Perspective can change when viewed with a different light.
There have been lots of variations on the statement, “You either grow or you die” and with very few exceptions, it’s generally true. Human beings have the ability to grow in several ways but perhaps the most important is what’s commonly known as personal development. This includes mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. Although some of these may overlap, it’s prudent that each one of these categories has your attention. My emphasis is on the emotional and spiritual part of this journey. While I would never argue these two are the most important, they are my passion and I continue to strive to do a better job. However, just because I help others does not mean it takes the place of my own continued progress.
Having a career that focuses on helping others is remarkably rewarding; especially seeing the progression from session to session. This, however, only reaffirms the importance of continuing my own growth. Otherwise, I may be shortchanging those whom I am supposed to serve.
One of the best ways for my personal growth is constantly reviewing my own thinking and the patterns which developed as a child. Last week’s article (below), in particular, highlighted an example of how I didn’t want to even consider the error in my judgement. This is perhaps one of the most difficult concepts for anyone to accept for themselves.
It’s so easy to see the faults in others. If you were asked to disclose a minimum of 3 foibles about 5 different people you know, this would probably take less than 3 minutes to accomplish. We are keen on seeing the flaws and shortcomings in others mainly because it doesn’t cause any pain to do so.
Imagine for a moment, using that same critical eye through which we view those around us, and turning it on ourselves. What if you could critique yourself as easily as you can a co-worker or an acquaintance? Those times when you just had to tell someone who had no clue about their obnoxious behavior or some other offensive conduct; would you not hesitate to tell yourself the same?
Let’s revisit that list of 5 different people that you were going to describe 3 of their faults. How many of those 5 people, if they were asked the same question, would include you on their list?
For those of you who’ve read several of my articles, I hope the one thing that stands out is the idea of changing ourselves rather than expecting others to change. Furthermore, was there ever a time during one of those articles when you thought another person should really be reading this?
Seeing imperfections, flaws, or weaknesses in others isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s part of what I and other coaches need to do. The problem occurs when those observations become complaints or idle chatter; only expressed in ways that are meant to degrade or harm.
This week, when something reminds you of a fault in others, shine that light back towards you. See if looking at it in a different light will provide you a whole new perspective.