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Empowered Dating Step #2 – Know (and like) Thyself
Or, how to make much, much better choices and decisions that increase your odds for success
I’ve mentioned this before: if you want to enjoy the dating process and not suffer through it, a foundational ground rule is to know your requirements.
Your requirements are what you want to experience in a relationship – not so much about the attributes your date “must have.” Developing a list of attributes or qualities that you must see in another person is fruitless and often locks you into a box. Anything that locks you in to a particular point of view is bound to create frustration. But I digress.
Part of the process of developing your requirements is knowing yourself thoroughly and developing a good relationship with yourself (i.e., liking yourself).
In fact, carved above the entrance to the Temple of Apollo, the ancient Greek god of illumination, in Delphi, Greece, was the phrase: Gnothi Seautón – Know Thy Self. (Nerd Moment: Here’s what it looks like in Greek : γνῶθι σεαυτόν … according to Wikipedia at least. And for the historian nerds among us – there were actually three inscriptions carved into the temple. Google it to find out!)
So if the ancient Greeks were hip to it, why is it so difficult for modern singles to accept and/or follow this principle?
On one hand, there are people who think that “knowing thyself” is a lot of tosh.
On the other, there are many who believe that they know everything about themselves.
But the fact is, a lot of us are strangers to ourselves and this lack of insight can bite us in the buttocks, particularly when it comes to making wise dating and relationship choices.
Self-knowledge is knowing yourself intimately. It involves knowing your thoughts and feelings, how they came about, and how they influence your behavior. It is about understanding your needs, desires, motivations, beliefs, views and values. In short, it is about knowing how you tick and what makes you tick and why it makes you tick.
The primary tool for self-knowledge is introspection, a looking within that focuses our attention on our thoughts, how they arise and disappear. This is probably why it’s so difficult for people – many people are not keen on looking inward, or spending time in silence (see post: Silence is Golden and Extremely Painful ).
Not everyone is courageous enough to travel the path within to have a better self-understanding. Coaching can certainly help; I spend a lot of time upfront helping my clients see and rediscover what means the most to them before we move into action.
For you to have a well-lived life that includes happy relationships, it is important that you know yourself well, and understand yourself better.
Through better self-understanding, you are more in control of your own life. You can then make life happen for you or with you rather than have life happen to you. And if you’ve taken my intro to Empowered Dating webinar (5 Essential Principles to Dating Bliss), you’ll know exactly why this is important (be the Architect).
Through self-knowledge, we are in a better position to understand the outer physical world as well as our inner metaphysical world (metaphysical = relating to the nature of being* and not originating in the physical world) and to see how our mind becomes the interface for both experiences. … I’ll talk about this a bit more in my upcoming uber-nerdy post “How Quantum Physics Affects Your Dating Life” since there is scientific proof that our thoughts change our experiences in life.
Know Thyself is therefore the key to a better and more fulfilling life – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. When we know ourselves, and begin to like ourselves, we begin to understand what we want to experience in life.
Know Thyself is also related to discovering your Life Purpose, which deals with questions such as: What are you being called to do with your life? And: What’s important to you?
So here’s an exercise for you. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “I have no clue” and 10 being “I know myself really well and can prove it” on the following question:
“How well do I know myself?”
Still not sure what I’m talking about? OK – to rephrase it:
How clearly do you know your life purpose, have you identified your life goals, do you understand your deepest fears, have you identified your past patterns that cause you heartbreak and frustration, do you know what upsets you, have you identified what brings you the deepest joy, do you know how you truly feel about yourself and how you regard yourself.
For those of you who have ranked yourself 7 and below, here are some exercises to help you discover yourself:
- Spend 10 minutes writing about the things you love – anything that brings you joy and makes you smile. Spend time reflecting on what specifically brings you joy.
- Write down things that you don’t like, or that cause you unease. For instance, I don’t like large parties. I’m much better at smaller, more intimate gatherings. From here, I would think about what it is about large parties that makes me uncomfortable and what I prefer experiencing socially. (While remembering that this is not about judging ourselves!)
- Identify (and write down) 10 of your greatest qualities, strengths and positive attributes. (What do you really like about yourself?)
- Write down any of your perceived “weaknesses” (things that you feel you don’t do well). For instance, I don’t like selling – in fact, I’m a lousy salesperson. From here I would think about what it is about traditional selling that I don’t like and what I’d rather experience in these types of situations.
- Write down your hopes, fears, dreams.
- Converse with your 90-year-old self. First envision yourself as perfectly healthy and perfectly happy at 90 years old. Ask your future self: what would you have me know? What should I concentrate on in the coming days and years? What things could I do or experience that would have the most positive impact on my life?
- Take personality tests. Believe it or not, the best personality test I ever took was through Chemistry.com (although I did not sign up for that dating service). I still look at that report and get the warm fuzzies whenever I read about all the marvelous attributes it managed to encapsulate for me.
- Get your astrological chart done by a kick-a$$ astrologer. Understanding your core personality through the placement of the planets at the time of your birth is one of the most magical experiences you will ever have.
- Ask your friends for their perceptions of you. Sometimes you think you know yourself enough but other people who see you from their point of view can offer some insight how you act and get understood by others Be careful, however, to balance perceptions to come up with an objective view.
See post: Crossroads of Being and Doing
If you want to articulate your view of yourself and identify the critical areas of your life that need to be addressed before finding & keeping the love of your life, please enroll in my upcoming webinar, Learn to Love Yourself so You Can Love Another. https://learn2loveyourself.eventbrite.com
In this ground breaking webinar, you will:
- Complete a revealing Self-Knowledge Inventory
- Complete a Self-Esteem Assessment
- Gain deep understanding of yourself so you can know another intimately
Through Self Discovery, you will begin to chart the course of the kind of intentional, truly intimate relationship you want – an Empowered relationship in which couples understand and accept the challenge of keeping love. Designed for anyone who wants to lay the crucial groundwork for a successful, thriving life partnership. Register here: https://learn2loveyourself.eventbrite.com