“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”~Aristotle
In the age of self-improvement, unlocking the secrets of becoming the best version of ourselves ranks highly on many a priority list. In fact, that’s probably why you’re here, right?
While the internet is alive with practical tips and tricks for the budding self-improver and new-age spiritualism is becoming more mainstream to this end, one of the most basic of principles is often overlooked. Fundamentally, there’s one simple truth that must be adhered to before you put any of your new learnings into practice.
It was Aristotle who said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom,” and his theory inspires the very essence of modern-day self-improvement and personal development. This ancient piece of wisdom is the key to realizing your greatness and is the common theme among the top psychology books.
The relationship you have with yourself is, and will always be, the most powerful, most important and most influential one you ever have. It is the very foundation for your success; your path to greatness hinges on how well you know yourself, and what you choose to do with that information.
While your relationships with others may still have some impact on your life, it is the one with yourself which drives you forward and ultimately determines the outcomes of some of your life’s most pivotal moments.
It’s knowing yourself which dictates whether you’ll achieve the greatness you seek, or whether you’ll never amass the success you so crave. Ultimately, it’s knowing yourself which gives you ALL of the qualities you need to successfully implement the practical self-improvement tips that you receive.
What Happens When Knowing Yourself Takes Place?
Here, we take at some of the most incredible ways knowing yourself can redirect your current trajectory and point you towards ultimate success in career and life.
1. You’ll Know What Success Means To You
How can you ever achieve greatness if you don’t actually know what that means for you? Many of us model success after others. In reality, this mindset sets you up for a fall because you’re chasing something of false importance to you. Neither the journey nor the destination will be fully satisfying. What’s more, you’re actually less likely to reach the goals you set out for yourself since they don’t align with who you truly are.
By knowing yourself, you can fully and completely outline what success looks like and develop a roadmap to get you there. Your pitfalls will be much less severe and your wins, more electrifying. Your drive and determination will also be supercharged as you know why it’s so important for you to get to where you’re going.
2. You’ll Have The Courage To Trust Your Intuition
To know yourself is to have the courage and confidence to listen to your inner voice. Within each one of us, there’s a voice which steers us towards one decision or another, guiding us to our highest path. But without truly knowing who you are, sometimes trusting the voice inside is easier said than done.
You see, that little voice is your intuition. Sometimes, it guides you to take a path that you’re not totally comfortable with, so ignoring it seems like the most sensible option. By tapping into your intuition and realizing its power, it becomes harder to silence the messages it gives you. By understanding who you truly are, you’ll be more confident that your inner voice is actually working for you.
It’s more than just trusting your intuition though, it’s trusting yourself. So many of us create barriers for ourselves on our path to greatness because we don’t fully trust that our ideas are the right ones.
We get scared that we’ll take the wrong step, make the wrong move and end up failing. But by knowing who you are, you’ll have more confidence to put the wheels in motion and make the changes you know you should make.
That’s not to say that everything will be easy, you will simply find overcoming fears and shirking judgment less challenging, allowing you to move forward, rather than standing still.
3. You Stop Wasting Time
For many of us, the path to greatness is littered with sidetracks that take us away from our true purpose and delay our success. Often, this arises from two things: 1.) our desire to appease others and adhere to social norms and 2.) our inability to cut through the clutter and focus on the things that will really make a difference.
In reality, the understanding that you are the creator of your own success can help you make better decisions. Being fully aware of your true purpose will ultimately lead you to make decisions which align with that. Essentially, every step you make will be towards your journey and goals, so you’ll get to them quicker.
Your self-knowledge inspires a sense of confidence that you don’t have to go through a multitude of different checkpoints before you arrive at the point that you knew you needed to be at before you started your journey. You’ll just jump straight to that point without having to endure the unnecessary steps to get there.
4. You Become Happier
One of the most empowering things about knowing yourself is self-contentment. You cease to be your own harshest critic, choosing kindness, understanding and positivity instead of constantly berating yourself, your abilities and your decisions. You stop comparing yourself to others as you realize you are the only person that matters on your path to success.
In turn, your personal contentedness launches you toward success like nothing else. Distractions of peer comparisons and the hesitations resulting from self-doubt are completely obliterated, further clearing your pathway to success.
How Does Knowing Yourself Happen?
Although the principle of knowing yourself may seem simple, it’s actually one of the most challenging things a person can do. Between learned behaviors and a false perception of who you really are, getting to know yourself can mean challenging your most deep-rooted beliefs and breaking out of one of life’s most secure comfort zones.
That said, it can be done with hard work, dedication, and practice. You must make a conscious effort to make the change and focus on the foundational pillars on which self-knowledge is built.
At the most rudimentary of levels, understanding your values, strengths, life goals, passion and inspiration is the first step to becoming more aligned with who you are.