“Who is the woman in the mirror?” I sometimes ask that question when I’m standing in front of a mirror and often the answer is “I don’t know”. Maybe it’s because it’s part of transitioning through stages of my life or I’m in the process of reinventing myself (again) and it could also be that I’ve been focussing inward (looking at my life) for too long rather than outward (living my life). This happens a lot when I’m in discovery mode rather than living mode. It’s not a bad thing but it is something to be aware of and adjust when I spend too much time in that space. There are times and places for both modes when I’m in the process of exploring who I am as a person. For those of us going through the process of discovering who we are, it’s an important part of the process.
It seems that life is a series of opposites with examples everywhere we look. There are the yin and yang, the positive and negative, the good and bad, the up and down, the here and there, now and then, back and forth, young and old, hot and cold, day and night, sunrise and sunset, the list goes on and on. It’s important to remember this when you are asking the question, “who am I?” Why is it important? Because we are many things and often we get stuck behind the image of who we think we are and it’s often the source of your limiting belief about yourself. One of my most limiting beliefs, in the past, was “Others won’t like me if they really knew me”. This belief is quite common as I hear other women talk about being frauds and inauthentic. The issue is, I have an idea of who I am based on traits, thoughts, and actions and other people (from their perspective) do as well. So who am I? The answer is: I am the collective sum of all the perspectives including mine!
First of all, let me be very clear, there is nothing wrong here, and exploring this topic can be fun and quite insightful! In my experience, when I’m seeing myself as less than desirable or ugly or unlovable, I am spending too much time listening to my internal voice, the one connected to some limiting belief I haven’t eradicated yet. When I am listening to others I see a completely different woman and it has a huge effect on how I feel! Whose perspective should I trust to be true, mine, or theirs? As I have found out there is no clear answer to this question. It’s important to understand who you are and you are free to create your own definition BUT (and a big but at that) if your day to day life experience includes struggle, hardship, anger (yours or others toward you) and you no longer want that in your life then it’s important to understand how others see you because, in their perspective, you will find views of you that you may not be aware of. Your ways of being that are not in alignment with who you think you are.
How can you find out how you appear to others? Well, just ask and listen to what they have to say. Listen without judgment, without emotion, and without making them wrong for sharing their perspective. The safer you make this for them the more honest they will be with you. You do have to accept what they share and understand it’s only their perspective. Your ‘way of being’ attracts “types” of people into your life, these people are the mirror of your way of being, do you like what you see? If you don’t then it’s time to have a closer look at who you are in the world.
Remember the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”? The main character, George, gets a do-over in his life when he becomes aware of who he is in the eyes of others and so do you if you want your life to be different!
IMPORTANT NOTE: I am not suggesting that you look to others to define who you are and how you should be, I am suggesting that you pay attention to how others respond/react to you for clues when you are frustrated or unhappy in your life. If you would like coaching to explore this topic for yourself, feel free to contact me for options.