The incredible things we don’t know about ourselves

How is it possible that one can be good looking by many standards, be reasonably successful in life (on traditional terms), be quite intelligent, be witty and overall charming, and still think of oneself as “meh”?

Yet, incredibly, many do!

Our self-perception is guided by our internal voices that tell us what we are, never mind the facts. Megalomania comes from this disconnect between our mental self-portrait and reality. So does lack of confidence. Somewhere in between that is confidence balanced with humility.

Taking the time to know oneself is a worthwhile journey to be on, because it bubbles up where we need to do some work and also what we can afford to celebrate about ourselves. The celebration need not be vain and self-congratulatory, but rather can be a recognition of the fact that we have qualities that can be useful to ourselves and others. On the other hand, knowing what we lack is a fillip to get started on becoming better along those parameters.

The way to do it is many. Self-reflection is a powerful tool. Having a framework to think through one’s nature (e.g. MBTI) helps some people. Using the services of a mentor or a coach is apt for some others. Or just asking and listening to those who know you very well.

All of the above can provide insights into how others view us, and indeed, how and why they value us. I think this is important to know. Sometimes what we think is our main value addition isn’t necessarily what people find useful. Sometimes the things we undervalue are important to others. These listening and reflection sessions help us get a more realistic understanding of our value to the world. In a manner of speaking, we can now ‘fine tune’ our offering to the world.

And value ourselves just right. :-)


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