The Value of Understanding Yourself

This morning I had difficulty getting out of bed, and even more difficulty keeping up with my workout partner while we were out walking.

Several years ago I was monitoring my tennis playing technique and realized it takes me forever to leave the service line after I serve to my opponent. I spend so much time in analysis that I have analysis paralysis.

Move! I finally told myself.

So this morning, once we were on the return from our workout, I felt better and was moving faster. Although I will never be someone to jump out of bed consistently or to speed into an activity, I will get up and get out. It just takes me awhile to get going.

Knowing this, I can coach myself into setting boundaries that allow for a slow start. For instance, I like attending networking events early on. There is less activity, so it’s easier to engage than later when activity is high – especially for us introverts who get turned off by high energy in these unstructured events.

Similar to lying in bed awhile after my alarm goes off, I don’t immediately jump into the networking game but take my time.

I also allow myself to get used to things before I expect too much out of myself. I am usually slow to win at sports or cards until I have played several hands or spent some time warming up. This tells me I must also warm up prior to a presentation. I don’t wish to waste the introduction warming up.

But if I’m playing tennis, I must tell myself to focus on moving. Similarly, movement out of my seat where I work on my computer, into public places for meetings, and to the telephone to return calls is best handled with little delay. Otherwise, I lose the ability to position myself to receive from others.

What do you know about your own patterns? How can you make use of this knowledge? You may find it’s not easy analyzing yourself, so ask someone else what they observe about you. Don’t be surprised by how right they are.

Understanding yourself allows you to value who you are, how you are and then to make good use of this knowledge. What you learn about yourself is key to how well  you communicate with others.

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On May 29th, 2012, posted in: behavior, communication, self knowledge by