Fact: It is impossible see yourself from an outside perspective, only through photographs and reflections. This is why it’s invaluable to have other people around who can observe and appreciate things we can’t. People who see our eyes light up when we share an interest we are passionate about.
A review of something we’ve created can act as another kind of mirror.
Yes, I can now see and hold the book I wrote, Unlimiting You, but I couldn’t see the straightening of my spine, the quickening of my typing speed, or the spark in my eyes when I got into a really good flow as I wrote it. I will never read it the same way anyone else will read it. I am privy, however, to the extended, technicolor version of each story and example that made it through editing and into print. I own my experience of the emotions and events of every personal inclusion. I know the story behind the book, and that influences how I read it. These are my privileges and my limitations.
Sometimes my image of myself and an outsider’s image are similar, and other times not. When taking a new selfie to post, most people take several shots in lighting they consider flattering and at their own preferred angles. They may delete the bulk of those and post the very best. Since I am always honest and transparent with my readers, I’ve received a notification in the past of someone who has tagged me in a photo and met that photo with “Yikes!” (Not so much now, but a couple times someone unearthed a picture from a late night stint back in my Hollywood days. Let’s just say there were a few that weren’t so pretty). Sometimes the picture barely resembled me. Other times I got to see a view of myself I hadn’t seen before. Maybe I was looking off into the distance, concentrating, laughing, or otherwise lost in the moment.
Occasionally, the image closely mirrored my own view of myself. It’s comforting, to be seen in a recognizable way, but what about the times when someone else’s perspective exceeds any of my inner “selfies?” It makes my day. I recently had an opportunity to see my work reflected back to me. My book Unlimiting You was reviewed by San Francisco Book Review a few days ago. The review is a positive one, and it reflects my work in a way I not only recognize, but deeply value. What an honor to be so clearly “seen” and appreciated. Thank you, writer Hubert O’Hearn, for this gift. If his review were a photo I was tagged in, I’d probably download it and share it. I’d still like to share this “image” of me, so please click here: San Francisco Book Review
Who can you gift today with your reflections on his or her strengths, accomplishments, and talents? Consider not just who would be easiest to share this with but who would benefit from it the most. Maybe someone you don’t typically do this for, such as a sibling, co-worker, or even your boss. Never underestimate the power mirroring that which people find most elusive–themselves.