You REALLY can’t know someone until you know yourself

Personal development comes in for some heavy criticism and is shunned by lots as a waste of time and pointless. My observations in the last 10 years challenge this to be incorrect and in this blog I will share with you one of the reasons why I think this is so.

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Personal development – Taking a long hard look in the mirror

True intimacy with another can only be gained once you have experienced intimacy with yourself and just because you know someone’s personality doesn’t mean you know them.

Let me explain.

I had a number of moments in my life when I looked at someone who I had “known” for many years and thought “I really don’t know who you are”. These people ranged from girlfriends to family members.

Here’s an example –

I had co habited with a girlfriend for almost 4years and on a number of occasions I would be thinking about her and wondering who she really was. The scary thing was that I thought I could spend the rest of my life with her and on the day I died, still think this. She wasn’t a particularly private person but I just never got the sense, even after 4years, that I was getting to know her any deeper than I had known her in within the first few weeks of our relationship.

It was only a few weeks back that I began to connect the dots on this topic. When I look at my current partner I don’t have that same thought that I had 10 years ago. I feel now that I really know my partner and the intimacy between us continues to grow as we experience the highs and lows of life. I believe this is down to the personal development work that we have participated in.

We are so much more than just a personality and a body. Our values and beliefs begin to define us a little more but still don’t really get to the core of who we are.As human beings we are multidimensional creatures that have access to dozens of aspects of ourselves. With out engaging in personal development we are only really touching in on a few of these aspects and become quite 1 dimensional in our nature.

To really know ourselves is to explore our full potential not leaving any stone unturned. Trouble is that most of us aren’t exploring and even if we are then we don’t have a comprehensive map of what there is to explore. This leaves us stumbling through life with little to no experience of our own reality let alone anyone else’s.

A Map and a Guide

I believe that if we are to access our full potential as human beings that we first of all need a map. A map of our reality. A comprehensive map that can guide and inform our growth so we not only know where to go but we also know how to get there. Any good map maker will tell you that the map isn’t the territory so the next job is to begin to traverse the land and maybe take a guide or a local with us who knows where he is going because he has been there before. This might be a coach or therapist or some other kind of mentor that we trust and has been to where we are going.

Once we have these 2 essential ingredients we will start to get to know ourselves and the surrounding land. Without them we are lost and ignorant to what lies ahead.

The thought of never really knowing myself or anyone else for that matter wasn’t the driving force for my venture into personal development but now I can look back at those moments in my life where I looked at people that I had “known” for a long time without really knowing them, it really scares me to think that this could have always been the case and I would have died without ever truly having experienced intimacy with myself or another.

The richness and depth of our relationship to our self and another is surely one of life’s great gifts that you’ll only ever experience the true depths of it if you are prepared to take a long hard look in the mirror.

Man up offers coaching for men through The Men’s Mastery Program

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