To understand yourself is to understand the values, belief systems, moral codes, and ethics that make you. And, finding ways to understand yourself could be the most-tasking job ever. But when you know your personality, decision-making becomes less tasking, and you will gain clarity on people/persons to approach when you need a second opinion.
I see myself as an indecisive being most times, and this affects my decision-making. When making a decision, I could go back and forth, and when I finally make the decision, I throw questions at myself to verify if the decisions I made previously were perfect.
Can you imagine the amount of stress I have to put on my brain and body? It’s a lot!
Many like you and myself struggle with making healthy decisions, so I guess you can relate to what I said.
The truth is, decision-making is a vital aspect of every human life. From choosing a career path to what business to start, what school to go to, we always have decisions to make. And, without a vivid understanding of yourself, there is an increased likelihood to make the wrong decisions or consult the wrong people.
A common Nigerian saying goes thus “problem no dey finish” which translates to “problems never cease.” This saying is true because decision-making is a cycle that never ends as we must always make one! And knowing how to make healthy decisions is a life skill we must all develop, work on, and grow.
It is easy to get overwhelmed when making a decision. Allow me to introduce you to a powerful tool that can help you in making more healthy decisions. This tool is “Understanding Yourself or Self-awareness”
Merriam Webster defines self-awareness as understanding one’s emotions, desires, abilities, etc. It is the ability to make an accurate assessment of your strength, weakness, passion, desires, and identities. Similar to a SWOT analysis.
READ THIS: HOW TO BE MORE SELF-AWARE
IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING YOURSELF RELATING TO HEALTHY DECISIONS
I found this stated in an article that “the more you know about yourself, the better you will react to different situations that life throws at you.” Likewise, your reaction to life’s situations could be the difference between you and someone else in the hospital.
When you don’t take enough time to understand yourself and know who you are, you become easily influenced and swayed into a lifestyle that is neither right for you nor aligns with your values.
- We often solicit the input of others when it comes to making decisions, and most times, we get responses based on the person’s perceptiveness and values. When you’ve understood yourself and defined your goals, you can determine if the other person’s input aligns with your values.
- Being self-aware gives a clearer picture of your strength and your weakness which benefits your decision-making process in no small measure.
- When you understand yourself, it improves your emotional intelligence and drives factors that influence your decision-making process. You’ll stop second-guessing yourself and become more confident in the decisions you make.
Second-guessing yourself is a big deal because when you aren’t confident of your decisions, there is an increased probability that you will not see that decision through. You might become swayed by other related opinions and see less potential in yours. Sadly, that might be a breakthrough decision for you, and you can’t blame others because they spoke based on their values and perception.
When it comes to making decisions, no one is perfect. But when you understand yourself, you spend less time blaming others or yourself and more time learning from your mistakes.
Eventually, doing so builds you up, and before long, you become an expert at deciding what’s best for you because no one can understand yourself more than you!
6 WAYS TO UNDERSTAND YOURSELF
- View yourself through the lens of God’s word.
I’m a church girl (lol). Studying the scriptures is the first step to knowing who we are. The bible gives us an understanding of who God says we are, and it is only those that sit to study and search what God says about them that gets answers. Understanding yourself through the lenses of God’s word gives you a strong sense of worth.
2. Take note of your core values.
As you read this, pick out a notepad and write out things that are very important to you. The activities you can’t tolerate, your deal breakers, and so on. By having a good sense of your values, you can make decisions that align with your values. Super stress-free!
For example, when you are out to buy a dress, from your values, you are already aware of the type of dress you can wear and that which you can.
In short, knowing your values saves you time when making decisions.
3. Pay close attention to your areas of interest.
Your area(s) of interest comprises your hobbies, passion, and anything you enjoy doing. It could also include things that you are always curious about. The things that interest you go a long way in defining who you are, so you should consider your interests deliberately.
Relationships are mostly built based on shared interests and values. When you’ve been able to define your interests, you know the relationships to should keep and areas of your life you need to build on.
4. Know your temperament
Examine personality traits. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How well do you interact with people?
Being aware of your temperament or personality trait helps you move towards situations you could perform well and avoid the opposite. Imagine someone that doesn’t understand themselves trying to fit into another personality; a waste of time and frustration.
5. Know your strength and weakness
Don’t underrate the effects of self-evaluation, and don’t shy away from being truthful with yourself. We each have areas where we’re proficient and areas where we’re not so. Identify character traits that come easily and areas you struggle with; write them out and know what you need to improve on.
Understand the place of your strengths and the reason(s) for your weaknesses. You can interact with others based on your strengths, and you can find people to help out with your weaknesses. Remember, you find confidence in your strength.
6. Practice self-reflection and spend more time with yourself
Yeah, have your little me-time! Times when you weigh how far you’ve come, how well you’ve been living, or how bad. You also plan out the next steps you should take to become a better version of yourself.
You might not be the best there is, but to have no regrets, you need to be the best of yourself that could be. To achieve this, you need self-reflecting, and you can do this when alone.
JOURNEY TO BEING A BETTER YOU
The self-awareness journey is a daily one with a continual need to keep unraveling the things that make you who you are.
This year, I have been journaling almost daily, and doing so reveals a different part of me daily. Moreso, I now stress less and focus more on the commitments at hand.
So once again, understanding yourself isn’t a day’s work and can be overwhelming but don’t give up. You have a lot more to gain when you understand yourself as healthy decision-making is essential to living a fulfilled and happy life. So, don’t stop learning about YOU!
I hope that you commit yourself to intentionally understand yourself and make good decisions for yourself now and for your future.