Understanding who we are not only helps us to thrive in life but also helps in our understanding of others. Socrates said ‘know thyself’; and by knowing who we are we can build on our strengths and also work on areas that need improving.
Have you taken the time to get in touch with your feelings lately?
Do you know who the real you is?
Maybe you have lost yourself because of the demands from life.
Many women find that once they reach midlife they really don’t know who they are. They have lost their identity because their life has been defined by their relationships, children and careers. For many experiencing the ’empty nest’ they feel overwhelmed because they have arrived at a point in life where they are finally free of responsibilities and yet find themselves wondering where they fit into the world. They look in the mirror and feel like the person looking back at them is a stranger.
Understanding – How self-awareness can help you Thrive
Understanding who you are:
1. Helps you take control of your life
The past and life experiences have shaped the person you are today. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes or that you can’t take control of what happens to you now or in the future. You, as an individual, can have the life you want if you are willing to take control and make it happen.
In my previous post, ‘T’ is for Taking Charge of your life to Thrive , I wrote about how you can take charge of your thoughts. You can decide if you want to have your mind filled with negative or positive thoughts. Learning to become more self-aware and recognizing more about your thoughts and feelings will assist you to make changes for more positive outcomes.
2. Helps you create the life you want
Taking the time for some introspection and learning more about yourself, your passions and your dreams will help you create the life you want. Remember, no-one else is responsible for how you think and react to external events or forces. As I wrote back in my first article of the AtoZ Challenge – A is for having an Ageless Attitude, I discussed how undertaking a Life Audit will give you an opportunity to see exactly where you are in life and what you might need to change if you aren’t satisfied with your direction.
3. Helps you understand others
In a recent study, Know Thy Selves: Learning to Understand Oneself Increases the Ability to Understand Others, psychologists studied 161 people between the ages of 20-50 who undertook a Contemplative Training Course. The training was inspired by the Internal Family Systems model that sees the self as being made up of several inner personality aspects. Participants practiced perspective taking on themselves and learned to identify and classify their own different inner personality parts.
The results suggested that by knowing our own personality traits, tendencies and patterns we can have a better understanding of the behaviour of others. The study found that we can empathize with others when we are more self-aware.
How do we become more self-aware?
Look at yourself objectively
This might not be comfortable to do, but to become more self-aware you need to be honest with yourself. That means taking an impartial look at your strengths, weaknesses, your passions, your dreams, your likes and dislikes. What makes you tick? How do you react to situations?
Ask a close friend(s) to describe you honestly
Sometimes we don’t see ourselves as others see us. Asking for and accepting honest feedback from a close family member or friend will help reveal who you are from another perspective. Ask them the question: “How would you describe me as a person?”. Their answers might surprise you and definitely give you something to contemplate.
How would you describe yourself? What level of self-awareness do you have? Do you know the real you or is there more to discover?
In my next post in the A to Z Guide to Thriving, I’m discussing ‘V’ is for Vulnerability – 4 ways it will help you Thrive. I do hope you will join me.
You might also like to check out my Over 50 & Thriving series. In this series, published every Thursday, guest writers give insight into what ‘Over 50 & Thriving’ means to them.
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Let’s Start Thriving Today!