When you think about yourself as an individual, what comes to mind? Do you think of your favorite hobbies or maybe what you like to eat? Maybe you consider your current career and other personal goals. But have you ever stopped to think about the reasoning behind all those things? We have a wealth of knowledge on basic information about ourselves, but it’s also important to know yourself in-depth and understand why you are the way you are!

The Importance of Truly Knowing Yourself

When we think of what we know about ourselves, we tend to only scratch the surface. In reality, we are much more complex than that. According to BetterUp, “Self-knowledge means understanding your own sensations, thoughts, beliefs, values, and behaviors. It’s about knowing what makes you tick, why you get out of bed in the morning, and what you value in relationships.” Knowing your ‘why’ behind all these things not only helps you understand yourself but helps others understand you as well. When you can easily express your wants and needs to those in your life, it allows for open and honest communication. This could reduce stress and misunderstandings in any relationship whether that be romantic, professional, or familial.

Your relationship with yourself would benefit the most. Having a deeper sense of self leads to a more fulfilling life. Rather than ignoring and suppressing issues, you’ll be more willing to face them head-on. When you are honest with yourself and can identify your true desires, the choices you make in life will be authentic and backed by confidence. There are many methods and exercises you can try to deepen your knowledge of yourself.

How to Get More in Tune with Yourself

To find out more about who you truly are, you’ll need to take time to explore yourself. As you may know, I take the Internal Family Systems approach. This form of evidence-based psychotherapy creates inner and outer connectedness by helping people first access their self and, from that core, come to understand and heal their parts. With this practice, we explore and heal the protective and wounded parts of our inner self. Knowing how and why your inner self reacts in the ways that it does is key to understanding yourself as a whole.

PsychCentral lists eight ways you can learn more about yourself. One way they described includes being aware of what drains you and what acts as a pick-me-up. When you can identify what and/or who drains your energy versus recharges it, you’ll know what activities and interactions can make or break your mood. This can also give you insights into the desirable traits you can look for when starting a new activity or meeting new people.

Another thing they mention is to keep journals – a regular one and one to track your dreams. Dreams are often a place where our minds can try to make sense of what we experience in our daily lives. Keeping note of your dreams may help you find solutions to current problems or even allow you to make connections to your emotions that you otherwise wouldn’t address. If you are less of a wordsmith and more artistic, creating art may be a great way to express your feelings. Pay attention to your feelings in the moment or towards something specific, and use colors and shapes that you feel translate those emotions.

It is also important to be mindful of what frustrates you. Focusing on negative things may make you feel uneasy, but you can learn a lot about yourself in those situations. If something makes you uncomfortable, be sure to take note of what it was, how you reacted, and how it all made you feel. It’s vital to examine your reactions to the world around you. Your initial physical reaction will tell you more about your true feelings regarding a situation than you may think. Above all, it is always a great idea to question what you are feeling or why you are feeling it in any situation. Understanding how and why you go about life the way you do is the key to getting to know all about yourself.

Every struggle is different, but we can all help prevent suicide. If you or a loved one is struggling, please do not hesitate to call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 (1-800-273-8255 can still be used as well). The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources, and best practices for professionals in the United States. You can also visit their website.

If you need any assistance on your journey through life, please feel free to contact me! I’m always happy to help you! I offer in-person appointments as well as HIPAA-compliant virtual options.