Muscle test and my experience says: no.
The most beautiful women spend hours in front of the mirror staring at their imperfections… trying to hide them.
There are also beautiful women who can say: so what. They are in search of some other imperfection.
We know ourselves intimately, and rare is the person who can leave it alone… who can refrain bemoaning their faults, and stop trying to fix themselves while keeping up appearances.
The question came up because of my last article. I bet a lot of people thought I should have told the woman in the article how wonderful they are.
But nothing that comes to you from the outside can fill you up, give you substance, peace of mind, or value.
All that will come (or not) from inside…
On the other hand,
you can make a commitment to adjust yourself and your self-image to how someone sees you.
Because after all self-image is the most important “asset” you have working for you. And often the fighting spirit that will make you adjust your self-image… My strongest asset is my fighting spirit in this and maybe any area of life… “I’ll show you…” lol
I have seen it, in my life, work in many different ways:
- My mother saw me as good for nothing… I don’t want to use stronger words: she did.
- My teachers saw me as talented trouble-makers… and could not imagine anyone would put up with me…
- One boss of mine told me: “You are brilliant, you are a genius… Please do as I say…” lol
- A course leader I assisted saw me as a bumbling idiot… a foreigner, who will never….”
- A coach of mine saw me as something dirty… and was surprised when respectable people were rallying around me.
- Another coach saw me as amazing… and I hated every moment I had to spend with her… there was no image to grow into.
- A seminar leader saw me… I actually don’t know how she saw me… But I felt it was bad. So when she said: “I know who you are” I said in my heart: No you don’t… There is no way I am going to be anything less than magnificent.
- A coach, the best experience I have ever had in coaching, said: “Who you are for me is fully expressed greatness…” And of course it is never true that your greatness is fully expressed… so I saw, for the first time that expression of greatness is a scale… The greatness doesn’t change, but the expression can be anything from zero to 100%.
And that last one altered my life.
Because today I can see that the scale really goes from minus 100 to plus 100. And when I know that, then I can still see the greatness… expressed negatively or positively, to whatever degree.
I can behave shitty, or haughty, or condescending… and I can still see the greatness. It is expressed in a negative way, but it’s there.
I can be fat and pale, or lose a tooth, or limp… my beauty is still there… expressed to the degree it is expressed… maybe even negatively.
Same with smart, or kind, or caring, or happy… When I am in a depressed phase… happiness is expressed in a negative way.
And anything you have to say about me… is just what you say about me.
I am self-serving, self-sufficient in seeing who I am.
When I see a negative expression consistently, I work with that.
For example I am working on toughening up about betrayal, pretense, make-believe. I want to be immune to its effects, I want to be impervious to its poisonous darts.
I have been working on different areas since I was three-four years old.
The first thing I needed to toughen up about is being hit…
I didn’t want to cry. So I practiced the imagery of being hit, beaten, and take it like a man… Never cried when I was hit.
Then I practiced being called names… and I became OK with that. Practiced making mistakes… in my imagination, being late, being stupid, being clumsy, being seen as a slob, being seen arrogant… until I could become OK with each.
- I am still not OK when someone pretends that they love me, but harbor hate against me. I have not bee able to toughen up about that. Deception… Ambivalence… I am OK with that. But deliberate blowing smoke in my face… not yet.
- Another constant or frequent source of grief comes from my unwillingness or inability to be with things where they are instead of where I’d like them to be.
Emailing a week too early for a webinar… a good example. Getting off a bus a stop too early… Pushing, pulling, hurrying, things… fighting with what isn’t yet.
Slowing down to the pace others have, to the pace Life has, to get in sync… instead of rushing ahead.
Big source of grief.
As you see, the coach’s job is to point out what you can work on. That is the job.
You can either be grateful for it, or you won’t. If you prefer a cheering squad… don’t buy coaching. You’ll be unhappy.
And people who say they are a coach but do the cheering: they are bad coaches. Guaranteed.
A coach needs to see, in the same glance, what is desirable, and what is present. And communicate that in terms of a “gap”, the gap between what’s possible and what you got.
A coach must see both, and not lean either way. Wishing reality were different, or thinking that what they tell you nice things about you will change your self-image is a sign of a coach who is ineffective.
Only you can change your self-image. And you better start doing that, instead of waiting for anyone else to do it, because your life depends on it.
Your self-image tells you what you will and what you won’t do.
If you want to do the things that currently you won’t do: change in your self-image is necessary. And you may need a coach for that, so it doesn’t become fixing.
Because there is nothing to fix. There is nothing wrong. You are crossing the bridge… did you think you should already be on the other side? lol.