4 Questions That Will Lead You to the Ultimate Self-Knowledge
Why is it so difficult to really know who we are?
You know those psychological personality tests that you just have to take to find out what type you are? I always loved those, as well as astrology descriptions of my sign. I felt such a need to get to know myself better!
I also really liked that feeling that I was being validated, that it wasn’t just a coincidence I had that tendency or quality, but that it was all a part of my type or personality.
Yet at the same time I asked myself, why would I need someone or something outside of me to tell me who I am?
Why can’t we just know?
Let’s face it. We are born into this life without knowing much about ourselves.
Our entire self-knowledge is based on the accumulative responses we get from our environment: what our bosses say about us, or how our teachers and parents behaved around us since we were kids.
The main source of information about our own character is in how others respond to us, and the interactions we have with them.
We can’t really look inside and say, hey! this is who I am.
We are just not built that way!
It’s as if all we can see is what’s outside of us, and our own self is hidden away.
This lack of a sense of self is often accompanied by a lack of meaning, because if I don’t quite know who I am, and what I am meant to do here, then I feel kind of lost in space.
And that has people searching for meaning in all the wrong places. An extreme example is a mass shooter who ultimately finds that to be their only way to feel meaningful.
Knowing who we are in relation to our close environment and the world around us, is not only becoming a more prevalent need, but it’s incredibly important!
It’s vital for our healthy development and our mental and emotional health!
With that in mind, I would like to invite you to my library of free resources where you can find tools for self improvement and relationship advice! You can sign up right here:
The Path to Self-Knowledge
The rising trends of depression in the world indicate that self-knowledge and questions of meaning are burning deep within us as a collective. However these deeper questions may not always rise to our consciousness or show up very clearly.
They may simply appear as a negative sensation, emptiness, or unease of an unknown origin or reason.
So I’ve put together a few questions you can ponder, in order to see yourself more clearly and attain real self-knowledge!
1. Where are my questions about meaning coming from?
Deep inside, each one of us has questions such as:
“who am I?“
“What do I have to give to the world?”
“What does this world need from me ?“
Allow these questions to be, to rise up to your consciousness.
Now ask yourself- where are these questions coming from?
Try to sense that deep place within you that wants to know.
Beyond how our environments shape us, beyond our physical or genetic attributes, there is something deep inside us that is none of that at all.
You can call it “the soul”, or simply, your true self.
It is that inner part which stirs within you with questions, directing you, creating your emotions, and your thoughts. It is the most internal part of us, and yet we don’t know it.
Psychologists have called it our “subconscious” but they have not been able to fully understand or map it out.
Because to see it, we need to see ourselves. And to see ourselves, we need to rise to a higher level.
2. Why complicate things?
Just as you ponder these deep matters, there could be that voice in your head that says, “Hey pal, forget all of these questions! Just live your life, enjoy what you have! Life is too short for all of these unnecessary self-knowledge complications”. Right?
This is, of course, a more easy and comfortable way to go. For a while.
But a person who truly needs to know- will not be able to stay happy with that for very long.
3. Why not just do something I really love?
Another voice may pop up, calling you to find your fulfillment and sense of meaning in a new hobby or even, a new profession. Sure that will fill your life with interest, fun and new experiences.
It may very well push those questions about who you truly are aside, and you may completely forget about them.
But your new adventure will probably not bring you closer to true self-knowledge. It will help you know more about a new topic, or how you behave in a new environment but not to really know YOU.
It won’t help you understand your inner life, the impulses, and desires that arise in you. Where are they coming from? What is it inside you that is pushing you forward? What is this engine or mechanism and how can you work with it?
To know this you need to delve inwardly, which requires a totally opposite set of tools than investigating the world around you.
Truth is, it’s only once you have been through all that life has to offer, when you have studied, worked, and experienced all of that, and you still find that it’s not enough, that there must be more- that you can truly begin to delve deeper into who you are.
It’s when you carry within yourself the cultural development of humanity throughout the millennia, and yet when you consider you could go to the moon and back, or travel the world…you think… so the heck what?!
That’s when you are ready.
4. I really do want to know! So how can I find out who I am?
Once you feel that you are ready, you need to go to the higher level from which you will be able to see yourself clearly.
You need to find the right place for you to learn how to do that.
What is this higher level?
The current level is the level of the physical body, with the mind and its thoughts, feelings, and desires for constant self-fulfillment and gratification.
The higher level is where your true self or soul is trying to direct you.
It’s what’s found in connection to others. You need to shift your focus from your self to others, or more specifically, to the unified whole of which we are part.
The more importance that you give to your connection with others, and to seeing the benefit of the whole as your priority, the more you can step beyond your own conditioning and patterns.
Each of us has a unique soul or inner self that is longing to reunite with source, which is the unified field of consciousness.
This is the inner voice asking us who we truly are so that we hurry on the path to self-knowledge and self discovery.
And so, no one can tell you who you are but yourself. Only you can find it through your own search and self development.
If you listen to this voice inside you it can lead you to discover that you are much more than you ever imagined.
Have a story of self discovery? Or just want to comment or ask a question?
Share your thoughts down in the comments!
Related reading: The Truth About Human Nature
I love the “what does the world need from me” question. It’s so easy to just exist…and not live a meaningful life. Excellent article!
Thanks so much Jillian! The world needs us to be all that we can, for it.
I love the point about “what do I have to give the world?”. Such a great way to frame it!
Thanks, Kari! It’s such an important question because each one of us does have something inside that everybody else needs!