Strategies to enhance self-knowledge

There are several tools to enhance self-knowledge. However, the most important thing is that there is a real interest in exploring yourself in depth.

Last update: 24 January, 2022

Why is it worth promoting self-knowledge? This is perhaps the first question that comes to mind when talking about this topic.

The truth is enhancing self-knowledge is a factor that helps to live better. If a person knows who he is and what he wants, he can focus his efforts more effectively.

This factor affects all aspects of life. Enhancing self-knowledge enriches existence in many ways. It is also an indispensable starting point for growth and evolution. How to achieve it?

What is self-knowledge?

Self-knowledge is knowing who you are. Said that way it seems simple, but at the same time too abstract.

In a more concrete way, it could be said that it consists of the ability to identify our mental states, psychological processes, preferences and dispositions. It is also the ability to become aware of what is happening in our inner world.

Thanks to self-knowledge, we can detect the changes that occur in ourselves, as well as moods, contradictions with the environment and discomfort. You can also foresee the way in which we are going to act in certain circumstances.

The importance of self-knowledge

Human beings are good at deceiving ourselves. There are cognitive biases or thought distortions that induce us to do so. Likewise, repressed feelings or unprocessed experiences make us see ourselves in a distorted way.

Self-knowledge is a process that never ends, because people change over time and with the experiences we experience. That is why it is a continuous exercise, which never yields definitive conclusions.

Knowing each other, in any case, provides clarity to act in a more accurate way in all areas. Help set realistic and achievable goals. Likewise, it contributes to regulating emotions and seeking or rejecting what satisfies us or bothers us.

When a person does not know himself enough, problems such as the following usually arise:

  • Personal insecurity: you are more dependent on external approval or disapproval.
  • Development Stagnation: if you are not aware of your own strengths and weaknesses, you do not know where to direct your efforts to grow.
  • Inappropriate automatic behaviors: behaviors are adopted and repeated, without knowing why.
  • wrong decisions: it is more likely that inconvenient situations will be chosen, since one is not aware of it.
  • Waste of energy and resources: you can spend a lot of time and spend a lot of energy and resources doing things that don’t really interest you.
The process of self-knowledge involves reason and feelings.


Strategies to enhance self-knowledge

At this point, it is worth emphasizing that self-knowledge is a process and not a one-time achievement. We all know each other to some extent, but if actions are taken to enhance self-knowledge, a deeper and more decisive level will be reached. How to do it? The following strategies can help.

1. Write a journal

The personal diary is still a classic tool to enhance self-knowledge. This medium provokes a reflection on the events of the day, but especially about the way it was acted and the feelings involved in it.

Likewise, it promotes a greater order in emotions and ideas. When reviewing it, many things are discovered that go unnoticed at first glance.



2. Make the wheel of life

The wheel of life is another of those instruments that comes in handy to enhance self-knowledge. You just have to make a circle and divide it into the areas that comprise your own existence: friendships, partner, work, finances, etc. Later identify those in which you want to improve, numbering them in order of priority.

3. Explore perceptionnes

This strategy consists of ask other people to describe you. The key is to listen with an open mind and to catch the repeating aspects.

There are characteristics of oneself that we are not aware of and that others do see. Likewise, there are areas of our personality that we manifest in an erroneous way.

4. Make the line of life

It consists of making a time line. This is a horizontal line on which milestones are marked by dates. Such milestones are the most relevant events that we have experienced. Everything ends in the now. Doing this exercise allows us to schematically draw our past.

5. Expand emotional vocabulary

It is important learn to identify emotions as accurately as possible. sometimes we are not sad, otherwise discouraged or nostalgic.

The greater the ability to verbalize what you feel, the more the level of self-knowledge will increase. For this it is necessary to expand the emotional vocabulary.

6. Reconnect with the body

The body and mind maintain a very close bond. What happens in one of these dimensions affects the other.

It is very valuable to learn to read the signals provided by the body. There are unconscious emotions that, for that very reason, go unnoticed.

7. Identify the triggers of emotions

Joy, sadness or anger are not born just because. There are factors that activate them and learning to recognize them helps a lot to enhance self-knowledge. When those emotions are experienced, it is best try to identify what was the situation, word or event that triggered them.

8. Recognize reactions

Emotions also translate into behaviors. The question here is how a person reacts to happiness, sadness or anger.

By answering that question, it is possible to establish the connection between emotion and behavior. This leads to knowing yourself better and being able to anticipate your future reactions.

Feelings must have a name so that we can make them more precise and know how we react to them and what effect we have on others.

9. The effect on others

This is a crucial aspect and it has to do with observing the effect our emotions have on others. Is there a change in others when we are angry, tired, uncomfortable, or distant?

Make the decision to know yourself

The human mind is complex and even though knowing oneself is the goal of many, there are also several who resist doing so. Sometimes you form a fanciful image of yourself and you don’t want anything or anyone to remove that mask.

This happens, especially, when there are problems that they do not want to face. It may be painful to do so, or it may lead to uncomfortable questions. If in any case there is an interest in promoting self-knowledge, The best thing to do in these cases is psychotherapy..

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