3. KNOW THYSELF
It’s been a while on ’20 Lessons of my 20’s ( A segment that discusses various things I’ve learnt and I’m still learning as a young woman). Thank you for the comments, shares and screenshots from the last topic! I’m truly grateful it resonates with you. But incase you missed it, Read HERE. Today’s topic is one that is almost the bedrock of anyone on a self-development journey.
“Know thyself” connotes; Being in tune with you, self acceptance, personal discovery and understanding how you function”.
As usual, All ‘lessons’ are solely a result of my personal experiences, but I do hope they are valuable and worth sharing to someone else. Do have an open mind whilst reading….
Growing up I had the ‘I too know” Syndrome, which is one that I assumed I knew everything about myself or situations, I felt I was self-sufficient even though I was probably the least self-aware person at that time. I remember the first time I heard the quote “Know thyself”, which was originally coined by Plato & Socrates… The quote made sense to me, but I had no in-depth understanding.
I just assumed “Duhh! If I don’t know myself who will“.
Now in retrospect, think about it…….If you don’t know yourself, who will understand you? who will be able to cater to your true emotional needs, how will you identify the people who improve you, if you don’t even know what your entity needs.
I often say there’s no specific period for self-development, everyday of your life should have that goal…“Today, I want to do and be better’. The human body and mind has been designed to be every changing. In biology, the moment something stops changing/growing its considered dead. I feel this the same with humans, we cannot afford to ‘Hibernate’ while alive.
I did a post in the past on the importance of self-reflection (Read HERE) and I stated out the benefits, so I would not bore you with a repeat. Self reflection is simply looking inward. Constantly doing a self assessment/checkup. It may sound obvious, but you’d realise that many do not really ‘self-reflect’.
The first Key to knowing yourself is to observe. To observe means to “Notice or perceive (something) and register it as being significant“———-Keyword ‘significant‘.
Now ask yourself, those things, feelings or actions you notice about yourself (if you do ‘notice’), How important do you acknowledge it? Many of us have a clear idea of our personas, but we do so little about it. Forgetting that who we are and what we do controls what we get.
Let me put it this way——Imagine you knew your strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, emotion sensory triggers and thresholds, wouldn’t it be easier to excel, set boundaries, succeed at careers, remain joyful, have great friends and even get upset a little less.
People often say you have no control over how people choose to see you, listen or respond to you….. To an extent that’s true, but I feel you have control over your life, how you feel, perceptions and relationships with those who matter to you.
Now you may say ‘Tosin, I know myself’……..here’s what I say, I don’t want you to ‘just’ know yourself, I want you to know, understand, accept, develop and apply ‘your-self truth’ to your life……
Your life is your solitude(alone-ness), your Job, your family, your relationships, your faith, your environment and every situation you find/place yourself in.
KNOWING YOURSELF IS A LIFE JOURNEY because feelings, wants, needs, and opinions change. But amidst all, you should always think. Bishop Oyedepo says a “thinking man is a ruler, he rules his world. A non-thinking man is a slave to his world”.
I agree. Thinking is a required mental activity in knowing yourself. it aids acknowledgement of growth areas, reflections, idea generation and future projections.
Personally, I feel at this stage in my life, I have a better idea of who I am, I know what I like, I also know how I function.
I can pick friends who I genuinely enjoy and appreciate, I can say No to what makes me sad, I can make decisions without being sentimental, I am more objective in my reasoning, I can ignore things that may trigger a negative emotion, I can use words that perfectly express how I truly feel. I no longer invest on temporary joys that leave me bitter after. I know what I want from life and I can work around my personality and strengths to achieve it. I also acknowledge that whatever I think I can do right now, there’s always a better/innovative way to it, because there’s always room for growth/improvement.
All the above is/was only possible through observing my behavioral patterns, emotions, actions-outcomes and perceptions of me from the outside world. My keys to a better understanding of ‘self’ is straightforward: REFLECT, OBSERVE & ASSESS, LET IT SINK, DEVELOP & IMPLEMENT.
” 2 Corinthians 13:5 Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.”
Doing this, you’d be able to overcome many fears, stay on your lane, make better decisions, avoid negativity and over all live a happier life.
With all that’s been said…I want you to know I’m saying all these from a standpoint of humility, I do not want to come off as self-absorbed, Rather I want you to see this from the perspective of someone who once struggled but didn’t need to….if only she knew herself better.
furthermore, There is no such thing as perfection, What seems like perfection is only people who maximize their strengths and suppress their weaknesses”—one of my favourite quotes.
In conclusion, Man is purely a work of the maker, and who can know the clay better than the potter…..no one. A relationship with God brings everything to light, God delights in the one that seek and please him, he’s even more that ready to aid the self discovery process. See what King David said in psalms 139:23
“Investigate my life, O God,
find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—
then guide me on the road to eternal life”
David was a great man, a man after God’s heart.
I pray that God reveals himself to us all, be our present help in our time of need and we all become a living manifestation of our God ordained purpose on earth.
Have a lovely weekend ahead!
17 Lessons to go. I hope to one day publish these writings into a book/compilation, but until then it’s all for you my blog readers!
All the best.
Got Questions, requests or suggestions? Kindly leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you