Monday, August 30, 2010

Exercise time: find the difference between how you see yourself and how others see you

We have recently come to the end of a series on getting started but we failed to cover knowing where to start. The king in Disney's Alice in Wonder Land tells us "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." That is all well at good if we know where the beginning should be. Some times when we want to start something there is a large assortment of things we could do. A chocolates box filled with options.

If you are struggling to begin here is an exercise that can help you narrow down your choices somewhat, separate the nuts and chews for the creams so to speak.

As with a lot of the exercises I talk about here start with a blank piece of paper. Create two columns. In the first list how you see yourself. Jot down strengths and weakness and generally catalog yourself image. In the second column make a note of how others see you. There are two ways to do this step, you can go with how you think others see you or you can be brave and ask them. It gets worse we should not ask only our friends and family but people we do not get along with. How we are seen by those we do not get along with can tell us a lot about ourselves.

In this process it is important to set your ego aside. We will hear a lot of things that we may not like and probably get some complements along the way. Make note of it all, some will be true some will be false but none of it should be dismissed out of hand because we don't like it, or it is hard to think about. Instead we should only discard the things we feel are not true. Understand that these are there perceptions and options, this is you seen through the lenses of every one of their experiences. Anything they say is worth thinking about.

Now we start to compare the two lists are there any areas that show up in both lists that can use improvement? If so those are some of the best areas to begin. Problems that we have identified and that others notice are among the most glaring. However sometimes it is better to start with the things we do not notice about ourselves. The nice thing about asking others what they think of us is they do not have our ego getting in the way. It is hard to see which gutters need fixing from inside the house.

Once you have settled on some aspect of yourself that you do not like or that does not represent the person you want to be it is time to come up with a strategy for fixing it. The problems we run across in our self can vary tremendously each project deserves a considered and unique approach to how it should be handled. Create a strategy, prepare and then begin to change. Tackle the list one item at a time; there are plenty of things to get done every day. It is better to work well on a few things then waste your effort across a thousand and not see results.

The return of the editing project: Why we want to change.


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