Opening a Window into Yourself

To know who you want to be, you need to know who you are. To know where you want to be, you need to know where you are; and I mean be brutally honest with yourself, all those parts of you that you cannot bear to show even the closest person to you, you’ve got to be willing to reveal those parts to yourself and you’ve got to acknowledge them. This is a key part of knowing who you are… ALL of you. When you’re here, you have a better chance of knowing want you want, where you want to be and who you want to be. If not, you at least know what you don’t want, where you don’t want to go and who you don’t want to be; that’s a big step in the right direction, or at the very least, a big step away from the wrong direction.

We know The Golden Rule or The Ethic of Reciprocity: Do unto others as you would like it done unto you and “Love thy neighbour as you love yourself”. In order to get these principles right, you first need to know how you would like it done unto you, you need to love yourself (so that you can love your neighbour in that same manner). It’s YOU that you need to know and love first, the whole person. The issue with this becomes the fact that most people think they know who they are; when the person they know is actually a perception other people have of them. In the same breath, because we need to live in relationship with people, they need to know us too. Thankfully, two psychologists, Joesph Luft and Harrington Ingham developed a technique in 1955 that helps people better understand their relationship with themselves and others called The Johari Window. I learned this in my Communication Science module and opened a window into the ME that I didn’t know about.

This method is usually used in communication lessons to help people learn to look out for behavioural patterns of others and therefore better their communication, this is why Feedback is a big part of the Johari method. After this exercise is done among pairs or groups, they give feedback, this is to help the other person know what’s in their Blind Spot Quadrant, and this obviously helps with an introspection process and mission of being a better person. As much as this particular post is not about communication (watch out for my colleague’s post on Communication tomorrow), it will take some communicating with those around you for this exercise, not just to better your relationship with them, but to better your relationship with yourself. Once you have a better idea of yourself from this and subsequent conversations, you’ll know a little more about yourself- a step in the right direction.

Remember the Dark/Unknown Quadrant; so even though you may get some answers or clarity a lot of areas in your life, you won’t have them all. What is the continuation of life without the element of surprise, right?

We all want all the answers now, especially our generation. It’s important to remember that life is a journey, so while this exercise may open a window into yourself, remember that that is just a step towards knowing who you are, where you are and what you and being all of those things; a big step, but a single one non the less. There’s still the work that goes into becoming this person. That journey- the space between the knowing/ opening of the window and arriving at the ideal version of you- is Quadrant 4. So even when you think you have arrived, don’t close the window, there’s always more to learn, more to be.  

Yours Truly,

Tshepiso Molakeng,

Quality Growth International


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