And we rarely do.
Because we don’t see ourselves through a clear lens.
When I was in my 20’s I would tell myself I was stupid. I looked forward to the day when I would stop beating myself up, and have a new way of looking at myself, which I thought would occur in a few years.
I thought I’d outgrow my destructive thoughts once I was little older, or more successful, or more accomplished or more physically fit.
By my mid 20′s, calling myself “stupid” was replaced by my saying I was unattractive. By 30, I was a failure.
I would just replace old sayings with newer ones. So you’re “stupid” becomes you’re “unattractive,” which becomes you’re “untalented,” which becomes you’re “unlovable,” which becomes you’re “a failure,” which becomes you’re “too old.”
The insight comes when you realize that although we can’t escape those untruthful thoughts entirely – becoming aware of them running on auto-pilot or how they get triggered helps us to actually recover from them. You see that being caught in the web of the left brain’s highly functional dysfunction is also the key to being liberated from it.
But first you have to know that you’re in it.
Science is proving that our reality is created not by reality itself, but through the lens by which we choose to see our reality.
So clean those glasses. Get your eyes checked. Fix that astigmatism and get new contacts. Try to start seeing yourself not through the dirty, clouded, gray lens we normally see ourselves, but more accurately through how you choose to see other people and how others often see you.
“She’s beautiful,” you think. Well so are you. (Although both of you have a hard time believing it!)
“He’s talented.” Well so are you. (Although both of you have a hard time believing it!)
So ask a friend this week what they think of you and I bet they’ll use a number of adjectives you never would use to describe yourself. Just like how you probably describe other people you admire: gutsy, brave, bold, exciting, inspiring, fun, clever, beautiful, loving, honest.
Now that’s a clear lens.
# # #
Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer/director/producer/teacher and Artistic Director of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop – where the “right brain rules” – in Los Angeles and New York. He is endlessly inspired by his students’ fearless creativity and is tireless in discovering new ways to help us all get out of our own way a little bit more each day. He just finished writing/directing his first feature film, Birds of A Feather.
Twitter – @AnthonyMeindl