Know Thyself – A Key to Ultimate Success

Scilla Elworthy at TEDx

“The hardest thing of all is to realize that if you want to change someone else’s mind, you have to be prepared to have your own mind changed.”

Scilla Elworthy

Unlike some of the people highlighted in the video below, you may not be facing down tanks or disarming oppressive militants, but you probably have experienced the effects of being around a dominating personality. You may work or live in an oppressive environment, or, you may simply look at the world and wonder how it is that so often bullies appear to prevail.

In these cases we are quick to see one of two options: submit, or fight.

“How do I deal with a bully, without becoming a thug?” Scilla asks in her TED Talk below. She shares the wisdom of her lifelong experiences and points to a powerful alternative to our usual responses.

Know thyself. This seems simple enough, but is, in fact, quite complex. If it isn’t as simple as looking in the mirror, or taking inventory of one’s accomplishments, then how do we come to truly know ourselves?

  • First, own how much of the violence of the situation is actually coming from you as you react to the experience. As Scilla says, never hate the person, only hate the behavior.
  • Second, devote time to practices such as Transcendental Meditation in order to understand the nature of who you truly are. Learn the reality of your indomitable spirit, and become fluent in your own resilience. This knowledge brings liberation.

“My fear grows fat with the energy I feed it,” is a mantra Scilla shares with us. Bullying, anger, and dominance must be fed fear in order to maintain their forms. Lacking this fuel, they become mere occurrences. To be sure, there are consequences of these catabolic forces, and this strategy does not ignore them.  However, only anabolic, fear-free responses have the power to truly heal the damages and end the cycle.

Watch this video and ask yourself, “do I know myself, what I stand for, and what I fear?”


PS – here are 2 resources I highly recommend for developing self-knowledge, resilience, and fearlessness: TM Center of SLO, and Build Your Nest Coaching Energy Leadership Program. Here are some great reading resources,too:

* Some, but not all, of the links in this post or in the sidebar are referral or affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission if you choose to purchase them. I only share products and services that I believe offer value. All of the products & services offered have been tested or researched by me personally. :)