How well do you know yourself?

24 Oct 2019

I read a thought provoking phrase some years ago which has stayed with me – it is along the lines of; "believe nothing, no matter where you have read it, or who has said it, unless it sits comfortably with your own intuition or belief". I paraphrase, but you understand the sentiment I'm sure.

I've experienced this first hand. Someone tells you something and you think to yourself, "how strange, this can't possibly be true", "no way, that can't be right, something is amiss, that's not my experience at all, something does feel right here".

If this is what you experience when someone says something you struggle to make sense of, then don't – try to make sense of it. Listen to yourself. Just because someone else has said something, doesn't mean that the same is true for you. It may be their truth, their experience, but it does not mean that it is necessarily yours.

Nobody else knows you as well as you know yourself, but - do you always listen to yourself? Do you always trust yourself? Do you look to others for confirmation if or when you doubt yourself? Do you seek the advice of others when struggling to make your mind up about something? Do you call a friend when you are wrestling with an issue and need help to know what to do?

We might think that partners, parents, therapists, counsellors, all know us better than we know ourselves, but if anyone is taking your money claiming just this, then stop paying them immediately.

Therapy/counselling is about accompanying you on your journey of self-discovery. Supporting you while you; - explore who you are, discover what you want, uncover your truth, find your true essence. Not the superficial self that gets caught up in the external world influenced by material desire or lifestyle choices or expectation.

Parents, partners, family, friends cannot do this for you because however impartial they think they are being, or however well they think they know you, or what is good for you, the advice they give will always be from their own perspective or what they perceive to be "right" for you. How can anyone else possibly know what is right for you, if you yourself do not know? You are the expert on you. Conversely, let others be the expert on themselves.

Besides, will others really give you the advice they think is "right" for you if it means you making a decision to leave them behind? Possibly, if they can put you before their own desires and there is no conflict, but if the advice to you is detrimental or disadvantages them, I wonder? They may think they are acting in your interest, but much of our behaviour is not always transparent even to ourself.

Another wonderful nugget of wisdom I heard years ago; "Never give advice unless asked to do so on three consecutive occasions". Personally, I really like this and try to stick to it. A sure way to rile me are the words "You know what you should do?", "If I were you..."

Well you are not!


A Moodscope member.

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