Selfies, Self-Delusion and Self-Acceptance
We need to learn to see ourselves as others do to really see the truth.
There are so many times when I believe I look or am behaving in a particular way. Goes without saying that I’m talking about looking bad or doing something disappointing/bad/wrong/stupid. My self-talk is critical and abrasive. And yet feedback or reactions from others are often kinder and more forgiving or complementary than my own perceptions of myself. Why is it so difficult for us to see ourselves with love, respect or admiration just as the people around us do?
Harriet Minter is a journalist, speaker and women in leadership advocate. She wrote the following piece for the Guardian Women in Leadership Network ages ago but it still resonates with me and applies to everyone regardless of age or gender.
As a 30-something who can’t take a selfie to save her life I am horrified when I read reports that 14 year old girls take up to 150 pictures of themselves a day. But maybe they’re onto something. When you look in a mirror you see a reversed version of yourself, you’re not seeing the you that everyone else is. A photo shows the reality but, because we’re so used to the mirror version, it can be hard for us to believe it. We need to learn to see ourselves as others do to really see the truth.
Remember the last time someone told you you were great at your job when you were worried that you’d failed, or that you came across as so confident when you knew you were terrified? There comes a point when the voice in our head simply isn’t reality anymore and you have to look outside yourself to find the truth – whether that truth is that you’re smarter than you think, more accomplished than you realise, or that you look great in that photo. Find the truth and then find the beauty within it, and believe that instead.