How do you see yourself? Are you the risk taker or the one who over-analyzes? Are you the nervous nelly or the one who jumps in with both feet? Are you the doer, the creative one, the active one or the shy one? The way we see ourselves may be what we put out into the world, but it’s not necessarily how others see us.
Recently, I had a chat with a friend. As we blabbed about life choices and decisions, we talked about our friends and how they approached the world. I mentioned one friend who didn’t take more than a moment to decide to go ice climbing in New Zealand or on a sailboat with relative strangers in the Caribbean. Me, I analyze for hours before booking something and always make sure to add travel insurance to the list. It’s funny, when I told my girlfriend about this risk-taking friend, she said that she saw me as the ‘doer’, the risk-taker. That she didn’t think I was as enveloped by analysis or overthinking; I was one who is involved in lots of things, takes action and ‘does’ things. Amazing how we constantly see ourselves differently than others in the world do. How things change.
I’m regularly reminded in yoga classes that we should compare ourselves to no one other than ourselves. If we aim to be better, stronger, wiser, more enlightened than we were yesterday or last month, that is an attainable goal. But sometimes, when you look up from falling over in side crow and the girl in the front row is showing off a chin stand, it’s hard to let go of those comparisons. Although that phone conversation was not designed to teach me something, it did.
I realized that as we continue to compare ourselves to others, others continue to compare themselves to us. Perhaps comparison is the wrong word – but, still, it’s how someone sees us. Perhaps that would be a gift in itself; if we could (if for only a minute) see ourselves the way others see us. Not for the nit-picky bits or the he said/she said nonsense, but really notice. Maybe we are stronger than we thought we were, perhaps we’re more able than we think we are or perhaps we need to check ourselves a bit and let more positivity come out of our mouths on more days.
Either way, no, I’m not suggesting that we live by as others see us, but merely taking stock that we are more than what we think. You never know how much more we’ll be able to accomplish if we believe in ourselves and of what we’re capable. Maybe next time I see that chin-stand girl, I won’t think, ‘ugh, that’s so annoying’, but instead, get back up and try my side crow again to one day be able to reach even further goals.