Do you know who you are? When is the last time you answered that question? Most of us go through life thinking that who we are is what others define us to be.
Knowing ourselves is the most important work we will ever do. The more we learn who we are, both strengths and weaknesses, the more we are able to accept all of us and challenge ourselves to grow. This in turn allows us to show up in relationships the way we want to, not the way we feel pressured to or expected to.
Listen to this episode to learn more about why it is crucial to know yourself, and how to get to know yourself better.
I’m Andrea Giles, and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast,
episode number 51, knowing yourself.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity podcast, where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouses betrayal, but to become the
boldest truest, most decisive and confident verses of themselves, ever. If
you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently living, but
don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick around
to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is that
possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello, hello everybody. I hope everybody’s doing well. I am going to take a
few minutes at the beginning of this podcast, and just talk to you a bit
about some things going on with me, some housekeeping, some things that are
happening in my business, things like that. So, first of all, last week, I
got to go to a training. It was in Huntington Beach, California. I am
working towards an additional training certification, it’s about advanced
relationships. I spent all day everyday, last week, being immersed in all
things relationships. I loved it so much. I learned a ton. I can’t wait to
bring it all to you. I already have started implementing some of it into my
business with my clients this week. It’s been really, really fun. I’ve
learned a ton. I love continuing to push myself to learn new things, to
always be challenging my brain to grow so that I can always bring that back
to you, my people, my listeners, and to my clients.
Something I wanted to just mention here is that… A couple of things.
First of all, as of a few minutes ago, this little podcast hit 50,000
downloads. I just want to say to all of you who are listening, all of you
who have shared it, thank you so much. Thank you so much for listening.
Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being here. It’s been such an honor
and joy to do this podcast. I sincerely love doing it. I’m so glad that
it’s been helpful to you, my listeners, and just thank you for being here.
Second of all, as I have mentioned before, I have a little one coming in
December. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it or not, but it’s a girl.
We’re having a little girl, and I have decided that I’m going to offer
something that is going to be amazing. Starting this fall, I’m going to
offer a group coaching program. It will be several months long. It will be
really amazing, include so many amazing things that will help you to grow
to move past where you are, to see the things that you want to move forward
from… You will learn all kinds of tools. You will learn so much, and have
opportunities to be coached.
You know what else is awesome? Is watching other people be coached. I tell
you what, in this space, it’s so easy to feel like you are the only one.
Nobody else gets it, I’m the only one. What I love about group coaching is
that you can sit there for an hour and listen to other people be coached,
and you can hear them saying what is going on inside your brain. It’s like,
oh my gosh, if they’re thinking it, then maybe I’m not so off after all.
Maybe what I’m experiencing is more normal than abnormal. Sometimes I feel
like we gain even more from group coaching, because it’s outside of our own
brain. It’s not quite as intense sometimes, to hear other people share
their experiences. More details of that coming soon. I’m going to be
opening spots up for it next month, so if that sounds interesting to you,
just keep that in mind. I’ll be offering one-on-one calls with people who
want to know more about it. I will let you know when that is available,
when you can jump in and see if that’s something you’re interested in.
Now onto the topic, knowing yourself. You have heard me talk about this in
different ways before, but probably not as much as I’m going to today.
You’ve heard me talk about the importance of knowing yourself, of loving
yourself, of growing a relationship with yourself, but I’m going to talk
about it even more, and about why it’s so important, and how you can go
about learning who you are at a deeper level. Stick around.
First of all, something that I think that we can get confused about is,
shouldn’t I know myself well enough by now? When do I ever just be done?
When do I get done knowing myself, and just feel comfortable with who I am,
and just like complete? What I want to say to you is that, it is a journey.
The work of knowing yourself, and then loving what you know about yourself,
is a lifelong venture. It’s lifelong, it doesn’t end. It doesn’t end
because guess what my friends? We’re really complex and we’re really
awesome. We’re not simple beings, so it makes sense that it would take
time, a lifetime, to learn who we are, to discover who we are. The more we
know… The more awareness we bring to what we know, the more we can grow.
If we learn to know ourselves, then we can see ourselves, all of it. I’m
going to touch more on that a little bit later in this podcast.
Why do this work? Why? Because if you don’t know what’s going on, you can’t
change it. If you can’t see it, you can’t change it. If you can’t see who
you are, or all of it… If you don’t know, you can’t change. Now, that
makes it sound like it’s negative stuff that we’re trying to not see, and
it goes both ways. What if there’s amazing things about you that you have
no clue about, because they’ve always been there and you just don’t even
know, because it’s just an automatic part of who you are? It’s just who you
are, and you can’t see it because it’s always been there. What if there
were behaviors that you learned when you were like three, that you don’t
know, that you can’t see, and they’re creeping up in your life, and
creating results for you? The more that you know those things, the easier
it will be for you to change them, if you want to… To see them, accept
them, and then decide to strengthen, to grow, to change. But you have to
know at first, you have to know.
What does it even mean to know yourself? First of all, your relationship
with yourself is 100% foundational to all of the other relationships in
your life. Now, most of us do it backwards. We look at the relationships
outside of us, and we get our sense of self from what other people are
telling us. You know what? There’s room for that. I think that we would
have to be like sociopath, basically, if we truly didn’t care at all about
what other people thought. It would not be a healthy place to only care
about what we think, and nobody else matters. But here’s what I am saying,
often we give that kind of power to people who have not earned it. Like we
care about the persons that we’re sitting on the plane next to, thinking of
something about what we’re watching, or what we’re eating or whatever…
Any other things. It’s like, why I’m I giving them any weight at all? Why
do I care what they think?
Part of knowing yourself is identifying whose opinion you are letting weigh
in and why. Why does it matter? Why are you letting them have power over
you? We often look outside ourselves to tell us who we are, let us know who
we are, and when that runs dry, what happens? We either go searching for
more, or we feel like we’re not good enough, or spin out, something like
that. Knowing yourself is foundational, because it means that if you don’t
have that constant stream of validation, you know how to validate yourself.
You know how to give it to you. I’m going to ask you a question. If I were
to ask who you are, what would you say? What would you say? Pause and just
think about it. Who are you? What would you say? What do you know about
Oftentimes, we have no idea how to answer that question. No clue. We often
will resort to the easiest option, which is going to our lower brain. But
the problem with that, is that often when we go to our lower brain, our
egos kick in. Our egos are constantly wanting to put out fires, wanting to
protect us, wanting to tell us all the dramatic things. This is an analogy
I heard actually last week at the training, that I loved, that our egos are
like a fire hydrant. They’re like dumping all kinds of things, whether true
or not. Like here, here’s a flood of information. You want to know who you
are? Our brain will bring up every memory, all the good, the bad, the ugly.
Really, the real answer to this question comes from a deep well inside of
you. It’s not all of this external stuff. It means putting a bucket down a
deep well, and slowly bringing it back up. You are not firing away like a
fire hydrant. It’s slow. Again, why does this matter? When we don’t know
ourselves, we tend to go around in life feeling disconnected. Disconnected
first from ourselves, and then disconnected from others. We may see things
around us that we don’t like, but we look outside ourselves for the
solution. So, if were not loving a dynamic in one of our relationships, our
brain automatically goes to, if he would only do this, if she would only do
this, then I could feel better, and everything would be comfortable again,
and I would be fine. The problem with that is that we’re giving away our
power. We’re letting others dictate how we feel.
When we know ourselves, we’re able to see all the parts of us with clear
eyes. We can see the strengths. We can see the weaknesses. We can see what
our preferences are, the things that light us up, the things that turn us
off. We can see all of it. When we know what our strengths are, we can lean
into them and rely on them. Especially those automatic strengths, things
that we just automatically are good at, we don’t even have to think about
it. It’s like, I know that when I’m in this situation, this is going to
show up. I know that this part of me will show up, and I can rely on that.
The parts that are easy for you, you can lean on them. This goes along also
with knowing what our values are. You can go back to my episode about
values. Our values help us to really know who we are. Knowing what our
values are, allows us to make choices from our values. Really knowing
ourselves, this matters. When we know what they are, we’re building our
relationship with ourselves. We’re building this foundation underneath us
that becomes unshakeable.
Part of what we do in this, is we are getting to know ourselves as if
you’re just getting to know a good friend. Let’s say that you’re getting to
know somebody, and let’s say that you learn about this person, that they
are fiercely loyal. Because we know that about this friend, we can put
trust in that friend that they will have your back. Even if you mess up,
even if you say the wrong thing, they are loyal… And guess what? We are
the same. I want you to imagine that you’re building a relationship with
yourself now. You are that friend. The more you know yourself, the stronger
your connection with yourself will be. If you learn about yourself, I am
loyal. What if you trust that you will be loyal to you? How awesome would
that be? What are the traits that you notice in other people? Learn those
traits about you. What are they? It’s just like getting to know somebody
new. This person’s really funny. This person’s really fun, but can be kind
of negative sometimes too, and cynical. We can tell ourselves all of those
same things about ourselves, and see them.
One of the ways this can help you, knowing yourself, is we don’t have to be
defensive if someone accuses us of something, because we can trust
ourselves that we are willing and strong enough to look and see if what
they’re saying is true or false. We’re willing to look at ourselves. We
don’t need to jump into shaming or blaming the other person for thinking
what they do. We can look at the parts and go, yeah, they’re right.
Sometimes I am… Fill in the blank. You know what? You can disregard the
rest because you know yourself, because you trust yourself enough to know
that you can handle seeing yourself, like really seeing yourself.
Second of all, knowing yourself is the precursor for self-acceptance. We
cannot accept what we don’t know. We have to know what it is that we are
accepting first. We’re not going to jump into acceptance blindly without
knowing. Acceptance is a leap of faith. Accepting something, accepting a
person, accepting yourself, it’s a leap of faith. It takes trust. As human
beings, we’re always looking for reasons to not trust, to doubt. We’re kind
of negative noise. So, if you know yourself, if you feel self-acceptance,
the next thing that follows is acceptance. Acceptance of yourself. Seeing
yourself. Really, really seeing yourself. This is me, all the parts, and
holding space for all of it, without judgment, without ridicule, just
Once we get to a place of acceptance, we’re able to strengthen the parts we
see in ourselves that we don’t necessarily love, that we want to improve
in. Now, here’s the kicker. It’s not because we think we’ll be so much
better when we strengthen those parts, you already are good enough. It’s
just because we want to. I think of people who want to lose weight. Did you
know that you never have to lose a pound to be more valid and legit, and
lovable? I think the best place to lose weight from, is because you feel
like it. That you know already that you’re lovable, that you’re very
worthy… And that you prefer to wear clothes that are this size, that fit
this way. You prefer having this amount of energy. You prefer whatever…
This amount of muscle, or whatever it is for you. You’re doing it because
you want to, because you want to keep growing. As human beings, we are
wired to want to grow. We’re wired to improve. It’s just because it’s kind
of like a fun game.
Also, you’ll be able to show up in your relationship stronger, whether
married, single, whatever, you’ll be able to show up stronger. This is
foundational for everyone, we all have all kinds of relationships.
Now I want to talk about how to get to know yourself. I’m going to read
through a few tips. Number one, be still. Be still. Spend time with you,
just like getting to know a friend. You’re not chit chatting over your
friend when they’re telling you their story. You’re not sitting there
scrolling on your phone. You’re not looking away and talking to the person
next to you while the person on your right is sharing themselves with you.
Spend time with you, just with you, being with yourself, being still and
quiet. Not being busy, not distracting yourself, but being still. Listen to
what you have to say like you would a friend.
Two, find and remember your core values. If you forgot, if you haven’t done
the work from my values podcasts, go find it, and listen. Do the work.
Answer the questions that I ask in there. Number three, find out what you
are good at, and not good at. Look at them. What are you good at? Just play
around with this. What comes naturally for me? What are the things that are
harder for me? Just look at them. Remember we’re not judging. Number four,
try out new things, and see what lights you up. It might actually be trying
things that you’ve already done, with different eyes. You might be like,
yeah I’ve done this before, but I’m actually going to pay attention to my
energy when I’m doing this thing, what I think, where my energy level is.
Do I feel more positive? Do I feel more zippy? Or, does this feel like a
drain on my energy? Pay attention.
Things that I’ve learned about myself are that being outside, it just does
me good, even if it’s in my yard. Being outside helps me to feel more
grounded. In particular, I’ve learned about myself that there’s nowhere on
this earth, you’ve heard me talk about this, where I feel more alive than
at the ocean. Particularly sitting in front of the waves, or in the water
getting wet. I just feel alive. I feel vibrant. I feel just good. A close
second, is being in the forests. I love being in the forest, and hiking
through forests. I feel alive. It feels vibrant to me.
Number five, ask for feedback. Now, going back to what I said early, not
from just anybody. Be selective about who you are willing to ask and listen
to feedback from. They have to have earned the right to give you feedback.
Sometimes I ask my husband, tell me what you see in me. What do you see?
Who do you see? What do you think I’m good at? What can I work on? We have
a trusting enough relationship that we both can share both, because we know
that we have each other’s back. We know that it’s okay and normal to have
strengths and weaknesses, and we’re willing to tell the truth about that
because we trust each other.
Number six, look at your relationships and how you are showing up in them.
Do you like how you were showing up? Why or why not? How truthful are you
being? How much people pleasing are you doing? How much are you denying how
you actually feel? Are you being argumentative? Are you being defensive?
Tell yourself the truth. Number seven, look at your automatic thoughts and
feelings, and evaluate them. Challenge them. What is working for you? What
is not working for you? Why, or why not?
Now, I want to give you a warning. As you start to see yourself more
clearly, you may not always like what you see. I want to give you this
little bit of wisdom though, there is a reason why you are the way you are.
There’s a reason why you are exactly where you are today. Somewhere along
the line, you develop these traits. At the time, it seemed like a good
idea, but maybe it’s just not serving you now. I don’t want you to punish
yourself. I don’t want to use this as a weapon against yourself. It’s just
a way to see yourself, and decide if you want to keep it, or if you want to
see it, except that it’s there, and then decide to strengthen it… Out of
love for yourself, not out of punishment. You are right where you are,
because of a good reason. We’re all doing the best we can.
So as you move forward, I’m just going to say again that knowing yourself,
this work of knowing yourself, seeing yourself, it is the most important
work you will ever do in your entire life. The more you see yourself, the
more we are able to be us to everyone around us, the bigger impact we have.
The more we can connect with others, the more we can connect with
ourselves, the more, honestly, we walk through this life knowing who we
are, there is nothing more important. There is nothing more valuable.
I hope that you can take these tools and try seeing yourself. Try learning
some things about yourself, that you didn’t know. See it as a fun
challenge. Let’s have fun with this. What I do know is that every single
person has gifts and talents and traits, that are so unique, that are just
yours. They’re just yours. How cool is that? Find them, own them. They are
yours. Yeah, we all have our weaknesses too, and I want you to look at
them, and practice compassion with them. Compassion and love. It doesn’t
mean anything about you, it means that you’re human, and that we just have
these things that we have to work through in life. That’s what I’ve got for
you today my friends. Thank you so much for listening, and I will see you
next time. All right. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
email. You can subscribe at andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again,
it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.