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Know Thyself: A Personal Development Exercise

Many people wrongly believe that mentoring can only help small businesses, the self-employed and the entrepreneurial, but mentoring can help anyone and everyone.

We all from time to time need a little extra support, guidance - someone to have our backs whilst we work towards a goal. Someone to hold us accountable for the choices we make and the rate of progress we are achieving, or not.

Having a mentor working alongside you can often be like having a boot camp drill sergeant, a rousing cheerleader, a loyal and supportive confident (or anything in between), empowering and motivating you forwards - regardless of what your goal might be. So with one eye fixed firmly on your personal development, I'd like to offer you this exercise, so you better know thyself.

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom - Aristotle


With a pen and some paper, take yourself away to a quiet room with a mirror, where you won't be disturbed.

Sit down in a chair, in front of the mirror, and look at you. You are going to have a conversation with you - and it doesn't have to be out loud, so don't worry.

Pay attention to what you notice. How easily do you look at yourself and face yourself head on? Do you avoid your own gaze? How do you feel? Shy? Uncomfortable? Embarrassed? Empowered? Confident? Good? Bad? Take note of all these feelings and write them down.

Now before I go on, can we all agree that each of us is made up of mind, body and spirit? If you disagree with this, there's really no point you continuing with this exercise. For those of you who agree, let's move on.

Ask to speak to your spirit, your higher self, whilst continuing to hold your own gaze. Look deeply into your own eyes, into the depths of your soul, and start to get to know this person. Politely and respectfully, ask your spirit to work with you and help you.

Spend 15 minutes alone and uninterrupted, looking at yourself. Go with the flow, see what happens and make notes as you go. There is no right or wrong way, just your way. If you find it difficult to look at yourself for 15 minutes, ask yourself why that is. What don't you want to see? Why are you uncomfortable? Whatever you're feeling - good or bad - probe further, after all you've volunteered to know thyself, so don't just skim the surface here. What depths to you are there, that you have previously been unaware of? Why are you here, what is your true purpose in life?

When you're finished, take some additional time to record your experience in as much detail as you can. Write about what happened, how you felt, how your feelings many have changed, what you saw, smelt, tasted, heard and felt? Did anything unusual or unexpected happen? Record how you felt about the exercise before you completed it, and then how you felt about it afterwards. Record how you feel about having to repeat the exercise again. Will you feel differently about looking at yourself next time?

Repeat this exercise as often as you're able, as it's a great personal growth and development exercise. You may learn a lot of things about yourself and your spirit, which may be valuable on your journey forwards through life.

Commit to gifting this "me time" to yourself at least a handful of times during the next 12 months; always recording the details in a journal. At the end of the year, you may be surprised and enlightened by the discoveries you had made, the progress and growth you have achieved and the rate of personal development you have activated.

Good luck!

Karan x


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