People don’t often see the connection between “to thine own self be true” and being able to stay calm and clear under pressure. But what I’ve seen is that when you understand your true nature and claim your subjective preferences, it’s much easier to know what is your responsibility and what isn’t. You also appreciate what you have to give or not give, in any situation.
This helps you focus and bring your strengths, so you don’t get caught up in other people’s fear or upset. It also relieves you of second-guessing and regrets that you somehow should be doing something differently.
Once you gain this deeply intimate understanding of who you are, and learn to accept that others are who they are, you can stop stressing about how to fix everyone and everything, starting with yourself. Instead, you bring your grounded understanding and help others to get grounded in themselves too.
How do you get to know yourself? It’s a circular thing. Start anywhere, and claim a preference as your own. Then build on that. It has been hard in my life to know who I am and what I want because I was so wired to focus on who other people are and what do they want.
Have fun. It’s just part of the game! Tell me, how do you know yourself? What filters or questions do you use? This an area of opportunity for me.
If you want to play with this idea further, I found a Tumblr full of entries tagged “to thine own self be true.”
Photo credit: From Tumblr user, The Prism of My Thoughts