If you are wondering how to understand yourself, then it’s time to conduct a thorough analysis of your actions, thoughts, desires. This will be much more effective than empty groaning about “life has come to a standstill”, “everything is tired and nothing brings joy.” Often a person is engaged in self-deception: to recognize him, to realize the problem is the first step towards solving it.
What does it mean to understand yourself, what do people understand by this question? Everyone will have their own answer, but for the majority it boils down to realizing what a person wants from life and what he lacks for happiness.
Someone in search of an answer goes into depression, someone into alcoholism, others are attracted by the secrets of Tibet and ancient practices. And someone turns to professional psychologists, whose task is to help a person.
However, not everyone can face the truth and openly admit the reasons for their anxiety. Why does the desire to understand yourself arise? Psychologists identify 5 main factors:
- Difficulties and failures in life . In moments when something does not go according to plan, a person begins to delve into himself, look for flaws. Instead, it is better to understand what was done wrong in each specific case: to analyze what actions led to undesirable consequences so as not to repeat mistakes.
- Bad mood, prolonged depression, possibly neuroses that require medical intervention.
- Serious conflicts and misunderstandings with loved ones or with those whose opinion is important to a person.
- Unfulfilled hopes and disappointments. For example, you already imagined yourself as the head of a department and were preparing a “speech from the throne” in anticipation of a promotion, and the reorganization of the company implied a reduction in staff, and you were first on the list of “out”. After such a blow, the desire to understand yourself is quite understandable.
- Age crisis. There are turning points in everyone’s life, and this happens not only in adolescence. Experts distinguish crises of 20.25 years, middle, pre-retirement age.
On the other hand, the desire to understand what you want from life, to find your fears, to make out mistakes are the normal desires of every reasonable person. And such a person is more likely to achieve happiness than those for whom it is enough to satisfy the primitive needs from the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid. Only you need to understand yourself and your life competently so as not to aggravate the situation.
The 3 main ingredients of introspection
First of all, be honest with yourself, do not dissemble. Perhaps what is revealed to you will not please you. The three main ingredients of introspection are:
Search for the source of discontent . Bad weather or the success of a coworker, a fight with your child, or a burnt dinner can explain your bad mood. Find what’s bothering you. If it doesn’t work out right away, make lists of what worries you. Arm yourself with colored pencils and mark:
- red – what can be fixed;
- green – what does not depend on you, and this will have to be taken for granted;
- blue – what you are able to get rid of.
Source localization. Do not spread concern, for example, with work, to all areas of life. If something can be changed, go ahead.
Acceptance of what you cannot influence. Does bad weather spoil your mood? Consider that “this too will pass,” as King Solomon said. What is the point of being upset over something that is beyond your control?
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How to understand exactly what you want from life
To understand what you want from life, first of all, you need to accept yourself as you are. With this, most people have a problem – especially if in childhood you were instilled with the “excellent student’s syndrome”: psychological complexes, when in the first place is the desire to be first in everything. Often other people’s beliefs, imposed by loved ones or society, can poison life.
But the understanding that we are all imperfect helps to understand ourselves, not to focus on shortcomings, but to notice and develop advantages, positive qualities.
Keep a personal diary where you chronicle the events, thoughts and emotions they evoke. Psychologists recommend keeping such records daily, and then re-reading from the beginning, as if about a stranger. Such a side view can be very useful: you are not thinking about yourself and you can evaluate the hero and his actions with an impartial, detached view.
Look at the children – you can learn from them sincerity and purposefulness: if they cry, then with all their hearts , and if they want something, they will achieve it in any way.
Remember what you loved to do as a child: singing, drawing, playing football or dressing up dolls. Everyone, if he delves into his memory, will find something from which “the soul sang.” And even if you, an adult, no longer become the second Aivazovsky or Zaitsev, you can always discover in yourself those talents that you forgot and did not use for a long time.
You can find yourself in areas that are as close as possible to your cherished desire. For example, you wanted to become an artist, but your mother said that the profession of an accountant “will always feed” – it is never too late to go to study computer graphics and become a sought-after graphic designer.
Quite often, in their desire to share responsibility for their lives, people turn to the government, parents, wives and husbands, and even to higher powers. Hence the craving in solving complex life issues for various fortune-telling, horoscopes, astrology, palmistry and similar methods.
To believe or not to believe esoterics is everyone’s personal business. You should not blindly follow the recommendations of such assistants, although there is a rational grain there. Teachings of this kind were formed thousands of years ago on the basis of knowledge about human psychophysiology. But remember that there are many charlatans in these areas, and there are not so many people who can really understand your problems or predict certain events.
Try to hear yourself. We are accustomed to the hustle and bustle of modern life, the moral teachings of our surroundings, and dependence on public opinion. This dependence is so strong that many go to work they do not like, communicate with people who are unpleasant to them, rest where they are not comfortable, if it is fashionable. In a word, they live the life of an exemplary person, and do not feel happy.
A hobby can be the solution. A hobby is something in which you can be absolutely free. In addition, it is a hobby that can help to re-feel the lost joy, even the delight of the opportunity to be yourself. While doing what you love, there is no need to pretend to be who you really are not, to put on masks. And then a serious, respectable director of the company, sorting out his toy soldiers, turns into a cheerful, fair-haired boy. And a business lady, a mother of three children, baking cakes with pleasure – into a mischievous girl with pigtails, who with a sinking heart watches how curly cookies emerge from under her grandmother’s hands.
Expand your social circle. Getting to know new people, you will see new opportunities for realizing yourself, your plans. Perhaps one of your new acquaintances will turn out to be like-minded and understand your aspirations better than old friends.
Let go of stereotypes. This does not mean that there should be no authorities for you. But rely, first of all, on your thoughts, emotions, life principles, think with your own head. The habitual worldview at times does not allow us to move forward, to develop.
Try to find more sources of positive emotions. Go to theaters, museums, read. If possible, change your environment.
Often, instead of being honest with themselves and figuring out what really makes us happy, people spend most of their time complaining about the injustices of life and fate. It is much more productive to understand yourself, understand what you want, and take action to get rid of discontent and live the life of your dreams.