One of the models for understanding how people know themselves is a Johari Window.  It organizes information about the self into four different categories: Arena, Facade, Blind Spot, and Unknown.  Below is a picture of that model:

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

Everyone has qualities about themselves that are known by them, their peers, and combinations of both.  Additionally, everyone has that unknown quality – those adjectives that exist only in the subconscious.

Knowing yourself is an important life task and there are a multitude of ways to go about doing that.  Using tools like the Johari Window is one way to do that.  Listening to feedback from your peers and colleagues is another.  Knowing yourself can lead to greater of awareness of the self we are and the self we want to be.  It is only through knowing where you are starting from that you can move toward your ideal self.

Association for Psychological Science (2009, July 16). Knowing Me, Myself And I: What Psychology Can Contribute To Self-knowledge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 20, 2009, from­ /releases/2009/07/090716113258.htm