Recently, I was walking out of a public bathroom at a conference (Yeah, I know, I know – you needed to know that). Anyway, I walked out and turned a corner (Exciting right? Seriously, just hang on a moment longer there’s a payoff, I promise). After turning said corner, I happened to see a gentleman walking towards me in a purple shirt and black dress pants. To myself I pondered, “There’s a guy who looks confident, is attractive and appears athletic.”
“Lucky guy,” I added.
I didn’t give it much thought and was going to let it go until I realized that what was in front of me – about 10 feet away or so – was a giant mirror that ran the length of the wall.
I had been looking at myself.
How often do we miss what is right in front of us? How often are we so hard on ourselves that we can’t see the obvious or become blind to the truth? For those that know me, they know that I am confident about many things – some more than others, but I tend to know my strengths. However, one area that I have always been hypercritical of myself has been my appearance. It’s gotten better as I’ve gotten older (…and lost my hair, oddly enough), but I’m still not as confident as I’d like to be. So, imagine my surprise when the “Mirror, Mirror” on the wall showed me…well…myself – not as I see me, but as I am.
It was pretty powerful for me.
And that’s my challenge to you this week – look for your own “Mirror, Mirror” moment; for a time where you can let your defenses down and either see yourself as you are, or see a situation for not what you wish it to be (or what you think it is), but what it actually is. This is easy to suggest, but not as easy to “make” happen, I suppose.
I’ve thought a lot about my own moment, trying to figure out the variables that made it happen and I believe it came down to one thing. I was so engrossed in what I was doing – attending the conference and capturing as many ideas as I could to take back to my business, that it freed up other parts of my consciousness to see the truth or, at the very least, be more open to it. Now, don’t run out and book your trip to the nearest conference of choice just yet – the same state can be accomplished in simpler ways. And, no, your “mirror” doesn’t have to be quite as literal as mine. Your mirror could be a person, a book, or the sun as it sets on the horizon. Here are some tips: As you go about your day, focus on the task(s) at hand. Pour yourself into them. If you are at your desk working, make an active choice to “be” in that moment. The same applies if you are hanging out with your children, participating in a meeting, or washing the dishes. The trick is to focus so hard on what you are doing, that you aren’t actively looking for a specific answer. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about yourself and own specific situations. Mirror, Mirror on the wall…