Matt and Anna end the self-love series by talking about the importance of coming face-to-face with the dark side of your personality and how getting to know it is actually a form of self-love.
Know Thyself: In achieving the best version of yourself it is important to also understand where you may have weaknesses or tendencies to do things that are hurtful either to yourself or others. Getting to know these aspects and understanding them on a deep level allows you to dive into what triggers them and possible where they originated from. This also allows you to empathize with others on a deeper level.
Many people tend to want to hide their darker side and cover it up. They wil often do this either in the form of outright denial or in downplaying the behaviors. While in the podcast we touched on some really deep subjects, they may not be as outwardly noticeable. For example, you may have a damaging behaviors when it comes to finance, laziness, or even thoughts when it comes to other people.
Getting to understand these aspects of yourself touches on one of the first and most important steps in getting control of a problem in your life, and that is acknowledging it is there. One way to do this is to look at a behavior you have done in the past and admit it to yourself without adding a “but I do it becuase” or “Yah but the only reason I do that”. While this may be true, it is not taking ownership of something you can take full control of. For example, if you sometimes say unnecessarily cruel things to your significant other, ad it it to yourself as just that. “Sometimes I hurt my significant other with my words”.
This is called inviting the shadow to the table. Your get to know it by acknowledging it first and foremost, and then approach it with curiosity. Wonder where it came from, and what triggers it. Tell yourself how you are going to handle it from a place of love going forward when trigger situations come up. Depending on the severity of it, you may want to consider a coach or therapist to help you work through this dark aspect of yourself. For the more severe issues, we would recommend a trained therapist as a coach may not be sufficient in tackling this problem and the root may need to be explored on a deeper level.
Most importantly, as you decide to do this work in discovering the hidden part of you, remember to do it from a place of love. Seeking to be better and change is, in itself, a quality that confirms you are deserving of the love you seek. Remember that even though the actions may have been hurtful to others, it was an act of self-love gone wrong in the past as you were doing the best you knew how for yourself. Understand this and forgive yourself but understand now that it is your responsibility to make the changes and actions necessary to change. Once again, remember there is no shame in seeking help and seeking help is also an act of self-love and dignity.
A final note I want to touch upon. Understand that often, your dark side and capability is a power and tool when used with control and self awareness. Please see the below talk by Jordan Peterson about this:
If you have the time, this is also a great lecture on knowing the dark side of yourself
Below are some articles we suggest you read for more information about this subject.