Take a look at yourself! Do you realize that other people don’t see us the same way we see ourselves? Do you ever wonder what people think when you first appear? What do people say about you behind your back when you walk away? It’s often been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. That may be true, but that doesn’t mean that the impression you first make has to be the one that sticks.
One of the biggest problems in the world today is lack of self-awareness. If people had more self-awareness, they would rethink some of the decisions they make on what they say and do that is effecting others around them. If they made more conscious decisions about their effect on others and the impression they leave with others, there would be less friction and more cohesiveness among everyone.
Therefore, in order to have more peaceful relationships, we need to become more conscious of our behavior with others, which would allow us the power to make better decisions when it comes to others, creating better and stronger self-awareness.
There are different levels of lack of self-awareness. Take, for instance, the ego-maniac. Their only concern is for themselves, and they have no regard for anyone else’s feelings or opinions. (Sound like anyone you know??) That characteristic is taking the “self” to the extreme. On the opposite end is the person who is socially awkward, shy and doesn’t have the skills to appear confident. There is a full spectrum of characteristics in between these two extremes. Where do you fit in?
Do you ever look back at a video recording of yourself and think any of the following:
- Is that what I look and sound like?
- I look so calm on the outside, but inside, I was shaking like a leaf!
- I look so (fill in the blank…angry, sad, mad, etc.) but I wasn’t feeling that way at all.
What we “see” inside our heads is very different than what the rest of the world sees. I met a woman at an event I attended recently. She had a scowl on her face most of the time. When I finally had an opportunity to spend time with her and get to know her, I realized I completely misread her. Once she opened up her mouth to speak, what I saw and heard was a very shy, insecure, sweet woman who was just trying to figure out where she fit in. I’m certain that if she could see herself from the vantage point I had, she would be shocked and surprised that her demeanor on the outside was very different from what was going on inside. Can’t we all relate to that? It wasn’t that I was judging her. I simply misread her. This happens to people all the time. They get labeled one thing or another simply by being just who they are.
What does all this mean, and why should we care? It means that if you are a person who cares for others, which I’m sure you are, then it’s important to know how others see you. I’ve known people who have had people disappear from their lives without ever letting them know why. They never got the opportunity to find out if they said or did something they were unaware of. That’s painful! What’s worse…I’m willing to bet that the person who walked away misunderstood the other person. So, if there’s a way to tap into your own self-awareness and get a greater sense of what others see and experience from you, you have a much better chance of avoiding misunderstandings.
So, how do people see you? Here’s three steps to help you be seen the way you WANT to be seen:
Own Your Mistakes!
We all screw up! What most of us don’t do, is own it! Our egos are either too big or we’re too afraid to appear weak by saying “I’m sorry.” This may seem unrelated to this topic, but trust me, it is very appropriate. Being able to be vulnerable instills trust. Think about this for a moment: Have you ever known friends or family members who had trouble getting along, then something happens, and the family members are no longer speaking to one another? They keep the grudge and the issue going and going. No one is big enough to step up and apologize first. Families and relationships break up over misunderstandings like this all the time! If our self-esteem were stronger, we could avoid these situations more. That takes a clear understanding of self and the ability to see someone from THEIR perspective.
Ask Five People to Describe 5 Things About Your Character and Personality
No comments like “nice hair” or “good driver.” Tell them that you are working on a self-improvement project and their honesty and candor are critical to the success of the project. Here’s the deal, though. You CANNOT, under any circumstances, get upset with them if they write down something you don’t like! That’s the point, silly! You are trying to see yourself from another’s perspective. This is a phenomenal exercise! You’ll get a sense of what you consider to be good traits and a list of traits you may want to shift and make better. If you didn’t do this exercise, YOU’D NEVER KNOW! What a gift! Additionally, another benefit is you will see yourself in a new light and you’ll only want to hang around with people who make you feel good, who bring out the best in you and whose company you enjoy spending time with. With this new clarity, you’ll now have a better “people filter” system.
Be Present and Don’t Make Assumptions
Whatever situation you’re in, be sure to be PRESENT! When you’re present, your eyes are wide open and bright, and you’re engaged. The heightened level of awareness will allow you to “tune in” to people on a deeper level. They’ll be able to feel that from you and want to spend more time near you. It’s a magnetic attracter. You’ll have a greater sense of CONFIDENCE about you. That’s what will shine through! So, be more present, more aware, and you’ll become more confident! Also, don’t assume anything about anyone! As one of the “Four Agreements” Don Miguel Ruiz states that when we make assumptions, we believe they are the truth. Then, we take them personally, blame them, then react by sending poison with our word. And that, my friends, is how talking behind someone’s back occurs. It’s toxic.
We live in a world where people are judged so unfairly. The haves and have nots, the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, the young and the old, the smart and the stupid, the good and the bad, your religion versus my religion, and so on. if we would judge less and accept more, people would be able to feel more confident and less insecure. If they did, they would smile more and carry themselves in a much stronger, taller, more confident manor. Hence, being much easier to read. Enjoy this new level of empowerment, clarity and self-awareness!
LOVE IT!: I AM PRESENT AND SELF-AWARE!
THANK IT!: I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY SELF-AWARENESS!
BRING IT!: I DECIDE HOW I WANT TO BE SEEN AND HEARD!
Quote: “The best way to know who we are is often to find out how others see us.” – Paulo Coelho