Knowing Yourself is True Wisdom
And this leads us to the first step: self-examination. Gnothi Seauton, said the ancient Greeks – know yourself. It is rigorous, yet the most rewarding process we can undergo.
Knowing your thoughts is a skill that has to be developed. Many do not even recognise that we talk to ourselves. Just as our nose has been in our view for so long that we don’t see it anymore, so has our self-talk has been so deeply ingrained, that we don’t know it is there. It is from this blindness that we have developed the false belief that the A leads directly to the C.
Things are complicated when the self-talk is negative; many call such thoughts the voice of our internal critic.
Many times the critic attacks below our awareness – perhaps you walk into a room full of strangers, and you feel your anxiety begin to rise. Why? You don’t know – and most people leave it at that – just a feeling, and they act accordingly. What if you focus on it, analyse it? What might you discover? You feel insecure in your ability to make friends; you feel ugly; you feel like a boring person.
Some thoughts are easier to recognise. You slip up and make an inappropriate joke; and you slap your forehead – Damn! I’ve done it again!