1. Stumbling blocks in becoming self-aware
The following are some common stumbling blocks that come in the way of learning about oneself.
- Not wanting to improve as a person: Some people lack the basic will to improve. This could be due to personality defects such as pride or laziness.
- Lack of learning attitude: A person who lacks the curiosity to learn about their mistakes and how to go about correcting them.
- Extroversion: In this case being extroverted means not having the ability to be introspective in life situations. Let’s take the three examples from the previous chapter and see what an introspective attitude would have been compared to an extroverted attitude.
|Introverted or introspective
|Why doesn’t my boss praise me? I also work so hard.
|What are the qualities of my colleague that I can learn from?
|I just do not have my freedom in this house. I should move out.
|Dad has had a really long day. How can I make him more comfortable? Why do I have to be told the same thing over and over again – where do I lack?
|Ruth is just like my wife. All wives are the same. Jeremy and I should go out for a beer.
|If I can see myself in Jeremy, then I am just plain lazy, I really need to improve in this area.
After looking at the above examples, one can understand why it is said that, “Those who spend their time only looking for faults in others usually make no time to correct their own.”
- High ego: People with high ego generally never like admitting to mistakes made by them, let alone improving themselves.
- Spiritual factors: There are many types of spiritual root causes of problems in our lives. Very often people have to undergo pain due to destined events, effect of negative energies, problems created by departed ancestors, a block in the vital energy, etc. Sometimes due to medium to severe destiny a person may not be able to think clearly and hence this becomes a stumbling block in their making efforts to become more self-aware. Also negative energies from the spiritual dimension may cloud one’s thinking and increase one’s personality defects. On the flip side, even an understanding that such type of problems exists and can give us pain help us to take a more philosophical view towards life. In fact, all major events in one’s life — good or bad — are primarily due to destiny.
One seeker who was involved in a car accident which was not his fault, intuitively felt that a part of his destiny had been completed. He felt that in a previous lifetime, he must have wronged the other person, hence in this life the other person had wronged him. With this thought he was able to remain stable and go about his daily life calmly.
2. In summary
- We need to be alert of such obstacles which impede our ability to become aware of our personality defects.
- Even a small hint of a mistake pointed out by others should be taken seriously as it may lead to uncovering deeper issues in our personality.
- Having reactions to others’ feedback for us is a sign of high ego.