The Importance of Knowing Yourself

JT - Know Thyself

A couple of days ago, I wrote about Permission Granted: Say YES to Yourself. I had a number of people share information with me about that post and people started say yes to themselves for the first time in a long time. One question really hit home for me though – the question was “What if you don’t know who you are?”

Don’t worry, I can relate to this question so deeply… It wasn’t that long ago, I have been in a similar place. Actually when I was playing professional tennis, I had a lot of people talk to me about tennis and I had invested a lot of time as a tennis player.

Then when tennis was over for me professionally, I started to go on a search to find out who I was. Back then, I had little idea of who or what I was and am grateful for that time when “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ~ AnaïNin and I have been discovering my true Self ever since.

What Does Knowing Yourself Mean?

Socrates said it so well ~ “Know Thyself.” 

Knowing yourself is not about the skimming the surface like finding a favourite colour or music you like (although they may give you some clues). Knowing yourself is about delving much deeper.

Knowing yourself is an adventure. It is about discovering who you are as a human being – yes the real you. The journey is unpredictable and engages you deeply as it brings you face-to-face with your deepest fears, self-doubts, vulnerabilities and insecurities.

On the adventure you question how you are living your life and whether or not it is in alignment with your highest purpose. And if you don’t yet know your highest purpose, allow yourself to live in that space of not knowing.

The adventure around knowing yourself can be challenging and scary, however it also changes over time. For me remembering “This Too Shall Pass” has been a gift and the work does pay off – but not the way we may expect (well it wasn’t for me!).

Knowing yourself means giving yourself permission to not knowing whilst unravelling the deeper truth of who you are. It is about listening to a deeper calling and wisdom within, whilst following your heart. Knowing yourself is about being aware of your core values, priorities and dreams (yes even if you don’t remember them yet).

Knowing yourself means respecting (but not attaching to) your strengths and limitations, your passions and fears, your desires and dreams, your thoughts and feelings, your likes and dislikes, your tolerances and limitations.

Why Is Getting to Know Yourself so Important?

To be honest, it is up to you and you have to decide for yourself the importance of knowing yourself and whether you want to go on that adventure. It takes courage and a willingness to peel back the layers bit by bit.

For me, I felt lost, stuck (a bit like a caged bird) and had a deep longing or feeling within my heart that was not going away (no matter what I achieved or did on the outside). I decided and committed many years ago, that I was not going to stop until I discovered what I was searching for.

Fortunately after a while, I stopped searching on the outside and realised that the search was an inside job and I had to do the work, no one else could do it for me.

The Tao the Ching says ~

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.”  and “The cost of not following your heart, is spending the rest of your life wishing you had.” 

~ J. Paulsen

Over to You…

After reading this post, do you think it is important to know yourself? If so, feel free to share your thoughts below.

If you are ready to take yourself on the journey of getting to know yourself (your true self), why not join the Toolkit? A place where I share tools, inspiration and ideas to live a courageous and openhearted life. Also – you may also like to join Lead from Within.

Page Reference –

I have had many people want to reference this page, so here is the correct reference. Thanks in advance for honouring my work 🙂

Taylor, J. (2015). The Importance of Knowing Yourself. [WWW] Available from: [Accessed …….. ]

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