Self-knowledge: Who Are You?

Dear fellow human, do you know yourself? Who are you? What kind of person are you? What kind of human being are you?

Don’t take these questions as insults. Some people, because of the kind of person they are, might take such questions as insults. They are not. 

Self-knowledge is extremely important because it determines how you live, the decisions you make, the friendships you keep, and your perception of the world.

And it has nothing to do with how people define you.

Knowing yourself has less to do with your name or how you perceive yourself and more to do with who you really are.

It’s likely that you already know who you are. But, today, please examine yourself again.

If possible, make examining yourself a regular habit and check if you are still who you would like to always be.

You are always transitioning. Some parts of you will forever remain the same but sometimes life will bring forth changes.

The more you add on life experiences, the more you learn and reshape yourself.

How you analyzed and perceived situations as a child is different from how you do so as an adult.

How you will see yourself in ten years’ time will be very different from how you see yourself now.

There’s who you are.

And then, there’s who you were.

And then again there’s who you want to be.

And the answer to the unasked questions elicited from the above statements is You.

You can only be you. A different you because of transformations and because life happens, but a unique you.

But, what kind of person are you?

You can meditate on this by analyzing what defines a human being. What defines who a person is.

Forget your physiology, let’s talk about your psychology, mind and soul.

These concepts define who you are, and your personality:

  • Your behaviour
  • Your beliefs
  • Your values
  • Your skills
  • Your interests
  • Your way of thinking

Your Behavior

What do you do regularly? What are your habits? Which actions do you do?

How do you behave in emotional, occupational, social, or financial situations?

What’s your personality, character or traits? Are you an extrovert or an introvert?

Your Beliefs

What do you believe or not believe in? Do you believe in God? Do you believe in yourself? What do you believe about life and other people? What do you have faith in? With whom or what do you identify?

Your Values

What do you hold dear? What is your concept of right and wrong? What is your character? What guides your decisions in life? How do you solve your problems? What principles guide you?

Your Skills

What are you capable of doing? Have you discovered your talent? What are you poor at doing? Do you have formal education or training? Can you read, write, drive, etc.? What skills have you learned in your lifetime?

Your Interests

What do you like or dislike? What do you do during your free time? What are your goals in life? What interests you the most? What interests you the least?

Your Way of Thinking

What attitudes and perceptions do you have in regard to yourself, your family, friends, work, and life in general? How do you solve problems?

Do you face them, avoid them or ignore them? What do you think about most of the time? Do you have stereotypes about a certain group of people?

Do You Like the Person You are?

After carefully scrutinizing yourself: what kind of person are you and do you like the kind of person you are?

If you hate the kind of person that you are now, take action, renew yourself and take the necessary steps to become the person that you desire to be.

You hate the kind of person you are because you are trying to live according to the expectations advertised by the world.

Or you are trying to live according to the standards that other people approve of even though they are against your core beliefs, values, interests or way of thinking.

Make necessary adjustments to go back to the things that you, as an individual, consider beneficial and free of negative consequences.

You are not doomed to be who you are now. You can always work hard to be the kind of person that you crave to be if only you authentically know yourself. How?

  1. Consider what kind of people you would like your loved ones or those around you to be. Be that person. For instance, if you are looking for a spouse and you expect them to have certain qualities say kindness and self-respect. Do you have these qualities yourself? Or are you at least trying to cultivate them?
  2. Be keen on the things that you criticize others for. Can you be criticized for the same things that you judge another human for? Or maybe you have worse faults than them?
  3.  Don’t get mad when people misdefine you or criticize you. They could be wrong. Or they could be somehow right. If there’s some validity in what they say, work on eliminating that weakness. Change so that the next time they criticize you negatively (it’s bound to happen) you will be 100% sure that they are wrong and their opinions will not matter because you’ll be proud to define yourself.
  4. Surround yourself with the kind of people who inspire you to be the kind of person that you want to be. If you sit with the dogs, you’ll get up with fleas. Watch your company. Say your current definition of yourself includes “alcohol addict” but you want to do away with it. Spending time with sober people will encourage you to stay sober too, but if you continue hanging out with other addicts who have no desire to change, you will maintain your identity as an addict.
  5. Reflect on who you are. You have strengths, you have weaknesses and imperfections. Be real with yourself. Be honest with yourself. No one can judge you when you are honestly reflecting in your mind about who you are. Apart from maybe your own self. Improve and rectify where appropriate. You define yourself better than anyone else can. You can make your definition to be the kind of person that you want to be. What kind of person are you when you remove all the socially approved masks that you are usually compelled to wear?

Are you the kind of person that you think you are? Or is that person the kind of person that you want others to think you are? Do you know yourself? 

If you claim to be generous, do your actions match that? If you claim that all lives matter, does your behaviour, beliefs, values, interests, and way of thinking match that?

You cannot be free without self-knowledge, neither can you understand others. Get to know yourself. Get to love yourself.

Discover yourself.


Be authentic.

You are an interesting, beautiful, complex human with a mind and body. You have a lot to learn. Your life is meant to be lived. Life is for living. Keep living. Don’t give up.

You may agree with this philosophy,

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom―Aristotle

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