Know Yourself

What’s missing from this picture is how you see yourself . . .

Without intending to, I have launched a bit of a “self-care series” this past week. And the streak just keeps rolling on. I started with an exploration of why we struggle to act on what we know about self-care. Then I explored the effect that fear can have on how we implement self-care.

The inspiration for today’s post came from last night’s #InnoPsy (Innovation in Psychology) tweet chat. If you haven’t caught one of those, you should. We’re having great conversations on Tuesday nights. We were talking about the traits of introversion and extroversion. I won’t recap the whole discussion (but you can read the transcript if you want!).

What really jumped out at me last night was the strong theme that emerged among chat participants about the value of introversion & extroversion–not as a predictor of your ability, but as a way to know yourself. Here are a few examples of how people expressed that theme:

For me, understanding introversion has allowed me to accept my energy source and take care of myself. #Innopsy
I’d assume it is more about knowing how to leverage your preferences than actually preferring one or the other. #InnoPsy
Introversion-extroversion concept helps me to guide myself and people I know to understand how they get energized and feel creative.#Innopsy

And that got me thinking–in order to really do self-care, we have to know ourselves first. That means understanding not only where we draw our energy, but also what we value, what makes us laugh, what wraps us in comfort, what feeds our souls.

This sounds simple and straightforward. However, when I ask people in my office to tell me about themselves, I often get a blank look. Much of the time, we have been so busy racing through our lives that we have not felt that there was time to explore and get to know ourselves.

So, in the spirit of this self-care series, and in honor of all the great responses and comments I’ve gotten from you so far, I’d like to invite you to find some time in the next day or so to sit with yourself. To ask questions like:

  • What energizes me?
  • What inspires me?
  • What cheers me up?
  • What comforts me?
  • What relaxes me?
  • How do I feel connected?

I would strongly encourage you to write out some of your answers. Writing is a powerful tool for self-exploration–and often we end up writing things that surprise even us! And if you feel like sharing your reactions, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.


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