How are you seeing yourself? As we grow and evolve, we don’t always notice just how much we’ve grown and evolved and who we’ve become. We’re too close to ourselves to see ourselves as others see us.
I recall one day when I was working at the bank (in my previous life), I was just starting out in my new management role and I noticed one of the tellers looking at me in what felt like a truly respectful way, like he was seeking my approval. I remember how it struck me as very odd that someone could be seeking ‘my’ approval. He was seeing me very differently than how I was seeing myself in that moment.
Yesterday I was chatting with a colleague, who was sharing her experience of being approached to coach a high-level executive within a large corporation. As I heard her go on about feeling out of her league, I thought… am I hearing this right? Is she doubting her ability to coach someone based on their position and how much they earn? Sure enough, that was exactly what was going on. What amazed me was that this is the sort of client I thought she was already working with. As a colleague and friend, I would not have even imagined that she was anything less than fully capable and qualified to coach such a person.
Having her share this experience with me reminded me of how normal it can be to not fully acknowledge our own growth and evolution – and it’s not just me.
If you’re now wondering – “hey, maybe I’m not seeing myself quite as accurately as whom I am”, here is a challenge for you that I often give my clients. Send an email to 3-5 people asking them to answer the following questions, candidly and honestly:
In your opinion, what are my best qualities?
What do you assume about me that may or may not be true?
If you could change one thing about me, what would it be?
These questions are just suggestions – use them, edit them, or add them to your own. The idea is to give yourself an opportunity to see yourself as others see you – you may be surprised by how you’re seen!