Getting to know yourself is incredibly important as a young man.
If you have been brought up in a rigid environment, have had little freedom or have attended one of the indoctrination centers we call schools, you probably do not know yourself very well.
That is because your formative years have been spent learning and implementing what others what for your life, not what you want yourself.
It takes a little bit of time and a little bit of soul searching to see past the conditioning and figure out what you want in life. This involves throwing off parental and societal expectations. However before you can figure out what you want in life, you must actually get to know the real you. The real you will give your life direction.
Getting to know yourself is also very important for success in relationships. How can you learn to love someone else when you don't even know who you really are? Dating is an excellent to learn about yourself but love requires a deep understanding of your own and your partner's strengths and weaknesses.
How To Get To Know Yourself
Hard Character Building Work
It doesn't really matter what it is, but extremely challenging character developing experiences, that force you to dig deep, will help you find out who you are. For me this was my time in the military. For others, it may be a difficult degree or a job or a sports event. Seek out difficult experiences, as they will shape your character.
When you settle down into the hard work of loving another imperfect human being for life, you will need to know yourself. However if you are not yet fully acquainted with yourself, dating and more casual relationships are a great way to find out about some of your unknown qualities. You will learn what you like and dislike about yourself and other people. You will about what others like and dislike about you. Often the traits you struggle with most in a partner are the things you don't like about yourself. At times it can be like looking into a mirror. Don't put the pressure on yourself to always get it right in relationships, but make sure that with each one you take a lesson away with you.
Once you have a bit of freedom in life, make sure you use it. Do things you have never done before and extend your own boundaries. Do things that scare you and do things that challenge you. Find your limits and push them.
Find Your Uniqueness
As cliche as it is, all of us are unique. Find out what is unique about you and own it. Sometimes it feels comfortable following the herd, but sometimes it pays to distance yourself from the herd. If you know yourself and know why you are different you can better decide whether to follow the crowd or not.
Reflect On What You Would Do Without Time Or Money Constraints
Human beings have to "do." We have to be productive. If you hate what you are doing now then it's easy to think you could just sleep on the couch for the rest of your life and do nothing. But if that were case you would very quickly get bored and find something to fill your time. If you ask yourself what you would do with your days if you had unlimited time and unlimited money, you will find out a lot about yourself. For whatever those things are, they are the things you truly desire. Implement as many of them into your daily life as you can right now.
Take Stock Of What You Like About Your Life
I'm sure there is a long list of things you want to change in your life, but if you think about it, there are also a great number of things you are grateful for in your life. Identify these things and remember to be grateful for them. Whatever they are, they give you a clue as to what is important and they help you get to know yourself.
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