Understanding Yourself


Self-understanding is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feeling, motive, and desires, it practically means knowing what distincts me from the other person(s) based on my upfront reaction to the world around me. That you have a keen understanding of your own personality, that includes your positive and negative traits, your thoughts and beliefs, your feelings, and your inspiration. It is an invaluable social skill, and it will help you on your journey towards reaching all of your goals.

It is important for a person to understand his/herself because it not only helps you to become a better person but it also helps one to understand other people and relate well with them.

Being able to reflect on your life helps you to understand how you can become a better person each day; it will help you identify your passions and emotions and how you can streamline it to achieving purpose in life because when you are aware of your thoughts, words, feelings, and behavior, changes in the direction of your future will become possible.And as well self-understanding enables a person to understand other people, their perception of them and their attitude and responses suitable for them at that moment.

Human beings have different responses to situations around them, we have different communication skills, different level of show of emotions and empathy, we show differences in intellectual abilities, how we grieve, how we express happiness, how we handle pains and other life related matters, therefore, a productive co-existence with these people requires that you relate with them from their different angles.

Being self-understanding is an essential element to prepare ourselves to encounter clients' personal matters, attitudes, and thoughts. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses helps me in my professional development. It also helps me to be prepared ahead of time, and not let it become a barrier in helping others. It is so important for people trying to figure out what they want, and what they really need in life. 

To understand yourself and others is a virtue, one that is not given to you, but one in you need to put effort into obtaining.

But how does one do it?

There are many questions correlated to this that I want to appoint, and I believe they will lead to a “conclusion” on how one can understand others through understanding oneself, and why it matters so much in life.

To answer why it is important to understand yourself and others is rather easy, but to actually be able to achieve this is very difficult.

So let’s start by answering these questions one by one.

First of all, self-understanding and acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses is crucial because it allows you to build your life around them.

In other words, once you’ve determined your strengths you will work on them and enhance them. Also, the moment you recognize your weaknesses they are no longer that, but they become a goal that you need to overcome in order to improve.

With that being said, understanding yourself means grasping a go-getter attitude towards life, and excelling in it.

When it comes to the people around you, it’s pretty much the same. If you are a better person for yourself, that means you are able to become a better person for your friends and family as well.

You will learn that people, including yourself, are not flawless and that everyone is going through something. You will be able to empathize with other people’s feelings, instead of focusing only on yourself.

Answering how you can do this, can be quite tricky. To make this process easier, I am going to share a quick summary of the things that you can and should try to both, become self-understanding, and develop empathy towards others.

Keep in mind, however, these can vary depending on your personality, and in my opinion, everyone should find their own suitable alternative for embracing these things.

How to Become More Self-Understanding

1. Write down your goals and objectives in life. If you want to have a clear understanding of your present and future, take a piece of paper, and write down every goal/objective you have, no matter how big or small. This will show you where you are standing at the moment, and in which direction you are trying to move forward in life.

2. Practice meditation. Not everyone will find this to be a suitable option for themselves, but meditation can help you get in touch with your inner self. It can also provide moments of clarity, which is something that is incredibly important when you are trying to become more self-aware.

3. Ask questions. You won't know how you are behaving until someone tells you the truth. Therefore, ask your friends, family, co-workers how you are behaving with them. Don’t expect all of the answers to be true, but if you see a pattern in their answers you will have a real image for your behavior, and you will be able to change/upgrade it.

How to Understand Others

1. Empathy can be learned. While this is not exactly the answer you were looking for, it’s safe to say that even if you don’t currently “have” it, empathy can be learned over time. As previously said, it can be learned by discovering and understanding yourself. It’s a skill, and skills can be improved over time with practice.

2. Always listen to others. Being self-absorbed and talking about your feelings only is not the proper way to develop meaningful relationships with others. You need to listen to the people around you, but you need to do it with your heart as well. Focus on what they are saying and think twice before you reply.

3. Get out of your comfort zone. Putting yourself in different situations, not only those in who you are comfortable in, is a huge step towards understanding both yourself and others. You need to do this more often if you want to really see the world from a different perspective

In conclusion, self-understanding is the first most important step into accepting yourself, finding happiness and fulfilling purpose in life.

Author:Afolayana Folasade

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