(ChatGPT co-blog) From the Crates: Overcoming Self-Deception

Sarah Thomas, PhD
Published in
3 min readApr 10


I began writing this post August 10, 2018 and never finished. Thanks to my new writing partner ChatGPT, here it is for the very first time!

A few months (years) ago, I attended a fantastic workshop that my district organized, “Leadership and Self-Deception,” based on the book of the same name. The title had me intrigued. I’d wanted to attend for a long time, but other commitments kept getting in the way. Finally, this spring, I got my chance to participate. This blog post, written with the assistance of ChatGPT, is an expansion of my original thoughts from that workshop and a reflection on my growth in this area.

The Power of the Workshop

This workshop was one of the best professional learning opportunities I’ve ever experienced. The main takeaway was the concept of inward vs. outward thinking — the terminology may have been different, but that was the general idea. Inward thinking is self-centric, while outward thinking focuses on the needs of others.

It gets way more granular. Inward thinking can display in traditional ways, such as entitlement and an inflated sense of self, or even in a lack of self-esteem. The goal is to move towards more outward thinking (although I believe that in cases of anxiety and depression, it’s often more complicated).

Viewing Others Through a New Lens

One of the workshop’s gems was the view of others. Outward thinking views others as individuals with feelings and needs, just like ourselves. In contrast, inward thinking views others as monolithic, obstacles, or as tools to achieve our goals.

Of course, no one is perfect. As outward as I want to be, I still frequently find myself thinking inwardly. I’m sure that’s true for most people. But sometimes, I view others as obstacles to my goals, and that needs to change.

Tips for Shifting from Inward to Outward Thinking

Since attending the workshop, I’ve made progress in shifting my thinking, but there’s always room for improvement. Here are some tips to help move from inward to outward thinking:

Practice Empathy

Put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to understand their feelings, perspectives, and experiences. Empathy helps us connect with others on a deeper level and fosters more outward thinking.

Listen Actively

When engaging with others, listen to what they’re saying without focusing on your response. Active listening allows you to genuinely hear and understand others, making it easier to adopt an outward mindset.

Reflect on Your Actions

Take time to evaluate your actions and identify instances where you may have been inwardly focused. Recognize these moments and consider how you can change your approach to be more outwardly focused in the future.

Set Goals for Improvement

Identify areas in your life where you can work on becoming more outwardly focused. Set specific, achievable goals to help you make progress in adopting an outward mindset.

Moving Forward

As I continue on my journey of personal growth, I’m committed to becoming more outwardly focused in my interactions with others. While it’s an ongoing process, the insights and tips I gained from the “Leadership and Self-Deception” workshop have been invaluable in helping me make progress.

As we strive to become better versions of ourselves, it’s essential to remain open to new ideas and opportunities for growth. By attending workshops, reading books, and engaging in conversations, we can continue to learn and expand our understanding of ourselves and others.

By practicing empathy, listening actively, reflecting on our actions, and setting goals for improvement, we can create a more outward-focused mindset that benefits not only ourselves but also those around us. This shift in thinking allows us to create stronger connections, foster collaboration, and contribute positively to our communities.

In conclusion, the journey to becoming more outwardly focused is a continuous process, and there will always be room for improvement. As we make progress, it’s essential to remember that we are all works in progress, and there’s no shame in seeking help to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Embrace the journey, and keep growing.



Sarah Thomas, PhD

Educator/Regional Tech Coordinator. Passionate about using social media to connect w/ educators around the world. We all have a story. What's yours? #EduMatch