I love jig saw puzzles and the challenge of arranging the pieces so they fit together just right. Of course, the reason for taking the time to analyze all of the pieces is to fit them all together so that you can finally see the ‘big picture.’
Life is kind of like a virtual jig saw puzzle too. Getting all of the pieces to fit together takes time and analysis. Unfortunately, with our busy lives, many never take the time or do the analysis.
This article explores the importance of self understanding.
Start Where You Are
Dump the pieces out on the table. These represent all of the different attitudes, reactions, strengths and weaknesses, motivations, defense mechanisms, etc… that you have.
The straight edge pieces provide the boundaries – beyond which you would never stray. These are your beliefs and values, etc. – the foundation of who you are.
Sometimes, being honest with yourself is the hardest thing. Everyone has aspects of themselves that they want to change. It can be painful to take action to even look at them. Sometimes it’s scary to look at the ‘black’ pieces of you – but you need to identify each one and push through the fear. Once you address each dark piece, one at a time, you gain peace of mind and the confidence to pursue anything you choose.
If you have family or friends that will be honest with you, seek their feedback. Be aware, though that they can only provide feedback based on their own perceptions and attitudes. This can be helpful, however you need to determine how much of their feedback is true for you or not.
Getting feedback from others you trust can be helpful, but be careful that you aren’t seeking their approval – only their input. Then, use the information as you explore your interests further. Others can sometimes judge you and cause you to believe something that may or may not be true for you!
Find a quiet place where you can spend about 15 minutes alone. Get comfortable and breathe. Just breathe and concentrate on the area of your life where you are struggling and ask “What is right for me here?” Keep open to any impulse or feeling you get as you do this. It helps to get your mind in a receptive state – meaning that you’re open to any thought or feeling that arrives as you keep still. I find it helpful to keep a pad of paper close by to write down anything that comes to mind.
It’s truly amazing what this exercise reveals – Do It!
You can also just take some time to explore your interests and dislikes. Be honest with yourself – what is it that you most like to do? Can that be helpful to others in any way? What gets you excited? This is the area where you can decide what you want do to for a living. What is it that you really would rather not do? Write these things down.
The key is to take the time. With our busy lives, it’s easy to make excuses instead of facing the fear, but Take The Time! Force yourself to work on this for just 5 minutes each day. It’s not a race. Analyzing your puzzle pieces is a critical activity that most of us avoid.
Finding The Best of You
As you assess the different areas of your life honestly, you will no doubt find some areas where you want to improve. Once you identify all of the parts of you – including both your good and bad, you will be in a much better position to determine what you want to change (if anything).
If you don’t take the time to do this, how will you know what path you want to be on? Just because you are going down one road (figuratively), doesn’t mean you have to stay on it – especially if it isn’t consistent with who you are.
It’s also important to know that self understanding is a journey and you may find that you will react differently in different areas of your life. Let’s start by identifying some of those areas:
1. Personal Life – Important Relationships with Family and Friends (including a significant other)
2. Work Life – What you do to earn a living
3. Spiritual Life – Your connection to something greater than you
4. Physical Life – Health and Fitness
5. Financial Life – How you manage your money
6. Fun Life – What you like to do for fun
Everyone is a complex individual. Be careful not to overwhelm yourself. Start analyzing just one of the areas above. If you’re currently experiencing any difficulties or challenges, choose that one first.
Others May Not Like It – So What!
As you understand the importance of self understanding, some people you know will recognize a change in you. There is no way to hide it – because you will automatically be a bit more confident.
No matter what, self understanding will change you. As you discover more about yourself, you may find that your attitude or others attitudes toward you may change too. You may get criticized or you may look at some things differently than you did before.
If you’re pursuing your own passion, just don’t listen to the criticism and just be whoever you are. It is the most important thing you can do.
Self Understanding – The Complete Puzzle
This is a serious activity if you want to live your life to the fullest – be the best you possible. Start the journey with self understanding and continue with that knowledge to identify any parts of you that you have consciously decided to change – because you want to.
Take the understanding yourself quiz here: https://www.quizony.com/how-well-do-you-know-yourself/index.html
If you need any help, feel free to reach out!
Wow, this is powerful. What a fabulous way of describing a puzzle as a metaphor for ourselves and learning about us! A very clever expression that is highly valuable to those who can relate. And relate I can! Boundaries, honesty, feedback from family who look through their own lense – all very accurate and beautifully described. Also very appropriate and highly relevant reminding us that others may not like aspects of ourselves that we choose to work on, I often need to remind myself of this, it’s one of the areas I work on to ensure I be the ‘me’ that I want to be rather than worry about what others think. Thanks for your valuable insights xx
Thanks very much for your feedback, Kat! Glad you enjoyed it.