The Importance of Knowing Yourself

When I first started blogging on 4/24/2009 I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was blogging sounded like a great way to have an online journal for my daughter, Alyssa, because I was pretty sure no one would read what I wrote except for her. The thought of making money or that people all over the world might read my writing never really crossed my mind.

Much to my surprise, people did read my blog. At first it was a few people, but then tragedy struck and I got PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) because of a life and death catastrophe. I was suffering and out of my mind, but I found one thing that gave me a little bit of peace…writing. So I wrote about how I felt and what was happening to me as I suffered with this crippling disorder. Before long, not just a few people started reading my blog, but lots of people from all around the globe were reading it, commenting, tweeting support, and emailing me with their personal stories.

It was during that time that someone said, “Don’t share so much personal stuff on your blog!” to which I asked, “Why not?”

Our thoughts and regrets plague us.

Really, why not? It was the one therapeutic thing that kept me from going insane or dying, so why should I quit? I never came up with an answer to that question and that’s why I still write about very personal subjects while sharing my own experiences. I believe I am able to help people have a voice and hope. Actually, I know I have done this for many people because they have told me so.

Writing has helped me to know myself. Do you know what a difficult task it is to know who you are deep down in your soul? It wasn’t easy for me and I don’t think it is that easy for most people.

Find out who you are
and do it on purpose.”
– Dolly Parton

We are beautiful, but we don't believe it.

Why Is It Important To Know Yourself?

“Know myself? You sound all dramatic! Of course I know myself!”

Oh really? Maybe I should change the question. Have you faced yourself with complete honesty and understand what makes you tick? That’s the kind of knowing yourself I’m talking about today.

I believe the most important reason to know yourself is to resolve the issues that hold you back. The vast majority of adults have unresolved issues that don’t ever get resolved because:

  1. they don’t want to face the pain
  2. they are ignorant that there is a need to resolve the issues
  3. they simply can’t be honest with themself

As long as a person doesn’t know the essence of their being, their soul or authentic self, it is impossible for them to be a whole and complete person. They live a lie and betray their real self.

We believe we have to be almost perfect.

Tragedy And Knowing Yourself

The fastest way to be put on the path of discovering who you are is during the times you are subjected to hard challenges, painful circumstances and tragic events. Adversity is said to be the refiner’s fire because you are challenged to the very core of your existence. The manner in which you face and cope with the trials is very telling of your true self.

These moments in your life can heighten your self-awareness or self-knowledge if you are willing to examine them. When you understand your desires, needs, habits, weaknesses, strengths, hopes, dreams, and interests, you can heal the pains you’ve suffered and make steady progress toward success in all areas of your life.

When I was trying to heal my PTSD problem, I had to get back to the basics of me with complete honesty. All my emotions were heightened and raw, so it wasn’t very hard to identify them. Seeing them is one thing and facing them is another. For example, I knew I stuffed my emotions, but I did not know that I stuffed them so frequently because I lacked confidence in myself or felt that I had to be perfect in order to be loved. Those were hard characteristics to face and even harder to correct.

It is so much easier ignoring the true self and yet by doing so, it is impossible to change.

That’s the reason I think my writing resonates with so many people – I bear my true flawed self. At this point, I really see no reason that I should hide my weaknesses or flaws. You know I have them because no one is perfect. Some of my weaknesses and flaws are the exact same ones that you have, so you’re not any better of a human than I am or vice versa. We are humans trying to progress happily through life. There’s no reason you or I should be ashamed just because we are not perfect.

“At the center of your being
you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.”
– Lao Tzu

We hide all our broken pieces

How To Get To Know Yourself – 50 Questions

Here are some questions that will help you learn about yourself:

  1. Who are you? Example: mother, artist, school teacher, cancer survivor
  2. What is your purpose on the planet?
  3. What things are important to you and why?
  4. What people are important to you and why?
  5. What are your strengths?
  6. What are your weaknesses?
  7. What are your hopes and dreams?
  8. What are your likes?
  9. What are your dislikes?
  10. What are you doing that is hurting your physical body?
  11. What is the health of your relationships?
  12. Where are you now?
  13. Where are you going?
  14. What do you need to reconcile from your past?
  15. Who is your role model and hero?
  16. When did you turn a failure into a success and how did you do it?
  17. Do you have a relatively happy demeanor?
  18. Are you a pessimist or optimist?
  19. Are you humble?
  20. Are you compassionate?
  21. Are you honest?
  22. Are you willing to change?
  23. Can you take constructive criticism?
  24. How do you handle conflict?
    We want our individuality to be accepted.

  26. When and what was your proudest moment?
  27. What are your biggest fears?
  28. Can you let go of a person, job or situation if it is painful or harms you?
  29. Do you hate anyone?
  30. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  31. What would you like to change about yourself?
  32. Are you confident?
  33. What do others say about you?
  34. How do you show love?
  35. Are you touchy feely or do you avoid physical contact?
  36. What talents do you possess?
  37. Are you grateful and appreciative or do you feel entitled?
  38. What is your work ethic?
  39. How do you treat older people?
  40. How do you treat children?
  41. How do you treat animals?
  42. How do you treat strangers?
  43. How do you treat people who can’t do anything for you?
  44. How do you treat people who could make your life easier or more successful?
  45. What is your relationship with your family – parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents?
  46. Do you offer service to others with your time, talents or money?
  47. What are your goals – 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 5 years?
  48. How do you judge your self-worth?
  49. How do you handle anger?
  50. How do you handle passion?
  51. What is your Higher Power, Universe or God belief?

“Inner guidance is heard
like soft music in the night
by those who have learned to listen.”
– Vernon Howard

We hope and dream, but are filled with fear.

What To Do To Know Yourself

The best way to know yourself is to record your life and the feelings that you have during your experiences. This process is called journaling or keeping a diary. There’s something so wonderfully healing about writing and recording the history of your experiences.

Here are a few tips on journaling:

  1. Do not let all the blank pages overwhelm you.
  2. Start your journal with today. As time passes you will have the opportunity to share your history.
  3. Don’t limit your thoughts or try to organize them for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Write as if you are talking.
  5. Everyday list at least 5 things you appreciate.
  6. Analyze the difficult days in the third person, so that you can maintain objectivity.
  7. Be real. Your journal should not be the fake you that you want the world to believe.
  8. Be consistent with writing in your journal.
  9. Make lists of your favorites – songs, foods, colors, activities, hair styles, movies, books, sport teams, etc.

“Your visions will become clear only
when you can look into your own heart.
Who looks outside, dreams;
who looks inside, awakes.”
– C.G. Jung

We put up walls to protect our hearts.

When You Know Yourself

As you write your journal and analyze your thoughts and actions, you will gain a priceless knowledge about yourself. This information will make you a powerhouse of accomplishment because nothing will hold you back. You will bulldoze through your fears and resolve your hurts.

This process is a work that will not be complete until you die.

It is a continual self-analyzation that allows you to progress to a more complete happiness and peace.

You are not what people think of you.

You are not your bank account.

You are not your job.

You are not your past.

You are a very unique individual and you are very worth making the effort to get to know better.

Sherry Riter, The Redhead Riter, red hair woman

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