Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom

In examining ideas on good leadership an interesting concept is evident: the need for self-leadership.

In our opinion the only way to be a great leader is to be really comfortable and expert in the use of your most important tool: namely yourself. To become this expert, you need to hone yourself into your greatest instrument, the best and authentic you.

An important key in achieving the desired expertise is self-knowledge. According to Aristotle 'Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom'.

What is self-knowledge and how to get it?

Self-knowledge is all the knowledge that you have about yourself. All your beliefs, values and images about yourself is self-knowledge. Self-knowledge informs you of your mental representations of yourself. It is very practical, even necessary, to have a clear understanding of your skills and competencies and the values and convictions you base your life on. You need insight of the things you find most important, like your goals, likes and dislikes, to be able to handle yourself as the most accurate tool you can be in all areas of your life.

 

Sounds simple and reasonable, doesn't it? Unfortunately it is not. It is very hard to know yourself objectively, some even say impossible as for the most part you are blind to yourself. There is a beautiful bible quote that illustrates exactly what we mean: 'Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?' The answer is: because it is so very difficult to see that log.

 

As a small child, in the time our selves are formed from conception until we are approximately eight years of age. We completely rely on what others tell us about ourselves and the world we live in. Children take all comments and information literally because their minds operate in alpha-mode, which is the brain-wave that makes the brain very susceptible to learning and absorbing information in the subconscious.

 

This is very convenient, because children have to learn a lot to be able to function on their own. Information and learned skills are stored in the subconscious mind and can be accessed automatically. After a child has learned to ride a bike, really anchored the skill, it will be able to do so for the rest of its life. Fantastic, isn't it?

 

There is a downside however. Children cannot discriminate, but absorb and internalize information that is subjective and might hinder them enormously. Maybe even for the rest of their lives.
An example. A child drops a cup of milk regularly. Its mother exclaims that the child is clumsy. The child internalizes the idea that it is clumsy. The result could be that – when older - some people will constantly try to prove that they are not clumsy and become perfectionists. Others will just stop trying because they expect to fail and develop performance anxiety.

 

The same principle applies to our views of the world, other people etc. A parent that views the world as an unsafe place and other people as hostile, will project that view onto a child. The child will internalize this view and this will be its starting point. The child will come to believe over time that this view is its own.

 

We all have internalized what our parents, teachers and our peers told us about who we are and what the world looks like. The way we see ourselves is deeply rooted in our subconscious mind.
It is impossible to reach into this subconscious part of our mind through our conscious mind.
To recognize what are internalized comments, values and views from others and explore who you really are, what you really believe and think, it is necessary to use tools that allow you to bypass the conscious mind into the subconscious.

 

In ALP we use methods that do just that, for instance Neuro-linguistic Programming, Hypnosis, Neuro Science and Prenatal Programming.

 

Want to learn more? Keep reading our articles. Let yourself be inspired to join us for an intensive training-course in awakening your true authentic leadership.

Pura Vida.