Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.
Many years ago, I was having my first private tango lesson. This was about 6 months into my tango life and after learning very quickly, I hit a plateau and wanted to find out if it was even worth me continuing. This was the first surprise to my teachers who, from the outside, objective view, saw my progress and potential.
The second surprise for them was at the end of the session. They had filmed me at points during the hour long lesson, so that I could see for myself the progress I had made. They could see how I had changed my shoulder position and neatened my feet. My reaction? “Who is that plump, middle aged woman and why is she wearing my clothes?”
The point of this story is that the way we see ourselves is often out of kilter with how others see us. This can often stop us doing things we would like to do. Do you remember those days as a teenager when we had a hot date and suddently got a tiny spot on our chin? No-one else noticed it, but we just wanted to stay home with our head in a pillow case.
An exercise I get some clients to do is to pick 5 people from across their personal, social and/or professional networks. The client has to ask each person for 5 qualities they would use to describe them. It is fascinating to see the results. One client said, “they have all described the person I want to be.” It didn’t take too long to change that to “they have all described the person I am.”
So if you really want an insight into who you are, sometimes it worth asking the people around you.
If this has struck a chord with you and you want to find out if coaching will support you in your self perception, check out how we could work together and get in touch.