’re part of a class in school, at work, our circle of friends — and all of these, they have an impact on the person that you’ll become every setting will influence in you on who you will become. At times, the outside influences can alter our personality without us knowing it.

Do you find yourself looking at your old pictures and remembering old memories leaving you with nostalgia of the old version of yourself?

Listen & Follow Empowered Talks Podcast.

In Lori Gottleeb’s book entitled Maybe You Should Talk to Someone she said this:

there’s also the reality that as people get older,  they face more limitations. It becomes harder to change careers or move to a different city or marry a different person. 

Their lives are more defined, and sometimes they crave the freedom of youth.  But children, bound by parental rules, are really free only in one respect—emotionally.

I don’t feel free because I’ve lost touch with that emotional freedom. 

And that’s what I’m doing here in therapy—trying to free myself emotionally again.

– Lori Gottlieb, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

While it’s a given that you will change because that’s the natural course of life. People are supposed to evolve but one must not lose the sense of who they are. Sometimes, a person is forced to mature earlier in life because of the responsibilities that they have on their shoulders.

And just when you thought that you’re mature enough to handle your life decisions, life gets you. Here you are on a Saturday night, breaking down and questioning your life decisions. You feel as if the world is ganging up on you.

You start questioning. Is it all my fault? Am I a pushover? Should I try harder? Was I too giving?

And all those questions will bring you back to self-knowledge. Why? Because knowing yourself will not only help you live your life to the fullest,, but it also improves your relationship with the people around you.

If you dont know yourself, you can’t accept who you are. You also cannot accept your own limitations. And if you cant accept yourself fully, you cannot be there for others.

It’s the very concept of that famous quote, you cant fill from an empty cup. How can you offer something that you don’t have,

But now the next question is…how do I start knowing myself deeply? How can I rebuild my relationship with myself?

Hello, Self! Nice to Meet You.

1. Know Your Core Values.

Ask yourself, what values represent you? What values are important to you? Why? Every decision you make, great or small, will be influenced by your core values.

For me, I value 

  • honesty/authenticity
  • fairness & equality
  • open-mindedness
  • compassion
  • knowledge
  • freedom
  • family

So take the time to figure them out. What are your life principles that no matter what happens, you will stand by it? And as you identify each values, ask yourself why you chose them. How are they significant to the quality of life that you want to achieve?

2. Figure out your PREFERENCES:

Do you prefer sticking to familiar things or are you open to try new stuff? 
How important is your daily routine?
Do you like using public transport or at the convenience of your own car?
How sentimental are you? 

Knowing your preferences will help you understand what you need to feel comfortable and once you’re aware of them, it’s easier for you to set boundaries.

3. Get to know your emotions.

Our human emotions will always be a major factor in our life decisions and reactions. That’s why they always remind us this:

Dont make promises when you are happy
and don’t make decisions when you’re angry

If you find yourself getting mad but you can’t figure out why. Always on a fight mode in every conversation that you have, then maybe it’s time for you to have a one on one session with your emotions.

Check with yourself  and ask “what am I feeling?” and where is this emotion coming from?

Lastly but the most IMPORTANT of all…

4. Understand your BOUNDARIES.

We’ve been told that we should be SELFLESS. Sadly and unknowingly, you’re also giving up your boundaries that leads to burnout and worse, exploitation of your kindness.

Boundaries are principles that you establish in order to keep yourself feeling safe and comfortable, emotionally and physically.

Andrea Bonyer, therapist

Setting boundaries can be applied in different aspects including your body, your money, time and privacy. And it’s important to communicate them. You can say: 

“this is making me feel uncomfortable” or 
“im a very private person when it comes to this matter”
or “personal time is very important to me”

Be firm in establishing your boundaries and also be sensitive about other people’s boundaries, too.