The concept of doing our due-diligence is a popular idea. It speaks to doing our own research so that we can think for ourselves in any area in which we care to succeed.
Doing our due-diligence is of high importance for making the best decisions we can. Whether those decisions are able to be deeply thought about, or quick snap decisions.
If succeeding in any area of life is based on the amount of research that we do and apply, then how important is researching who we are as individuals. In this article we talk about applying our due-diligence to become experts in our own lives, looking into a way to get to know ourselves
What is Due-Diligence?
Of several definitions that I took into consideration, I have come to a personal definition based on their consensus. Due-diligence is the thorough investigation and thoughtful actions taken to understand and intelligently respond to the situations we face that affect our personal interests. Doing our due-diligence is doing our homework. It is studying up so that we can get the most out of our decisions and actions. Working to create the best possible outcomes for those we effect.
So now take the above definition. This definition can be used for essentially any area of life. Whether that is for building a career, starting a business, making family decisions, investment choices, etc. Success in our own lives is generally dependent on how much we understand the forces that affect us. It is through the understanding of these forces, that determines the type of response we can have when confronted by them. Maybe sometimes we can get lucky and find success without knowledge. But living a life based mainly on luck doesn’t sound like a recipe for success to me. Our bodily impulses need guidance based on information that is thorough and reliable.
Our relationship with all the individual areas of our lives works best while being well-informed, yes of course. But there is one relationship more important than any of these areas that we can come to know. That relationship is with ourselves. The due-diligence we do on this thing we call ourselves, sets the stage for making the best decisions possible for every area of our lives.
How we Do Our Self Due Diligence.
Saying that the relationship we have with ourselves is the most important relationship we have may seem a bit self-centered. But this statement is self-centered in the healthiest way possible. All the decisions we make are based on how well we understand our bodily impulses, beliefs, weak areas, and strong areas. To make the best decisions for ourselves and all those we influence, time spent getting to know ourselves is a time used wisely.
Where do we start when it comes to learning about ourselves more deeply? Over the years I have learned methods for gaining self-knowledge. Here are some methods to put our due-diligence to work, for getting to know what makes ourselves tick.
1. Question what We Know about Ourselves.
There is an important question to eventually ask if we truly desire to know ourselves. Who am I? This question asked sincerely and openly can lead to an amazing process of self-discovery.
To question ourselves in this manner there are some things we are admitting. We are admitting that we don’t have all the answers about ourselves. As well, we are admitting that we believe it might be possible to come to know ourselves better. When we come to this place of willingness to find ourselves, we need to latch onto it and make a firm commitment.
The act of questioning ourselves in this manner can be unsettling. Some of us believe we have all the information we need about ourselves. But how many of us actually know everything there is to know about ourselves? How many of us know all our personal beliefs, impulses, weak and strong attributes?
I have no problem saying that even the most enlightened individuals on the planet, would be lying if they said they did. We, humans, are constantly changing beings with desires, beliefs, and abilities that transform over time.
This process of coming to know ourselves more deeply is not an easy task. At times it may even temporarily leave our mental and emotional equilibrium all over the place. Though it is a process that will pay us back great dividends on the energy we invest in it. Next, we will move on to investigating what we strongly believe.
2. Investigating our Long-Held Beliefs.
We all have deeply held beliefs. The beliefs could be of a spiritual or religious nature, political nature, ethical nature or any other nature. The nature of these beliefs isn’t important here, but our relationships with these beliefs most certainly are.
Our relationships with these beliefs determine how we view ourselves, and how interact with the world around us. Sometimes we may be able to tell where these beliefs originate from, other times we may not even know we hold them until we act them out unexpectedly. That or someone else brings them to our attention.
Some beliefs are essential for maintaining a life that is both peaceful and fulfilling. Other beliefs may distort our perceptions, and cause us to seek a troubling amount of perfection for ourselves and those around us. Making it difficult or even impossible to live a life that is authentic to ourselves.
If we have held a belief for many years, we may just think it is part of who we are. Maybe that is true or maybe not, us as individuals are the only ones that can figure that out. I believe the only way to find out is to examine the belief, pick it apart, and see if it still feels right afterward.
Process of Belief Investigation.
To investigate a belief, we first must pinpoint what our beliefs are. The easiest way I know to begin this investigation for developing self due-diligence is by writing these beliefs down. List the beliefs that you feel strongly about. Then afterward give some heartfelt effort to thinking about the origins of those beliefs. After some thought, write down if the belief still fits who you are today or if life would be better if the belief was gone.
If you don’t feel like writing, another method is to think about an argument in which you recently partook. Or think about a statement you recently heard that offended you. Ask yourself, what am I believing that caused me to be offended, or triggered me to argue? Then, if you are feeling up to it ask yourself if the belief actually matters to you, or if it is just a reaction from a long-held and hidden belief.
Commitment to a regular examination of our beliefs is a commitment to coming to terms with the depths of who we are. We examine our beliefs, keep what we can still use, and discard what we no longer connect with. Coming to terms with our beliefs is important for being our best selves, but even more important is to get in touch with our bodily impulses.
3. Forming a Better Relationship with our Bodily Impulses.
Our bodily impulses are talking to us continually. Sometimes the communications are pleasant, sometimes they are quite painful. Often times we hear of the pleasant feelings labeled as good, the painful as bad. This good and bad distinction about feelings is unnecessary and misleading.
All of our bodily impulses are neither good nor bad, they just are, and they need our attention. As we learn to regularly pay kind attention to these impulses, we can develop a healthy relationship with them.
To pay kind attention doesn’t mean we give these impulses everything they desire. That is a recipe for an immensely dysfunctional and painful existence. What it means is to listen to them. Now I realize that these impulses may not speak directly to us in a voice we can understand. But as long as we are willing to pause and feel them without judgment when they come, our bodies will understand what to do.
Simple Process for Relating to Bodily Impulses.
I will walk you through the simplest method I know for relating with impulses in any somewhat free moment. Although I say it is simple, oftentimes it is anything but easy.
Anytime throughout the day simply take stock of how you feel. You could even set a reminder on your phone to alert you multiple times a day to help you remember to check-in. If your mind and body are particularly stressed, take note. And if possible, sit or stand still and take a full deep breath, hold it momentarily, then exhale fully. Continue to focus on your breathing in this way until the stress subsides. While focusing on breathing the stress away, it likely will not give up without a fight. The impulses may spark all sorts of thoughts to sort through in this process. But use this exercise as a break from these thoughts. Continue to breathe through the stressed-out thoughts and they will settle down. You may even find yourself very relaxed afterward.
This exercise is great for developing a better relationship with our impulses. Mindful breathing and non-judgment of thinking naturally help us and our bodies develop a better relationship. Our bodies will do the communicating, the healing, the accepting, the understanding when we let it. Without knowing our bodies, we cannot know ourselves.
It is clear to me that healthy relationships with our bodies and our beliefs are necessary for knowing and being our best selves. Without a healthy relationship with our bodies, we will not understand what beliefs align well with us. And without beliefs that align well with our bodies, we will be taken down a path that is not ours to take.
To be true to ourselves we must do our self due-diligence. We must diligently work at relating to our impulses and aligning those impulses with healthy beliefs and eventual behaviors. Not for our country, our employers, our parents, but for ourselves. Because when we are true to our sane selves, others around us reap more rewards than when we are not.
That is all we have for today and thank you so much for stopping into My Life Experiment. What is written here has come from struggle and growth. We wish you growth in your process of learning to do your self due-diligence!