In my recent conversations on Waves Podcast, I noticed a topic that came up every time and seemed to be a sort of deep root to everything we would talk about. Every problem, every issue, every success story. They were all linked to this core topic and, more importantly, each guest seemed to bring new concepts and details every week, thus playing their part in elaborating a general theory on how to succeed.
You’ve seen it in the title of this article, that topic is the idea of getting to know yourself, which appears to be step one towards any kind of success. So I thought I would make a whole Tide Episode about this and try to use these conversations I mentionned (with Stephanie Kwong and Celinne Da Costa mostly) in order to question that topic and organize them so that they sort of answer to each other… Which is what I did, in three parts as always!
What Does Knowing Yourself Mean?
First off it’s important to make sure we know what we are talking about exactly. To me, knowing yourself encompasses two different smaller things: Knowing what you want, and knowing who you are. The way I see it is that knowing what you want is knowing what you aim for in the future, it’s your goals, objectives, dreams, whatever you call them. It’s you looking forward and projecting yourself into a hypothetical future where, I assume, you are the happiest.
On the other side, knowing who you are is not looking backward but looking at your situation right now. Getting into an introspection that helps you understand more about you, your behaviour, your habits, etc. It obviously depends a lot on your past and how you were raised etc but… That doesn’t matter. The important thing here is to focus on you NOW and find ways to change the parts you don’t like, or you think are useless.
Ok But How?
Like most things, it’s easier said than done… I mean not for me. Most things are way harder to say with that accent I carry around. Point is: It’s hard to do. Which is why talking to Stephanie was so helpful, as she gave me tips on how to do it, derived from her own experience and what she went through. The first one is probably the most obvious: meditation. It’s literally you taking time to focus on yourself and the positive energy that comes from it has an unsurprisingly great impact on your thoughts and in turn your life. Add to that some yoga and you have the most popular anti-stress program which helps you relieve your brain so that it can focus on other more important questions (the ones mentioned above).
BUT. That’s not all. Stephanie told me about some other things I had literally no idea existed. The first was that silent retreat she did, and during which she was forced to think about herself and live with herself 100% of the time. That helped her get to know who she is and analyze some of her behaviour, as she realized she wouldn’t act the same by herself. And last but not least, is Repetition. To be honest I had heard about this thing where people would repeat stuff until they really believed them deep inside but Stephanie took that to a whole other level. She started by explaining why this technique works and I was amazed how much “actual” science is involved in this. She told me all these things about quantum physics and how your positivity can influence your surroundings on a quantum level, causing the universe to give you other positive things, so that you’d get even more positive, attract even more… And so on.
The way this works, is that some studies have shown our brains and hearts vibrate, and that these vibrations can change depending on how we feel, what we think etc. So if you manage to force some positivity in your system, you can override a negative loop and be happier. But you can’t do it just like that. I mean you could, but there are ways to make it more efficient. Stephanie told a lot of things about brain waves which, to be completely honest, I didn’t follow 100% BUT I did get that there are different type of brainwaves depending on our state. Theta brainwaves are the ones when you are asleep, when you connect with your deeper self, you dream etc. And apparently, these are when your brain is more vulnerable to change, so that’s when you should try to add some positive thoughts. But how? You can’t do that when you’re sleeping! True. But 30 minutes before you go to bed, and 30 minutes after you wake up (if you turn off your phone) your brain is going to calm down and slowly get into sleep mode. That’s when you should start visualizing what you want for the future, your goals, dreams etc. That’s when you can make it happen.
Travels and Rediscovering Yourself
Celinne talked about that too, but in a completely different way. See the way she found herself was by travelling around the world and writing about it. It helped her let things out, forget about that corporate job she had and hated, forget about what people had told her about being a writer and how only hard work would bring happiness… She just let all these negative vibes out through writing, and filled her mind with positive ones. She ended up in a situation where she had “peeled off” all these layers of inaccurate beliefs that had been forced on her and “found herself”.
Or as she says it: she rediscovered herself. She remembered her younger self spending days reading complicated intellectual books, writing stories, writing on how to solve every single issue in the world… That kid just expressing herself through story-telling was WHO she was and she had forgotten it. Therefore, she decided to start a business working on that very topic of “story telling” and became a very successful entrepreneur, working with big brands you see at the supermarket. She rediscovered herself and found a way to be that person AND make a living off it… And that’s probably the most inspiring story in the world.
Actually, that’s not even all I talked about in this episode, but… I mean I ain’t writing a whole book on this website so… Check it out here!