Today, we begin a new journey. What can I promise you in this series? If you will follow these short articles with a keen intent to understand why you think, feel, and act the way you do, you will get a real grasp of how to steer yourself through life (body and soul or “soma and pneuma,” as the ancient Greeks expressed it) and super-charge your strengths for your greatest personal success. Perhaps you’re passionate about making a difference in our world, or you feel driven to become the best you can be. (Awesome goals!) Where do you want success? Is it in relationships, achievements, work, or maybe parenting? Wherever you locate your passionate desires, it is there that the great drama of self-knowledge (with a self-understanding in great depth) transforms your dreams into rock-solid realities. Board this life-changing train! Don’t just stand and watch it speed into your future without you.
What’s Deep On the Inside Shows ∴ Acquire a Self-Understanding
We begin to acquire a self-understanding by understanding our similarities to others of our own species. We might put it this way: what’s on the inside soon shows on the outside. And what becomes most obvious are our similarities to others. People leave an impression on us. When we describe someone to others, we often compare them to those we know. Of course, we share some of our weaknesses and bad points with others, too. But our weaknesses and bad points don’t define who we are.
Are Others Seeing the Real You?
The essence of who we are is not the same as the behavior we exhibit. We often say, “That’s not who you are, or that’s not like you.” Our strengths that make up our inner core are a much more reliable expression of who we really are. So keep your focus on them as we discuss similarities. Similarities — not weaknesses — more accurately group us. So let’s leave the weaknesses out of this.
Categorized People By Their Similarities, Not Their Differences
Perhaps like many, you don’t appreciate it when someone lumps you together with others. We all have often heard, “I don’t want to be put into a box!” You’ll hear this objection to anything that seems to categorize people. Each of us has the feeling that we are different from others — all others. That’s a pervasive feeling in the human race. The feeling is born out of the fact that we are all individuals and unique.
However, whether we like it or not, categorizing by means of our similarities is the first step to a helpful self-understanding. As you will soon see, I am not advocating we start comparing ourselves to others to find out who we are. To discover who we are, we must focus on our inner self (core) and its strengths. We require a self-understanding in depth. Now, let’s first take a more detailed and thoughtful look at what categorization does and does not do.
Categorizing All the Time Is Normal
Humans categorize (or box) everything! All dogs are categorized as dogs. (I wonder. Do the Great Dane and the Chihuahua appreciate being lumped together in the same category?) Cats, as cats; insects, as insects, and so on. We also lump people together (whether they like it or not) as red-haired, stocky, thin, tall or short, red, white, black, brown, or yellow, etc. We call people moody, happy, bipolar, schizophrenic, and short-in-the-grain — categorizing all the time!
The Big Picture Appears First — A Self-Understanding Identifies What Others See
We categorize each other because the big picture (not all the tiny details about us, presents itself to others first. This big picture emanates from who we are at our core, expressing how we are internally designed. After a few verbal exchanges with someone, we often find ourselves saying something like this, “Oh, she’s a sweet person,” because a characteristic becomes apparent in the big picture we see of them. Although we may not like the characteristics we see about ourselves and that others see in us, they remain a reality (regardless of our like or dislike of them) if they have been accurately observed as truly us. Hence, a self-understanding is helpful to our presentation of ourselves.
Is Categorizing Harmful?
Categorizing is, however, still suspected of being a harmful action because some would have us believe that categorizing marginalizes the differences among us. This complaint is only true if we are categorizing by our differences. Differences don’t really give us the opportunity to accurately categorize them because differences are infinite.
Similarities, on the other hand, are finite. And when our similarities are pointed out, another objection is that they fail to give adequate emphasis to our differences. This is true only if we think our differences have any real part in determining who we really are at our core.
I am suggesting they do not. Our strengths are the core of who are. And they are what we need to concentrate on and develop if we are going to really achieve a self-understanding that is helpful in order to be our best. Categorizing, in all honesty, does no harm.
Stop Categorizing Others If You Do Not Want Them to Categorize You
It scares some people that others might place them “in a box” because of what it might reveal about who they are. In all fairness, we could ask such persons to cease categorizing other people. Even if we eliminate all references to differences or similarities among us with the excuse that differences and similarities polarize or marginalize us, the very fact of our differences and similarities will remain truths, regardless. Our sensitivities and fears can blind us to truth whenever they are permitted to control our thinking.
A Self-Understanding Comes from Understanding Our “Core” (InnerKi
InnerKinetics® (the understanding of our core) holds to the maxim that we are all unique while still sharing common characteristics with others. InnerKinetics also insists that we are all uniquely and wonderfully made whatever our similarities are with others, whatever the box (temperament) we occupy. So, in no way is it (nor should it be) used to disparage anybody. Implied in the true understanding of our InnerKinetics is the fact that we have all been wonderfully made — even if our behavior at times raises doubts about it. The amazing powers of our strengths and our design are our ticket to being our best.
In my new book Who Am I?, I describe how we have become “crooked thinkers” and how to break out of this prison of the mind to become instruments of change for a better world by recognizing the source of our value as humans. You can get your copy HERE. (Psst! Subscribers to my weekly updates can receive a 15% discount and free shipping from the above link!)
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DISCOVER THE TRUTH OF WHO YOU ARE!
Lean into the whole truth. Discover the truth of who YOU are — the “Real You” — and who your children truly are. Discover how to best engage your children in finding the whole truth. Our team at InnerKinetics is ready to provide that help. If you’d like some assistance, you can request a consultation. An InnerKinetics consultant will call you to answer questions and schedule your meeting. Schedule an Initial Consultation. If you are more independent and want to cut to the chase, you need not wait for a call back because you can get answers to your questions and schedule your session HERE.