Before I was able to have true and meaningful relationships with others, I had to learn how to have a relationship with myself. That’s hard when you don’t really know yourself. Although I didn’t know what I didn’t know… you know? I realized by reviewing my past and the way I had been living, I wasn’t a very good friend to myself.
How do I continue learning about myself? Here are a few actions which help me:
- Prayer and Meditation
- Daily inventory
Reviewing my day’s interactions with others each night before bed. Where do I need improvement? Do I need to make any apologies or ask anyone for forgiveness? Is there someone I need to forgive? Make notes and take action.
- Ask someone I love how I can be more of service to them and their needs.
This can be anyone for that matter, not only a loved one but a co-worker.
- Identifying emotions
When I feel a certain uneasiness, I try to identify what it is and write it down [action]. Most of the time this feeling is based in fear. But fear wears many masks so finding the reason can be difficult. As I say often, it is usually fear of losing something I think I have or not getting something I think I want. This to me is lack of faith. So one of the keys to overcoming fear is having faith.
- Doing something uncomfortable
This almost always teaches me something about myself. Where my comfort zone is, is it larger or smaller, etc.. For example striking up a conversation with a total stranger. I learn several things from this: one, I’m not as introverted as I think I am and two, people are a lot friendly then I thought they were.
I can still give myself a hard time. Like mumbling under my breath “that was stupid you idiot.” If my beautiful wife Emily is within earshot, she’ll usually respond with “hey, don’t talk to my friend that way.” Now, more often then not, when my inner voice tells me I’m no good, I hear “hey don’t talk to my friend that way.” She refers to that as thrive learning sometimes.
By recognizing self-deprecation, I learn about myself. I learn to be kinder. Being kinder and more loving inwards allows me to be kinder and more loving outwards.
What do you do to learn about yourself?