September 20, 2017

Is your self-image pulling you forward or holding you back?

Woman reflectingWe have a choice…

We can ether see ourselves as a little bit less than we really are.

Or we can see ourselves as just a little bit more than we really are.

The first of these is the more usual choice. We probably believe it to be more socially acceptable.

The trouble is…

That way of looking at ourselves holds us back. As we act in accordance with our pessimistic self-image, we underachieve compared with what other people believe us capable of. We play small. And then other people have no reason to revise their opinion, except perhaps downwards.

Alternatively, when we find the courage to take an optimistic view of ourselves (within reason—I don’t mean be ridiculously over-confident or arrogant), we gradually lift other people’s perception of us as we play a better game. We go up in their estimation. And so we can achieve more because we have more influence.

In the second case, our self-image pulls us forward.

The separation between these two paths may not be much at all. One makes us grow, and perhaps quickly; the other not so much.

Which are you choosing?

Do you solve a problem when you can?

Exhausted and frustrated woman at a computerIf you’re anything like me, your first reaction to the question might be ”Of course I solve a problem when I can.”

But do you?

Do you always make the choice to deal with an issue when you have the means to? Or do you sometimes leave the problem because actually it’s easier to be working against something, to have something to push on, or even something to blame.

If somehow—and I know this may be unlikely—you could eliminate all your problems and be free of them completely, would that be a comfortable place or an uncomfortable one? What would you do with your freedom then?

Do you sometimes avoid adopting a simple solution and continue looking for a more complex one that’s somehow more justifying?

I know I do.

But the path of personal mastery, wisdom, and growth means choosing to solve our problems when we can, and moving on.