I had never thought about ‘unknowing yourself’ as part of the process of getting to know yourself – or even more important being more yourself.
It is a concept that I heard from Lori Gottlieb. She says,
“But part of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”
My version of this concept is the Reflected Self or the PsuedoSelf. It’s this idea that you live out the stories or perceptions of identity that other people have of you. Or you live out the expectations of either yourself or someone else. Or you just live out the narrative that somehow you’ve picked up somewhere that just aren’t true about you.
There are lots of ways to pick up such narratives and expectations, but the point Lori is trying to make is that there is a process of ‘unknowing’ the narratives and expectations to become more who you truly are.
Lori says, “Getting to unknow yourself is to let go of these very limiting stories that you’ve been carrying around so that you can live your life and not the story that you’ve been telling yourself about your life. So many of us are walking around living some story that we’re telling ourselves about our lives that doesn’t reflect reality at all.”
So she goes on to explain that it’s possible to let go of these stories, but we will probably need the help of a professional to help us let go of these stories or at least identify which part of the story is the part that we can let go of – the part of the story that is just an unrealistic expectation or something not true.
Either way – know that part of getting to know yourself and becoming more yourself is to figure out the stories that you need to unknow.
How does this concept connect with you? Does it ring true for you? Do you know the things that you need to ‘unknow?’