I had to have some photos taken for an ID card that needed updating for some voluntary work. I went to one of those digital photo booths where you put your coins in and sit and smile at yourself in a mirror until you are (relatively) happy with how you look. I was offered a choice of 3 shots - but, none of them looked like me. More to the point, none of them looked the way I had seen myself in the mirror. The images were reversed.
That's when I realised - what we see in the mirror is always the opposite way round to how other people see us. What we are seeing isn't real. It's an illusion.
Have you ever listened to your own voice on a voicemail message? Mine doesn't sound like me at all - at least not the way I hear my voice inside my head.
So how much of what we perceive about ourselves is real? If what we see and what we hear can't be relied upon, what can? Our beliefs about who we are or who we are not? What we can and what we can't do?
This is great news for those of us who spend too much time judging ourselves, doubting ourselves - maybe we've got it all wrong. Maybe our own judgment is the complete opposite of what others see and hear.
- What complimentary things do other people say about you that you find hard to believe?
- If you knew that other people saw more in you than you do yourself, what would you do differently ?
- If you knew that other people heard more wisdom in what you say than you do, what would that mean to you ?
- If you knew that other people felt more confidence in you than you do yourself, what's the first thing you would do ?