Why Do You Need to Understand Yourself?

Why Do You Need to Understand Yourself?

The importance of understanding yourself has been a mantra you must have heard over the years. While many people have taken crucial steps towards self-awareness, others have simply continued living their lives the way it has always been. So, why do you need to understand yourself? How important is knowing yourself? Learn more in this short article as we delve into the importance of studying and understanding yourself.

What Does It Mean to Understand Yourself?

According to Wikipedia, self-awareness is the experience of one's individuality. It is the conscious knowledge of your traits, behaviour, feelings, emotions, and thoughts. To understand yourself is to become aware of your capabilities, preference, interests, personal values, and expertise. 

This self-consciousness should not be confused with ordinary consciousness. While the latter entails the awareness of one's environment and everything in it, the former emphasises the recognition of everything about yourself.

When you understand yourself, the attention is on yourself. While this is the case, self-awareness doesn't mean you check in on yourself every moment. When done successfully, the concept of understanding yourself becomes an integral part of you. As you go about your everyday activities, it emerges to influence your decision in different situations. 

For example, your personality can influence the type of job you choose. As an introvert, you are likely to avoid positions that involve being in a crowd or going to many events. Also, self-understanding will influence your choice of friends and places you visit.

In addition, when you study and understand yourself, you can identify your strengths and weaknesses and build your life around them. Notably, self-knowledge will teach you to understand others and relate with them appropriately.

One of the ways you can understand yourself is to know your personality type. Personalities test like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, and Type A and B personality tests are great in determining who you are. However, the Big Five traits personality test is scientifically backed and more acceptable by many psychologists and independent researchers.

Access to these tests can help you recognise why you are different from others. It also explains why you might react differently in various situations. Most people are not born innately with self-understanding, so it's something you can learn. The following are some of the benefits of knowing yourself.

6 Reasons You Need to Understand Yourself


When you know why you are different from others, you embrace yourself, and suddenly become enlightened. Embracing yourself includes acknowledging your strengths, capabilities, and weaknesses. This might be difficult at first, especially regarding your ugly side. However, your acknowledgement will direct you to make meaningful changes afterwards.

It clears your doubt

Have you ever wondered why you shouted at your colleague during a heated argument? You could have laid your opinions down logically but chose to flare up, only to get home and question your reaction. Thankfully, self-understanding or a personality test gives you some answers and braces you up for significant changes that might come.

It boosts your self-esteem and confidence 

A lack of self-understanding paves the way for others to force their ideas on you. By knowing yourself, you build personal values, principles and understand your potential. That helps you navigate any area of your life easily. Decision-making becomes easy, and you don't have to live your life based on others. As a result, this elevates your confidence and clears any self-doubt.

Decision making

Another advantage of knowing yourself is that it helps you make informed and strategic decisions. With self-knowledge comes confidence and complete insight into your potential. That way, you can make good decisions for yourself and efficiently eliminate the wrong ones. 

For example, knowing your strengths and weaknesses can help you choose careers that only give you fulfilment and align with your values. Also, it helps you target professional opportunities that benefit you the most.

Similarly, the decision of buying a house or choosing a partner isn't something you can entrust to others. A highly conscientious individual will constantly have trouble coping with a freewheeler who isn't organised and goal-driven.

It helps you express yourself freely

Adequate knowledge of who you are gives you ultimate freedom. Suddenly, you are no longer affected by others' judgement because you have embraced your personality. With self-knowledge, you will express yourself to others without the need to hide or worry about their criticisms.

You achieve inner peace

Self-understanding provides answers to many of the questions you may have had for years. Often, these questions cloud your thoughts, making it impossible to think clearly. Now that you know your personality, you can figure out many things based on your potential. An understanding of yourself provides a clearer view of your past and future.

It helps you accept the unknown 

Things don't usually work out according to plan. As such, this may bring up negative emotions, such as fear, guilt, or grief. However, understanding yourself will help you move on quickly and work things out.


If you ever feel lost or confused in life, understanding yourself is the first step to recovery. It means self-awareness, and it entails knowing your personality, capability, and potential enough to make crucial decisions. Without self-understanding, it's easy to play to others' tune and get frustrated in the process. It is best to know yourself to avoid self-doubt and uncover great things.

Want to know more about Big 5? Why not take our expanded Big 5 Personality Test 👈