You are the origin of your individual experience, and the more that you understand yourself and the nature of your human experience, the more that you understand how your experience interacts with the world. Self-understanding is a journey into your own mind – your subjective stream of thoughts and feelings. Self-understanding is about noticing the infinite thoughts, emotions and sensations that flow through you and about deeply investigating their nature.

An ongoing enquiry

Where does that particularly thought come from?
Is it really mine? What beliefs are at play?
What are the key influences that have fed my beliefs?
Whom am I trying to (unconsciously) impress?
How aware am I of my bodily sensations as various thoughts and emotions arise? Where do I feel tension?

This is the realm of what I call fully-integrated mindfulness. A realm of awareness of both mind and body, anywhere and everywhere; whether you are cooking or chatting, working or relaxing, angry or happy, running or resting, lonely or jubilant, bored or excited. It is a meta awareness of each and every unfolding moment as it arises. A meta awareness that is the fertile bed for deeper enquiry. A deeper enquiry that allows us to see notice our habitual patterns and tendencies, so that we may change them if they do not serve us.

Self-understanding cuts through the noise

Learning to look within and to notice yourself is probably more important now, than it has ever been before! The pace and complexity of modernity is so great that it pulls us all into frantic, anxiety-inducing ways of life. Thus, it is only those who very consciously choose to say “no” and to make active decisions about how they live, who will stand any chance of cutting through all the noise.

This is why self-understanding is so important. Through practice, it can become the gateway to an inner strength and grounding that is the basis for real wellbeing.


Harsha is an executive and life coach based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives. Subscribe to receive more insights like this.