Self-knowledge - the first step to self-love

Reading time 6 minutes
Self-knowledge - the first step to self-love

Do you know what your why is? Or do you ask yourself every day if you are on the right path? The motto "self-knowledge is the first step to improvement" sounds logical. But it can take a long time before you get there. Painful Disappointments may make you wonder. Then there is the big difference between your self-image and the impression others have of you.

Do you adapt to your fellow men or do you stand in life with self-confidence? With more self-knowledge and a strong character, you can make better progress in your professional and private life. It's definitely worth getting to know yourself better.

Self-knowledge definition: what is it?

What self-knowledge means is explained at first glance at the word. It is about the knowledge of one's own person. If you want to recognize yourself, a certain amount of self-criticism is necessary. Why did you choose this job when you have other qualifications? Are you possibly hindered by Inferiority complexes on getting ahead? Are you not sure what you really want?

Self-awareness means that you assess yourself correctly. It requires a thorough Self-reflection ahead and protects you from self-deception. If you don't know yourself well, you tend to underestimate yourself - and complexes arise. Overestimating yourself is also possible: You observe this in others rather than in yourself.

The problem with self-awareness is that you do many things automatically. Without much thought, you do your tasks as usual - because others say you can, or because you simply don't question them. That's why it's so important to Talents and your dreams to know.

3 Examples of self-knowledge

Sometimes you ask yourself: How well do I know myself? You think about whether your work is purposeful and whether your private activities enrich you. You want to develop your personality and "improve" yourself? This is exactly what the recognition of your own abilities and interests helps you to do. A look at the following examples shows you what can happen - positively, but also negatively.

Self-knowledge example 1:
A pupil is told by his parents and teachers that he has no feeling for the language and will therefore always have problems with English and other foreign languages. After the first poor grades he believes it himself. He adopts the ideas and doesn't even try to study. At some point, he gets a new teacher who motivates him - and he gets better and better grades. This is not only due to the change of teacher, but also to his eagerness to learn and the positive realization that he can do it after all!

Example 2:
Someone has been playing tennis for years because his friends said: Come along, that's something for you. He stubbornly sticks to tennis, even though he would much rather try something else. Time and again, he looks over to the dance club, but his buddies just laugh at him. This depresses him in the long run and makes him give up the sport altogether.

Example 3:
For many young people, the entry into their parents' business is preordained. After training as a salesperson, they take over the store. That's easier than coming up with something on their own - or studying against their parents' wishes. But with time comes dissatisfaction: this is a sign that they are acting against their own convictions.

Self-knowledge vs. self-awareness

Self-knowledge and self-awareness are closely related. Self-observation and self-criticism help you analyze your own thinking and actions. The Self-confidence usually comes before the realization. Because only the objective consciousness about your own ego brings you to the necessary distance to explore your qualities, values, strengths and possibilities.

Self-awareness means to consciously perceive your own self. You consider your being as a holistic unity of body, mind and soul. Self-awareness takes this thought further and guides you away from the opinions of others.

self-knowledge definition

9 reasons for more self-knowledge

Why is self-knowledge important? It is more than just the first step to improvement. It strengthens your social competence, makes you happier and more satisfied. When you know yourself well, you can make decisions more easily and know where your life is headed. The following reasons show you why it makes sense to get in touch with yourself: You ...

  • Realize you can do more than you thought.
  • Become more self-confident and confident.
  • You become aware of your achieved goals and successes.
  • Become more resilient (health and mentally).
  • Don't let yourself be manipulated so easily anymore, become more self-determined.
  • Your determination improves.
  • Your circle of friends changes and improves.
  • Feel more balanced and happier.
  • Enjoy a better quality of life.

Your new self-confidence will help you to cope with difficult situations. In a job interview, you won't have to think twice when asked about your typical character traits. "Responsible" or "hard-working" is what everyone says. Choose an unusual adjective that sets you apart. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses - and remain honest.

Positive side effects through more self-knowledge

As you evolve and work on your self-knowledge, you will also be able to change your former emotions and reactions better. In this way, you can overcome bad experiences and actively shape your future with motivation. It will be easier for you to realistically assess your professional opportunities - and also to solve your private problems.

By becoming aware of your strengths and weaknesses, your self-confidence grows. You also feel that you can cope with great challenges. Interestingly, you can also better assess the behavior of other people.

With good self-confidence, disappointments are easier to cope with. If something doesn't go as planned, it doesn't immediately throw you completely off track: setbacks are part of life and can't always be predicted. You may feel your disappointment and your negative reaction to it, but you know how to deal with it. This composure strengthens you for difficult phases and long lean periods.

6 tips and exercises: How do I gain self-knowledge?

If you want to recognize your Self, several paths are open to you. How you get to the cause of your feelings and actions depends on your inner attitude - on your courage, your hopes, and Fears.

  • You want to know why you are the way you are? For this it helps to know the Past consciously process. Often it is childhood experiences that lead to complexes or other problems.
  • If you find it difficult to come to terms with your own past, going to a psychotherapist can help. The psychotherapist accompanies you in your look into your childhood and helps you with self-analysis.
  • Who am I and what do I want? What can I do and where do I want to improve? With a self-knowledge test you make yourself aware of your essential character traits. You can do such a test before making big decisions (private or professional). It is best to write down your thoughts on the subject in order to have a good basis for your decision.
  • Analyze yourself by observing your behavior in a particular situation. What are the things that influence you? Are you acting out of a particular impulse or is it purely Habit? What thoughts, doubts and hopes accompany you?
  • What shapes me - what am I passionate about? If you can answer these questions, you have already come a long way with your self-observation and self-knowledge.
  • The holistic self-knowledge works with meditative exercises. One guided meditation is a good start to get to know your personal world of thoughts and your motivation more precisely. Over time, the meditation exercises will help you to more Serenity and reduce the stress level.

6 milestones on the self-knowledge trip

The path to self-knowledge takes time. It leads past obstacles, sometimes crosses dangerous places and sometimes takes you to your limits. Just like a hike. But on the way you will come to important points that will strengthen you more and more - and ultimately lead you to yourself. The Milestones:

  1. The self-concept refers to your own image of yourself. It contains your personal values.
  2. Your self-perception is a passive observation that corresponds to reality in the best case.
  3. Active introspection is based on self-awareness: it involves analyzing your thoughts and behavior. With it you can understand your own actions.
  4. The autobiographical Memory takes you into your past. Your memories play a very big role - they make you the person you are.
  5. Your self-respect connects your self-love with self-knowledge. Respect for yourself protects you from complexes. That's why it's so important to put enough power into the Self-esteem to invest.
  6. The Self-acceptance makes it possible for you to accept yourself as you are. With this Acceptance you stand at the goal point of your development to self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge: the first step to more self-understanding

Many people struggle with feelings of inferiority. Therefore, it is of great importance to work specifically on the development of one's own personality and to gain self-knowledge. Therefore, we recommend you our Masterclass "Everyone's Weird Except Me: How to Better Understand Yourself and Others".. In this masterclass you will learn to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses and develop a deeper understanding of yourself and others. This will enable you to increase your self-esteem and pursue your goals more effectively.

Take the next step on the path to better self-knowledge and sign up today for our Masterclass at!


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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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