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Importantly, self-knowledge is formed gradually for as long as a person cognizes the world around themselves and different sides of their identity. For this reason, it is a slow and uninterrupted process during which anyone can make a mistake, which leads to the rethinking and refinement of values and goals. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the different areas that make up my self-knowledge.
View of Myself
The psychological method of introspection has helped me a lot in comprehending my personality. I have learned that I am an individual who is too concentrated on controlling all events in my life including those that are out of my control (Cassam 57). This assumption allowed me to understand that I was stressed so much because I was holding myself accountable for every occurrence that happened, which was counterproductive as many things were beyond my power.
Instead, I should better focus on letting go of the fear that something may go wrong (Cassam 57). I have learned it through meditations, which helped me to detect the triggers that were causing agitation in me. Introspection has allowed me to go deeper inside my personality to understand which particular thoughts induced fear and why they emerged in the first place.
Curiously, I have both interdependent and independent views of myself depending on the setting and people around me (Cassam 64). This has pushed me to an understanding that I cannot define what my culture is because I tend to adapt to the situation I am in. The absence of a specific culture has contributed greatly to the view of myself because it has allowed me to conclude that I needed to continue exploring the aspects of my identity further.
It should be stressed that this view influences my behavior and beliefs strongly (Cassam 64). I feel especially proud when my independent self-view allows me to avoid the beaten track in my career choice. However, it sometimes makes me feel embarrassed when I cannot explain to older people, who have an interdependent self-view, the reasoning behind my actions. In such situations, they almost always know which behavior should be employed while I prefer to come up with some creative ways that often lead to failure. Nevertheless, the combination of interdependent and independent self-views assists me in interacting with various people. I can adapt to their worldview with due respect, which helps me to avoid a possible argument caused by differences in perceptions.
Social Comparison Theory and Self-Justification
As a student, I often employ social comparison theory to determine my progress. During a foreign language class, I tend to compare my skills to those of other students to comprehend if I am progressing in my knowledge as fast as they are. However, it is not always productive since some of them used to live abroad and had a chance to practice their skills in the native environment (Cassam 107). This has allowed me to assume that I need to compare my current skills to the ones I had some time ago.
One of the times when I engaged in effort justification occurred this fall when I decided to run a city marathon. At the beginning of the event, I sprained my ankle but chose to run till the end anyway. I was among the last to finish, and my ankle was aching. I experienced a cognitive dissonance since I could not explain to myself why I wanted to run till the end if that was damaging my health and was so exhausting (Mercer et al. 101). However, my self-justification has allowed me to conclude that I have reached the goal despite the difficulty.
Thus, self-knowledge is the desire of a person to decompose and comprehend their mental and physiological characteristics and abilities as well as various aspects of their personality. It enables an individual to gain faith in themselves and their capabilities and gives strength to reach goals and fulfill desires. Meanwhile, introspection is a method which allows people to cognize their culture and justify the decisions they make.
Cassam, Quassim. Self-Knowledge for Humans. Oxford University Press, 2014.
Mercer, Jenny, et al. Psychology Express: Social Psychology. Prentice Hall, 2014.