Have you ever been surprised at your own response to a situation? Perhaps you’ve been surprised at the fact that you managed to do something you never thought you were capable of. Or learning to act out of character in order to achieve something bigger than yourself?
You thought you knew yourself, but all of a sudden you got to learn something completely new about what’s within. The way you dealt with that family emergency, the difficult situation at work, or the health crisis you were facing. You found something within yourself that you never knew existed.
This is the essence of character. Inner growth that occurs in response to outside influences.
I hear from a lot of people who tell me that they wish they knew they were an introvert or HSP earlier in their life. They lament the fact that they’ve wasted so many years wasting their time pretending to care about things that don’t matter to them, doing things they wish they hadn’t. “If only” they had understood themselves like they do now, they wouldn’t have struggled so much.
“It’s Too Late for Me Now”
Sometimes this realisation leads the person to a place where they experience deep loss. Regret for a life not lived in the right way.
While other people respond to these discoveries with a fresh perspective. They ask “what next?” and seek to learn more, grow deeper. They’re acknowledge the regret, and feel a sense of sadness that the opportunity has come late in the day, but also see it AS a gift…better late than never, and an opportunity to learn and grow into themselves.
In this episode of the podcast we look at a few potential reasons people might think there is nothing more to learn. From the mentality that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, to one of cycnicsm and self-sabotage, and being overwhelmed by the potential that there is always more to learn. We will grapple with the presence of these subtle influences in our own mentalities, and look at ways to transcend it.
“No More Learning: I am who I am”
Learning about yourself as an introvert or highly sensitive person shouldn’t restrict your self-conception. It shouldn’t shrink your mindset. Quite the opposite. Getting to know the intricate cogs and mechanisms that drive your inner being, should give rise to a fresh wave of freedom and energy.
In the show we will see how embracing a life of learning can lead some great things. For example, stronger relationships, improved health and contentment, and a deeper grounding in the present moment.
Unknowable and Imperfect
We’re not talking about finding ourselves. This is not some way to “uncover the real you” or “discover the person you are deep down”. We all know intuitively that this is not how it works.
Forget the idea that you can go travelling, move cities, or start a new job in order to “find yourself”. You’re not missing. There is no perfect, ideal you. Like everybody else you’re full of flaws and foibles. As long as you’re alive you will experience loss and pain, as well as joy and satisfaction.
In a world of cock-surety and opinionated certainty, it is so important to rise above the noise. To remind yourself that none of us can ever truly know ourselves because “self” is such a fluid and slippery concept. We can however keep learning, exploring, and embracing the mystery. To hold lightly to what we think we know, and to live with grace towards ourselves and others.
Be gentle with yourself. Be less judgemental and self-critical, and that will flow out to others as well. Accept your own flaws and foibles, and you will be forced to give grace to the flaws and foibles of other people.
I’m not perfect, and nor are you.
Over to You
What was the last big lesson you learned about yourself and what you are capable of but didn’t realise? Please share your response in the comments below.