How to Get to Know Yourself Better: 3 Great Tips

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“He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise.”


Who are you? What is your daily and weekly life really about?

Those not always easy questions to answer. So today I’d like to share three tips that have helped me to get to know myself a bit better and to see my life more accurately.

1. What part of you do you see in them?

What we see in others is quite often what we see in ourselves. And what irritates us in people may be what we don’t like in ourselves. What you judge in someone you are actually judging in yourself.

Therefore what you notice and what irritates you in others can teach you important things about yourself. Things you may not be aware of. In a way people can be like a mirror for you. A mirror that can help you to learn more about yourself, what you fear and how you may be fooling yourself.

So, what people generally irritate you? What do you often judge or criticize people for?

What can that tell you about you?

2. Do the unusual thing.

When faced with a choice in your daily life, step back for a minute and think. Then take the option that is and feels unusual for you.

If you often back down just don’t for this one time. If you often get into arguments with people then just this one time don’t and instead just let it go or treat the other person with kindness. Do the opposite of what you usually do and see what happens (while using common sense of course). Do something new and something you wouldn’t expect from yourself.

This is a fun and great way to get new experiences and to learn things about the world and about yourself that you wouldn’t if you kept going like you usually do. It’s also a great way to be surprised about life as things often turn out more positively than in your fear filled daydreams if you just take action.

Getting stuck in the same old routine until it becomes a rut can suck the life out of you. Doing the unusual thing in small and big situations, no matter how it goes, is a great way to feel alive again and to reveal aspects of yourself that may have been hidden from you.

3. Journal.

Journaling is a fine way to get a more accurate picture of yourself and your life. A few ways that I have used journaling to get to know myself and my life are:

  • Journal about how you use your time. Just write down what you do during one day. Or during one week. Write down what you spend your time on and how much time you spend on each thing. You may, as me, be surprised about how much time you waste on procrastinating and pretty pointless busy work. Even if you may have an image of yourself as an effective person.
  • Journal about what you think. What do you think about during a normal day? Or a week? Write it all down. By doing so you can find recurring patterns of thought such as fears or maybe that you spend a lot of time regretting what happened in the past. Or you may find that you are actually a more positive person than you may think. This is a really interesting exercise because it can help you spot both positive things and negative things about yourself and just how accurate your current image of yourself is. You’ll probably run into some surprises.
  • Journal about what you eat. I used this to lose weight. If you want to lose weight you have to consume less calories that you use. So how do you know what to eat and how much? You got to monitor it in some way. I used the free and very simple to monitor what I eat during the day. This is essential stuff. Because the three normal and most of the time actually pretty healthy meals I ate in the past consisted of the same amount of calories I used during the day. So little progress was made. To keep things within effective and healthy limits I think it’s important to monitor what you do. But not to get obsessed about these things though. The main point is to keep an eye on what you are actually doing instead of guesstimating a whole lot.

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mary

    Hi all
    This is really interesting. The number 1 part about seeing your negative aspects in others by noticing what you dont like about them, oh so true! I withdrew a huge projection that I had carried most of my life by doing this. I felt unwell for several days after I made the realisation, because I realised what a hypocrite I have been all my life so far. I was critisizing this person (and feeling sanctimonious about it into the bargain!) and doing the exact same thing myself in a different way. What a revelation, and it has been life changing. I guess thats what the term blind spot means. However, it has opened a thirst for more self knowledge.