Seeing and Believing

27 Jun

Most of the time we think we see ourselves as we really are.  We think we know who we are and how others see us.  But it’s possible we aren’t seeing ourselves objectively and sometimes we may be wrong about how we appear to those around us.  For instance, we might think we seem quite sedentary because we don’t like to work out but in fact others might see us busily doing things most of the time and think we’re quite active.  Or we might think we’re intense because we can feel all our emotions while others think we are easy going. It takes effort to see everything objectively but if we step back and really look at what we’re doing we can get a better picture of who we really are.  Part of the reason we miss our personal cues are the expectations we set for ourselves.  If we set very high standards for ourselves and don’t meet them, we may judge critically and reflect the perceived deficiency as failure.  But we don’t need to do that.  It’s possible we’re doing better than we think we are.   And it’s also possible we aren’t seeing that.  If we step back and really look objectively as an outsider sees us we may find we look different than we thought.  And we might even find we look great.

Personal expectations can be very high.  Sometimes when we set them we expect to achieve them right away.  Expecting to change immediately just because we’ve decided we want it never works.  It takes time and effort to do things in new ways and adopt new behaviors.  We need time for the adjustment it takes to get there.  If we can change our thinking to consider our personal expectations instead as personal goals and then make a plan to achieve them we’ll feel more confident as we’re learning the new pattern.  Nobody’s life is perfect and we all want to make changes from time to time.  Anticipating immediate change will defeat us.  We can allow time to learn new behaviors we want to adopt and then clearly see the steps we’re making each day that take us closer to them.  If we acknowledge our progress as we’re moving closer to where we want to be we’ll be more self-assured and confident that we’ll succeed.

Even if we’re capable of seeing others objectively as they are, we may struggle to see truth when evaluating ourselves.  We are often harder and more critical of ourselves than we are of others.  We may expect to do things right every time, to never falter, and to achieve everything we set out to do without problems.  It’s fine to set lofty goals but our lives are never defined by unmarred lines in the sand.  We are fluid and will sometimes make choices that aren’t perfect.  There is no way to prevent wavering from time to time.  It’s the overall picture that counts.  If our feet are pointed in the right direction, and if we strive to do the best we can at every turn, we are doing well.  We aren’t perfect and we will make mistakes.  But if we can look at the big picture of who we really are despite our imperfections we may see that we are more accomplished and capable than we thought.  We do a lot of things well, and we do some things very well.  Seeing those honestly will bring us confidence and clarity as we move forward.

Today if you feel you’re less than you want to be, step back and look at yourself objectively.  You may see you have more going for you than you thought.  You have accomplished many wonderful things already.  Acknowledge them and be confident. You have all you need to be successful in everything you choose going forward.

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