“To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
This famous quote is often attributed to Socrates. But what exactly do you know when you “know yourself?”
Why is it important to know yourself?
The Benefits of Self-Knowledge
Maybe it’s obvious, but here in a nutshell are a few reasons why you might want to know your own nature:
1. Happiness. You will be happier when you can express who you are. Expressing your desires, moreover, will make it more likely that you get what you want.
2. Less inner conflict. When your outside actions are in accordance with your inside feelings and values, you will experience less inner conflict.
3. Better decision-making. When you know yourself, you are able to make better choices about everything, from small decisions like which sweater you’ll buy to big decisions like which partner you’ll spend your life with. You’ll have guidelines you can apply to solve life’s varied problems.
4. Self-control. When you know yourself, you understand what motivates you to resist bad habits and develop good ones. You’ll have the insight to know which values and goals activate your willpower.
5. Resistance to social pressure. When you are grounded in your values and preferences, you are less likely to say “yes” when you want to say “no.”
6. Tolerance and understanding of others. Your awareness of your own foibles and struggles can help you empathize with others.
7. Vitality and pleasure: Being who you truly are helps you feel more alive and makes your experience of life richer, larger, and more exciting.