Self Awareness 101

“We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are.”  Talmud

We are often quick to prejudge a situation through the negative lens of our own state or projections.

Consider some of the following distorted situations.

The disgruntled traveler who sees the locals as weird.

The unhappy partner who views intimate relationships as a lost cause.

The fearful person who views risk taking as too dangerous.

The greedy person who views the world as filled with scarcity.

The conflict avoidant employee who sees a confrontation with the boss as dangerous.

How do we get beyond seeing things as we are?

1. Seek out and embrace accurate feedback about our distortions and thank the people who lovingly tell us the truth.

2. Approach any situation with the question “What’s good about this person/place/or issue?

3. Do not judge ourselves for our distortions but use a mixture of self-compassion or self-deprecating humor to right size our perspective.

So when I am inclined to live the words of the old ditty

“Everyone is weird,

save me and you.

And sometimes I think

you weird too.”

Will someone please encourage me to question my perspective and consider an alternative like a positive disposition?

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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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2 Responses to Self Awareness 101

  1. Karen says:

    Seems we can be a prisoner of our own perceptions–when there’s a much bigger world out there if only to be accepted for what it is.

    • cedricj says:

      So true Karen. And part of not accepting the wonder of the “world out there” is our futile attempt to control and squeeze it into our view of how we think things should be. Thanks for weighing in on this topic.

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