The Thought Process

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.

I’ve Never Thought About It That Way

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.


John Dunia
John Dunia
John has a passion; and that is helping others heal from past difficulties and abuses. Healing became important when he realized how much it freed him from his own past and now works to help others experience that liberation. The key to his success was discovering that the most debilitating damage was his own shame and the destructive things he believed about who he was. Throughout his own healing journey, he became hyper-aware of how shame was affecting him while having little clue of its presence. Others noticed these changes and reached out to him for help. His methods were so effective that he made it a mission to shift his career into helping others. Adopting the term “ShameDoctor”, he continues to teach others to empower themselves through his remarkably effective techniques. “Shame is one of the biggest yet least talked about issues we face as individuals and society yet so very little is mentioned about it.” It is his purpose to change the way the world perceives shame and promote helpful and viable techniques to heal and overcome those past struggles. John’s book, “Shame On Me – Healing a Life of Shame-Based thinking” was self-published in 2016. In addition to working with clients, John also writes healing and insightful articles each week. He is also looking forward to speaking on the topics of shame and healing throughout the globe.

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  1. Your article is a timely reminder to delve into ‘meaningful introspection’ while pulling the brakes on nasty fault-finding in others which readily brings to mind the saying that ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’. Actually, I prefer Jesus’ words: ‘He who has no sin, may cast the first stone.’ Apart from realising how hypocritical we can be when judging others, we also need to realise that judging others is actually a shirking of self-assessment. Thank you, John, for sharing.

    • And thank you for reading my friend. Always wishing you the best and you know how much I admire your writing.

  2. John, thank you for sharing this insight with us. Introspection is powerful. Especially when we can use our self-check to yield more positive results and help broaden our perspective. It’s easy to make assumptions and to base our perceptions on thin slicing another. But there is usually more than what meets the eye.

    I try to remember, especially in certain situations, that the one thing I can control is me: what I say, how I act, and how I interact. It is a lesson that came out of a bad situation, but one that I am glad that I learned. It’s helped immensely through the years.

  3. John, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your very meaningful message. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement, “Seeing from a bird’s eye point of view brings a whole new perspective” and in my thought process Introspection is a daily and equally important exercise, as it is an observation or examination of one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc.; the act, more rightly the art of looking within oneself.
    Without taking anything from your message, please allow me to share a part of a nice article by Kellie Stone where she explained, “Considering all that you can learn about yourself, the act of “looking within” should become second nature. I find it exciting, difficult, and even scary (sounds like a good thriller) to approach the part of your mind and emotions that often get the brunt of your choices.
    The key is determining to process the information in a healthy way once you receive it. ….
    Introspection with a rewarding conclusion is not something that usually just happens. It takes practice. Practice makes perfect; isn’t that what they say? ………..
    Be good to yourself. Treat every thought and emotion with respect. After all, they are yours. You wouldn’t ignore and hurt your dog, kids, or your home. Why do you ignore and hurt yourself? Yes, Kellie, why do you? See, even I have trouble doing the right things for myself all the time. That’s why we get together like this on Sundays…to introspect. Share a little of yourself with yourself “

    and enjoy YOU.

    “Anybody desirous of success should spend some time in introspection and contemplation.” Sam Veda

    • I don’t mind at all Jonathan. Yours was a fantastic comment. The funny thing about introspection is that with me, it’s not really a love/hate relationship. Even those times when I see things I don’t like about myself, those are the ones that are more meaningful. Rough to go through but ultimately make us a better person (provided we use it in a positive way).

    • Very true John…..honest introspection can always bring about a positive outcome and, like you so rightly said, become a better person ( and not a bitter person)

  4. We become and are what we criticize in others, John. As human beings we contain the whole of it-all the expressions of being human. I appreciate very much your encouragement to examine ourselves closely– for one finger pointing at another person has four fingers pointing at ourselves. Compassion becomes such a great practice as we learn to hold space for ourselves and others. We are all doing the best we can with the level of self-awareness, conscious awakening that we have cultivated. I love the practice of staying in my own “boat” or “cleaning up aisle Laura.” That’s what I have complete “control over ” ever…. Thank you for a meaningful essay on an important topic!