How to know yourself and what are the benefits of this awareness? In my current employment, I was told that one staff member, before he left, had referred to me as “Captain Cruise”. This sounded interesting to me. Another person’s perception is just one way you have of how to know yourself.
I didn’t know until after he’d gone that he nicknamed me that. It sounded synonymous with being, “So laid back he’s almost horizontal”. While I don’t know if I’ve ever thought of myself that way I had often heard myself described as such.
Anyway, I decided to call this website – livinghorizontally.com to honour that.
What is an affiliate marketer looking for? For me, lying in a hammock watching the sunset – Living horizontally. Or at least, living life on your own terms. Being able to finish the day out with a sense of satisfaction. That cruisy attitude comes from a knowing that we can only give our best – we can only control who we are on the inside – our thoughts and feelings. With such an attitude we’re able to put people at ease. We have no control over what is happening in our external reality. Just how we respond to it. What are you looking for as an affiliate marketer? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
One of the primary attributes we need to hold as Affiliate Marketers is who we are. When we know who we are, we know what we have to offer. We gear our offers to people just like us. Perhaps our customer avatar is a reflection of who we are? Sure, we may want to believe that everyone out there is a potential customer. But the more we narrow our idea of who our perfect customer is the more likely we are to lasso them from out of the herd.
So how do you know yourself?
How to Know Yourself
One of the more interesting exercises I was introduced to on my personal development journey was while doing a Certificate in Life Coaching. We had to pair up with another participant and for 5 minutes the other would ask the question, “Who are you?”. Each time the question was asked you had to come up with an answer… Male, son, husband, partner, chef, cyclist, father, teacher, boy scout, student, gardener, movie-goer, reader, writer. It is amazing how many ways we can answer the question. And all of those are ways we know ourselves. We internalize our experiences of these roles and become a vehicle for all of these aspects.
And what happens if our idea of one of those roles is broken. When I stopped being a boy scout, I still carried the experience of a boy scout. Likewise, when my marriage broke up I wanted to understand more about myself, my part in the failure, even though I would carry onward the notion of marriage.
As I said earlier, one of the ways we can know ourselves is by hearing what others think of us. Often it is those we trust that can feel comfortable enough to speak something like that out loud. And others will talk behind our backs.
Noticing our feelings when we’re communicating or interacting with others can be a great source of self-knowledge. Joe Vitale speaks of this being an instructive opportunity to get in touch with counter-intentions. Intentions that are throwing sticks into the spokes of your wheel, that are keeping you from fully expressing who you want to be.
There are many modalities and aspects of psychology that can give us pointers to what can be preferred ways of being – more ways to know yourself.
What helps when you want to know yourself.
Again we do have preferred ways of being. I was introduced to these personality preferences through astrology and numerology. NO, not the ones you used to find in the newspaper and can now find online. I gleaned these insights from books, finding the ideas that resonated with me and rejecting those that didn’t. Maybe these are just energetic forces acting on us rather than traits that are set in concrete.
When I was first planning this post I imagined going into some detail about different ways we can know ourselves. A lot of personal development programs have come up with some sort of personality typing modality. Even my medical herbalist has a typing framework.
Two that immediately spring to mind are; Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram. The links are to free online questionnaires at LonerWolf that can give you insight into a variety of traits. I’ll reiterate these are just preferences. There is nothing concrete about them. They are fluid. For more comprehensive professional testing go the Myers-Briggs Foundation and for the Enneagram at the Enneagram Institute.
Another that I find myself returning to is the PMAI (the Pearson-Marr Archetypal Index). This links to a free archetypal test that’ll give you a close representation of the actual PMAI which is based on the Hero’s Journey. If you want to dive deeper into this go to StoryWell.
And the VIA Character Strengths survey. And the VIA is a 15-minute free questionnaire that provides you with a small report of 24 different strengths that apply to you.
But perhaps the most defining way to know ourselves comes from the Good Book. “Ye shall know them by their fruits”.
“Ye shall know them by their fruits”
As an affiliate marketer, what fruit are you producing? Your results will point towards the service you’re providing and how good it is.
The niche you choose will be a great indicator of where you imagine your strengths lie. That niche is a tree that you plant in the internet garden. The content you create becomes the nutrients and water you keep the tree healthy with. The healthier the tree the more fruit it will produce – the better your results will be. It may require pruning to retain the tree’s vitality.
The saying, “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on earth” is apt here. By looking after your tree (creating good content) you are producing more fruit for your customers. You are being of service to those that have an interest similar to yours.
What happens when you know yourself
Affiliate marketing is a way of turning your obsession into your profession. The more you focus on your niche the more confident you become. Your niche flows from who you are and what you do. And when you express that love in content creation you show the world who you really are.
Your niche is what you are being in the world. I heard this idea listening to Zig Ziglar… “Before we can have we must do and before we can do, we must be”. The Doing and then the Having flow outwards from who we are Being. The act of content creation is an outflow from your being an expert in your niche. Trust the knowledge and wisdom you have gained along the way. The smarts you’ve got from being totally involved in your niche.
Knowledge, wisdom, experience, passion, smarts – these are the fruits we talked about before. Being immersed in your niche is how you’ve been tending your tree, watering and nourishing the ground it has taken root in. This care will be evident in the quality of fruit you produce.
By focusing on our being we create a vibration of trust that draws customers to our offers. They want to know what we know.
And we can’t rest on our laurels. We need to keep moving forward. We need to reach further if we can to maintain the mantle of expertise that our customers rely on. I said earlier that there are a few modalities I return to check my journey. To see if I’ve changed over the course of years. The VIA Character Strengths Survey is of particular interest to me as it reiterates that my prime character strength is a love of learning.
What better way of increasing the experience of learning than to share it with others. Seek to become a better provider and inspiration to your customers by staying at the forefront of your profession or craft. Challenge draws us on to greater expression of who we are.
By adopting some sort of reflective practice we acknowledge that there can be improvements made to how we present to the world. If we think back on our day there may be moments that we might have responded or acted in a way that served us better.
Having a community around us is a great source of inspiration and support for the journey we’re on. Engaging with others, and maintaining the attitude of the observer when we notice triggers, provides us with the nourishment we need for the trail. The triggers may be both positive and negative. Both will be beneficial.
The tribes we gather around us when we put ourselves out there online have become interested because they can see the confidence evident in our content. Our self-knowledge has created the trust we need to become a leader for others who are seeking our expertise. This also means we may open ourselves to detractors, those people who seem only to want to pull down what we have spent time doing.
I said earlier that being conscious of how other people may trigger us is a great source of self-knowledge. What we imagine is making us angry when we view the behaviour of others could be a reflection of behaviour we also exhibit though we’re unaware of it. If we can acknowledge those triggers and gain insight into our own conduct it will enable us to continue to grow as marketers and people.
“The unexamined life is not worth living”