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The pursuit of self-knowledge has been a passion of mine for many years. I find it fascinating that after 30 years of being in my body, mind and soul, I have so much more to learn, so much more to explore. The more I develop my understanding of myself, the stronger my relationships have become and the more I understand others. It’s counter-intuitive, but I often feel like self-understanding allows us to become more compassionate and caring towards others around us.
Check out our latest Patreon exclusive video where Shelsea and I dig into the nuances of this topic.
Here is the link to the original article we based this video on: https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/know-yourself/
At the end of the article one of the tips School of Life provides is to have open and honest conversations. They prescribe questions and sentence starters that you can check out within the article.
I believe that these conversations are strongest when we welcome feedback. Building safe, strong and honest relationships allows you to ask tough questions about yourself.
One of the scariest is… How did I impact you?
Often, we walk around thinking about our anxieties, insecurities, frustrations, desires, joys, and fears. Introspection can lead us down a path where we are only focused on, well, us.... This can lead to addictive and cyclical thinking where we re-tread the same ideas over and over again.
An effective way to break this cycle is to ask others how you affect them, both positive and negative.
How do your actions, habits, and attitudes influence those around you?
What makes this question so terrifying is that we might hear something we don’t want to hear. We might have to make changes in our lives because our actions don’t line up with our ideas of ourselves.
And who the fuck wants to change? Haha there are certainly times when I don’t want to.
A trick to getting genuine feedback is by learning how to control your reactions to the feedback. Hearing about ourselves can create so much fear and defensive energy. Even if you want to explode with anger, being able to repress that emotion until you can process it later, allows us to gain insight we couldn’t get normally.
Taking a breath, setting your defenses aside and asking a follow-up question can be the trick to enhancing your relationships
The other day a colleague told me how a group of my peers used to have this judgment of me. It was really hurtful and pretty mean. She continued by saying that people don’t think that anymore.
I immediately wanted to insult her, but I held back and asked her to expand on why people judged me in that way and she explained. It took every muscle in my body to sit with this discomfort. After we finished talking I felt sad, discouraged and relieved.
Sad and discouraged for obvious reasons. Relieved because I finally got to know how my actions had impacted others. Even if this is not the whole truth and it's specific to a certain context, it’s still a chance to learn and grow.
This journey is challenging and we are here traveling the same road as you are. Feel free to engage us, challenge us and talk through ideas.