Top 10 Tips to Increase Self Knowlege / Self-Concept Clarity
‘How can I get to know myself better?’ ‘Who am I really?’ ‘What do I really want?’ ‘Why can’t I make up my mind?’
These are all questions which seem to be on everyone’s lips nowadays… try these tips to find out a bit more about yourself.
1) VIA Strengths Test – Martin Seligman and Christopher Peterson at the University of Pennsylvania have created a ‘Values in Action Inventory’. They identified 24 main character strengths by studying classic texts, religions and philosophies throughout history. They then created a 240 item questionnaire (It takes about 20 minutes to complete) to help people to identify their personal strengths. You have to create a profile, but it doesn’t take long, and you then get access to a host of further tests and questionnaires.
2) School of Life Self Knowledge Questionnaire – The School of Life is an incredible repository of useful information to people who are looking to create positive change in their lives. This questionnaire doesn’t take as long as the VIA Strengths Test, and will suggest useful videos for you to watch in order to build your knowledge in key areas, including relationships and career.
3) Golden Moment – A self-penned term, but essentially, this is a useful exercise for you to remember and focus on a moment in your past when you were firing on all cylinders, and everything felt perfect. By taking the time to dwell on the way it felt, you can invite that feeling into your life more often, and find out what it was that caused you to feel so good. Quite often, the reason why it felt so good was because it was when you were using your talent, or one of your key strengths.
4) VIA Character Strengths Chart – One of the best ways of finding out more about yourself is by asking people who know you well. Ask a friend or family member to choose the top 5 & bottom 5 character strengths from the chart. You might get a few surprises!
5) Top 5 Values – This useful worksheet contains a long list of values. Which are most important to you? By identifying your top 5 values, you can begin to bring them into your life more often, becoming more authentic.
6) The Enneagram – This personality profiler has been around for hundreds of years, and is still being used by some of the biggest and most successful organisations around the world in order to encourage more effective and emotionally intelligent teams and leaders. Fill out this questionnaire which takes about 10 – 15 minutes to complete in order to find out which of nine types you are. From there, you can begin to discover how you can become your best self, and situations to avoid. Amazing stuff!
7) Mindfulness / Meditation – My number one tip for getting to know yourself better. Nowadays, many people never take the time to be with themselves with the many distractions that fill up their lives. From social media and demanding jobs to looking after families, most find it impossible to spend even 5 minutes in introspection. Is it any wonder that we don’t know ourselves?! It has been scientifically proven that mindfulness and meditation decrease stress, anxiety and burnout and increase well-being, resilience, empathy and much more. The link above is to 3 useful guided meditations: one of which is only 5 minutes long. I can guarantee that if you take 5 minutes every day, you will notice the difference!
8) Start a journal – Write a paragraph about your day before jumping into bed every night. You will start to find that this reflective practice helps you to get to know yourself. By giving yourself permission to reflect on your actions and feelings, you will begin to notice new things.
9) Stretch yourself – Run a marathon, climb a mountain, jump out of a plane, learn a language or how to play a musical instrument. Push yourself, stretch yourself, take yourself to breaking point. You will find that you get to know yourself in the process.
10) Volunteer, Join a Club, Find a Cause – by meeting new people, you will find that they can act as mirrors for you to find out more about yourself. By finding a cause or helping others, you can develop values and discover things that you care about. If you truly want to find happiness, it is in helping others.