For the life of me, I cannot remember where I saw or heard this idea, but it is perspective changing.
No-one ever views us the way we view ourselves.
Think about it.
Isn’t that crazy? But it’s so true. Everyone sees you differently based on how they met or the circumstances. Your family sees you one way, while your work-colleagues see you through an entirely different lens. It’s why when you start to change, those around you may push back or even object. They can’t see you changing or understand why you would even want to change. Even when you explain yourself, they most likely will never fully grasp why.
It is a monumental thought but also heartbreaking – at least for me it was.
Ultimately, it leads to a much larger point of knowing who you are. Sometimes I think if I see one more IG post about “being your authentic self” I’ll scream. Seriously. Before you can really even begin to figure out who you are, you’re surrounded by people (who almost always care about you and mean well) telling you exactly what they think. The noise is deafening.
So rather than go on an emotional or philosophical journey, I wanted to write about the three logical ways I have further developed my sense of self. The list is quite simple:
The results from each of these have all been very similar and confirm (mostly) what I knew or felt, but I wasn’t always able to articulate it well. These assessments were taken as part of leadership and team-building and have been successful in helping me communicate with others and helping others interpret and better understand my actions.
Matthew McConaughey gave a commencement speech to graduate students at the University of Houston in 2015. The speech is one of the best I’ve ever heard. In it, he told seniors they had to know who they were not. If you know what kind of person you are not, then you can eliminate those things and move on. It makes sense. Cross those things off the list and start focusing on others. Keep moving forward. Once you rule out the things you don’t want and are not, you can start writing down what you do like and things that do come naturally. Only then when that’s done can you truly begin to communicate with those around you about who you are and what you do.