How To Know Yourself?

Know Yourself

Do you know yourself?

Yes, I know your answer is positive but my next question is: How much?

If you really know yourself, try writing down ten points each about your personality, aspirations and relationships, to understand what I am trying to say.

As we shed off our childhood and adolescent illusions and step into the real world, we realize that life is much more than just dreams and expectations.

First we have to define those concepts, break them into pieces and perceive what is going to work for us. We have to anticipate the range of our flight. It is at such a time that that we start understanding ourselves.

Knowing your real self begins with a journey within – a journey we never dare to undertake! We invent excuses, delude ourselves thinking we have no time; sometimes we may be genuinely too busy to introspect.

We live in compartments, we perform different roles, sometimes we have to pretend to be what we are not and thus we don’t pay much attention to our true selves.

In one of the interview sessions, the one basic question we asked the interviewees was: ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses?’

Invariably, they stumbled upon this question. They paused to think and could only mention one or two of them.

As I smiled at them to ease the situation, a serious dialogue would emanate in my mind. I snubbed it at those times to introspect in my leisurely hours, to understand why this was such a difficult question.

While I could come up with many answers so far as my own strengths were concerned, weaknesses would elude me and I had to think deeply to dig them out.

Probably we try to push our weaknesses under the carpet.

To know yourself, know your weaknesses and your fears even before you know your strengths. Those monsters of fear that we try to shove into the deepest crevices become empowered and keep lurking around the corners. The shadows of those fears dissipate only when we pull them out into light and talk to them.

To know yourself, try to answer the following questions:

  • How many fears are still lurking around you and how many have you buried temporarily?
  • How many lies do you tell yourself to satiate your ego?
  • How much have you learnt from your mistakes?
  • How much wisdom have you picked up from your surroundings?
  • How much of your laughter is genuine?

To know yourself,

  • You have to understand your emotions and capabilities and how far you can go to accomplish your goals,
  • How well you can handle your failures and your unfulfilled dreams,
  • How much you would like to acquire in terms of material possessions,
  • What are your boundaries,
  • How much do you care for the people around you

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” ~ Lao Tzuknow-yourself

Self-confabulation for knowing yourself:

We often talk to ourselves to clarify our doubts, to form our views and overcome the difficult situations. It is this conversation, which acquaints us with our real self. Our opinions are usually shaped by people around us – our parents, teachers, peers, friends…our own perceptions are drowned in their guidance and control.

Self-reflection melts the mist of this guidance. It unshackles us and encourages us to think freely, to think differently so that we can take the reigns of our real self in our own hands.

How Sharing helps:

The next step is to share your thoughts with your digital partner, which just listens calmly and makes you think further. It doesn’t dishearten or criticize, it lets you relax and reach at a conclusion at your own will.

Earlier I used to write my wishes and doubts in a journal but with the advent of smart phones, we don’t even have to reach for a pen!

Some thoughts just come and go, some dreams are quite impractical and some may be beyond our reach but by writing them down, we can ponder over them, trying to figure out whether they resonate with us and exhort them out of our system to feel better.

Our true selves, our potential and determination get revealed at such moments when we try to dissect our thoughts and emotions with our own self.

How Introspection helps:

Are you capricious? Do you get influenced by others’ expectations? If you feel that you are walking the path, which makes you wonder where you are heading…introspection on daily basis, before you step into the land of slumber, can really help.

At such moments we don’t have the intolerance or the prejudice working against our colleagues, friends and kindred who may have wronged us. We just have a calm and patient mind, free from all ill feelings to understand our reactions.

That inner voice, which we snub in the presence of others, is most active now and we too are more receptive. You can discover the reasons of your indecisiveness; know how much you revere your values and what is your real passion.

Freedom of thought and action lies at the core of knowing yourself. They play a significant role in our development too. I didn’t know myself till I got these opportunities.

If you have liked the above excerpt from my book Allow Yourself To Be A Better Person, please click on the link to read more.

How did you discover your real self? How important it is for you? I am waiting to hear from you.

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Thank you for your support. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

-Balroop Singh

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Why Some People Don’t Smile?

Smile with flowers
Nature smiles through flowers

Walking by my favorite creek, which is surrounded by thick green cover, sending vibes of peace, interrupted just by the soft sound of flowing water, I look at a squirrel that pauses by to smile at me and my thoughts jump faster than my furry friend, wondering…why are human smiles waning?

A smile sends vibes of positivity; it may not know any language but it lightens up the atmosphere; connects us and eliminates doubts that may surround us. It is said to “fit the lock of everybody’s heart.”

The natural smiles of a child convey that smiling has been in our DNA since time immemorial. Where do they go when we grow up?

Smiling is juvenile:

People who don’t smile connect a stern face with machoism. They keep emotions under wraps to accentuate their power and strength. Lack of smile shows their attitude, their emotional balance, style and social status. Incorporating sensitivity in the upbringing of boys is a recent development, which reveals the importance of emotions. But an expressionless face only reflects arrogance and a clamor for supremacy.

Smiling invites trouble:

If you have been raised in a conservative society, you know smiling at strangers could create problems for women. It could send a wrong signal to a guy who interprets your smile in his own way. He could follow you till your home, try to talk to you, make lewd gestures or may dream of dating you. The first advice that is given to girls in such societies: ‘Don’t smile.’ Later it becomes a habit.

Smiling can be misconstrued:

Workplaces are also hubs of hollow rumors. Your ingenuous smile at a colleague or boss could be misinterpreted by co-workers who quickly arrive at conclusions that you are seeking a favor or you are eager to please them. Wearing a smile like an attractive attire could prove to be detrimental for some while it may give a boost to the career of those who don’t care for gossip.

Smiling makes them vulnerable:

People who don’t want to communicate, who consider themselves to be superior but are actually weak and insecure, choose to wear a strong exterior in order to hide their true self. They wear a mask of toughness. They have probably faced too many snubs to appreciate the value of a smiling face. For them, smiling is superfluous and relationships immaterial.

Some people forget to smile due to storms of life that had knocked them down. The cauldron of circumstances mold them into hard nuts, fears convert them into indifferent individuals who find it hard to discern light within. Grief pushes them into an abyss of darkness, which seems natural to them. They have to make a special effort to smile and that too when they are told to.

Some people don’t smile because their profession doesn’t let them. How can you expect police officers and lawyers to smile warmly? Models are told to keep a straight face so that onlookers appreciate the ensemble they display rather than their looks.

A real smile stretches beyond the face; it touches your heart, diffusing warmth and friendship whereas a fake smile exposes itself effortlessly. I am sure nobody likes a fake smile yet some people carry them with confidence.

“A smile puts you on the right track. A smile makes the world a beautiful place. When you lose your smile, you lose your way in the chaos of life.” – Roy T. Bennett.

Do you smile to add beauty to your surroundings?
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Balroop Singh.

 

Waiting for Peace

waiting for peace
Sue Vincent’s #photo prompt

You could see her
Even on misty mornings
Waiting at the top of the hill
Melancholy figure, standing still

Oblivious of slander or censure
Immersed in her own beliefs
She moved up and down
Never did she come to the town

People shook their heads in distress
Counted her among the dead
How could she fall for the bait?
How long would she wait?

She knew that dawn so well
Coruscating rays welcomed them
Mist was nowhere to be seen
Could she ever forget the scene?

Promises of peace went awry
Misty message stood before her
Yet hope lingered at the corners
Drifting away from the mourners.
© Balroop Singh, August 2018

Thanks to Sue Vincent for an inspiring Thursday photo prompt #Watcher

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Don’t Dwell On It! Really?

We must ponder!

When people offend you
Take you for granted
Don’t respect your love
She says – don’t dwell on it!

When they discriminate
Treat you like dirt
Walk all over you
She says – don’t dwell on it!

When they belittle you
Mock at your kindness
Hurt your self-esteem
She says – don’t dwell on it!

When Sun chooses windows
Leaving you in darkness
Depriving you of your right
Would you say – don’t dwell on it?

When Spring selects the privileged
And flowers don’t smile at all of us
If butterflies visit only the best
Would you say – don’t dwell on it?

If people had not dwelled
On atrocities heaped upon them
If they had not risen against
Discrimination and prejudices

If nobody had dwelled on
Equal rights for women
We would still be living in dark ages
Repeating the refrain – ‘don’t dwell on it!’

Either she is too wise
Or I am imprudent
Either way, I refuse to be dictated.
Sensitivities need to be respected.
© Balroop Singh, July, 2018.

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Balroop Singh

Do You Struggle With Self-esteem? 5 Ways To Bounce Back

How to enhance self-esteem

People around me could never hurt my self-esteem, not because I was never in such a situation but because I never let them! Even as a child when I was asked to apologize for no fault of mine, to please somebody’s ego, I refused. I knew I would be punished but I didn’t care!

My mirror has never told me that I am not the best or I can’t excel. I always knew I am much better than many.

Criticism of others affects me in a positive manner. I try to introspect and dismiss the judgment of others as their opinion. I try to work on my imperfections in such a manner that enhances my self-esteem.

What lowers self-esteem?

  • Negative home environment
  • Broken families
  • Bullying
  • Insensitive friends
  • Shaming by a parent or a teacher
  • Self-blaming
  • Intimidating or controlling partner
  • Demanding boss
  • Dwelling on your weaknesses

Self-esteem is not given; it is earned; it is cultivated and it is snatched when others try to smash it.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” Michael J. Fox

I have faced the worst of criticism and ridicule for being too thin and tall, for failing in Math, for writing beautifully and neatly but not completing a given test within the specified time, for keeping aloof and being arrogant. The list is very lengthy but the reality is that my self-esteem could never get shattered with the insensitivity around me because I knew those were hollow observations of jealous people. I always knew I am enough!

What can help?

Positivity: Read positive quotes, think positive thoughts, spend more time in the company of positive-minded people. Walk away from those who don’t respect your opinion. Try to understand that there is no age for personality enhancement and your growth and development is an ongoing process. Have faith in yourself and your capabilities. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or colleagues. Stop blaming yourself just because others try to shift their responsibilites.

Face your fears: If you let your fears hibernate, if you don’t discuss them even with yourself, they could shrink your heart, wound your spirit and keep consuming the remnants of your mettle to fight them. Let those alligators out of your mind. Discuss them with a confidant or a therapist. Learn to accept the fear of failure because only when we fail do we rise with renewed zeal and energy.

Forgive yourself: Forgiveness is that virtue, which sets us free and acquaints us with the finest emotions. It unshackles the chains of guilt that we weave around us. It soothes our mind. We can emerge out of those dark corridors of fears and insecurities that people around us pushed into. We can see ourselves in a new light. Self-forgiveness, even if we may be guilty of hurting others, is of utmost importance to build our self-esteem.Self-esteem quote

Quit self-criticism: Self-judgment is more detrimental than the nasty remarks of others. It makes us doubt our own intentions, it ruins our confidence, it pulls us back into the dumps of depression and lowers our self-esteem. Self-reflection is good as far as it encourages us to work on our weaknesses. It is better to train your mind to think positive, to remember that those who attack our self-esteem are actually dealing with their own insecurities.

Take pride in pursuing activities you love: Invest in yourself. Search within. Spend time with yourself and indulge in those activities that you enjoy. Stop pleasing people around you. Be proud of yourself and your little accomplishments. Self-love is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself. Don’t allow anybody to disrespect what you like to do. Count your strengths and your blessings. Be yourself. The best freedom is being you.

Always remember – ‘the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.’

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.