Whilst I was making my coffee at work the other day, I overheard a couple of girls talking.
‘You’ve had your hair cut, it looks great.’
‘Oh thanks, do you think it looks okay at the back? I was worried it was a bit short.’
‘Not at all, it’s just right, it really suits you.’
‘Oh good, you know what it’s like, they show you the back of your head in the mirror for a few seconds once they’ve finished cutting and then you never really see it again, do you?’
As I listened, I realised that how difficult it is to see ourselves as others see us. My hair is parted on the left but if I ever doodle a picture of myself, I always draw it as I see it in the mirror rather than as others see it.
When I hear my voice on my voicemail, I cringe slightly – I sound so different to how I sound in my head. That famous question ‘does my bum look big in this?’ only exists because we can never really get a good look at ourselves in all our 360° glory.
We think we know ourselves pretty well on the inside but to really know ourselves, I believe we need to be aware of the impact we have on others.
This is part of my role as a coach. From my external standpoint, I ask questions to help my clients air their inner concerns and issues, or explore their previously unspoken ideas and musings. Sometimes, we take it a stage further and I help them solicit 360° feedback from key stakeholders. At times, I help clients to challenge some limiting self-beliefs I’m hearing from them. I feedback to them what I’m hearing and what I’m seeing and we compare that with what they’re experiencing. This is all done in a confidential, non-judgmental and supportive environment.
Such conversations frequently result in progress and transition from one level of performance or fulfilment to another. There seems to be something liberating about feeling able to discover how we appear to others and matching that up with how we feel about ourselves. I’ve seen clients become ‘unstuck’ in their goals and take positive action towards achieving their professional and personal objectives.
Whether it’s a trusted colleague, a close friend or family member, or a coach, we all need someone to help us better understand who we are.
Today’s pebble for you to consider:
Who is the person who helps you to see yourself more fully?
What do you think?
ps if you’d like to find out how working with me as your coach can help you get to know yourself better, why not email me to find out more?