Do You Want to Know Yourself Better? Check Your 6 VITAL Signs
You may be tired of hearing that all good things start with knowing yourself. On a previous post, I noted that confidence can only be achieved if you truly understand who you are. And I am not alone in declaring that self-awareness is the key to wisdom, happiness, courage, tolerance, vitality, and good decision making, among other desirable traits.
But, unfortunately, knowing yourself is a bit tricky due to two main factors.
- Social pressure: Society’s values constantly conflict with your own. This can be frustrating, because you are continuously exposed to messages about what is cool and accepted and what is not. You may even end up internalizing likes, dislikes, hobbies, and fashion choices that do not reflect your own interests at all.
- Personal change: You are always changing and evolving, which is a great thing! We are growing older and wiser. But it also means that self-reflection should be a constant process that goes along with your changing self, and we often don’t give ourselves the time to reflect on these important questions.
In the midst of growing up surrounded by social media and a changing world, what can you do to get to know yourself better every day?
Well, I found a great article on Psychology Today that recommends checking your VITALS. The acronym stands for six aspects of your personality that you must pay special attention to in order to get to know yourself better. Because once you know who you are, you can embrace it, and defend it with courage and compassion. And simply be free.
Here are the 6 VITAL signs to get to know yourself:
- V = Values. What do you admire most in yourself and others? Perhaps it is creativity, kindness, financial stability, or health. Assert your values and let them motivate you and guide your decisions.
- I = Interests. These are your passions, hobbies, and whatever engages your attention in a positive way. Spending time on your own interests or even building a career around them will color your life with passion and keep you diligent, determined, and excited.
- T = Temper. Do you tend towards introversion or extroversion? Are you a planner or prefer spontaneity? Do you delve into details or does your mind prefer to focus on the big picture? Knowing your preferences will guide you in selecting the environment, profession, relationships, and situations in which you are most likely to succeed.
- A = Around-the-Clock-Activities. Your peak-energy times affect your efficiency and performance. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Or you might be like me, I have an energy spike early in the morning and another one late at night. I do my best and hardest work in the morning and save the afternoon for emails and catching up with smaller tasks (and a cup of coffee). At night, my energy peaks up again—perfect for writing, going out with friends, or spending time with family. Maximizing the times when your energy is the highest will make you feel more “you.”
- L = Life Missions: This is an intimidating one. Meg Selig, author of the Psychology today article, wants you to ask yourself the following question: “What have been the most meaningful events of your life?” She states that the answer to this question holds incredible clues about what you really value and how you should spend most of your time to make your life meaningful.
- S = Strengths. More than your abilities and skills, what are your character strengths? Are you forgiving, brave, cautious, willful, honest, or optimistic? Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is crucial for being Super You! Focus on building up your strengths to their full potential and using them for good. It doesn’t mean you will ignore your weaknesses, but you can find ways to mitigate them and find other people to complement you. If you want to find out your strengths, I recommend the Clifton Strengths Test, which I have used with numerous students, clients and leaders throughout the world. It gives you a glimpse at your “Top 5” strengths so you can be more strategic in the work you do.
Check your VITALS
I encourage you to take some time to not only think about these traits, but to also write them down and reflect on them. This information is priceless in helping you make better decisions and even your personal branding. Some you’ll already know, others you will find hidden in your daily mood, energy, activities, and predispositions. Have fun getting to know yourself better and let me know what you discover.
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