I've had a few instances lately where I've wondered to myself (and may have found myself discussing the situation with others) how people can see themselves as being a certain way when clearly they are not that way. How do we get deluded ideas of who we are or what we are in our heads? How can we be so clueless about our blind spots (well they wouldn't be blind spots if we were aware of them)?
I decided a while back that I was going to work hard on not asking why he/she can't see the distortion in how they see themselves. I know I have a few big distortions of my own. But I'm not confused about the look of my reality.
I know what it looks like and I am often taken aback by the vision. I have this view of myself that does not reflect this reality. And I don't know how to explain the disparity. There is this inner core in me that remains serene (most of the time), in spite of the messes that often surround me.
One of my tennis friends once said something to me about how people see me, and don't expect me to play as well as I do. I never quite figured out what it was about my appearance that might make people think I couldn't play (my age?), but that's beside the point of my remarks.
Here's the thing, on paper, if you had a black and white list, I'd look a lot like a failure. I cannot not feel that. The fortunate thing is, I have friends who see me in a different light. They are not checking off a list of achievements and accomplishments (which is what I do, and how I see myself as having failed). They are seeing that inner core, the part of me that is not apparent to anyone who doesn't do anymore than skim the surface and move on. They are the ones who remind me: when I judge myself as a failure, I am looking at a list that is not mine to complete. Today, I am grateful for those friends.
I forgot, remembering the Johari window concept helps bring acceptance.We all have these parts to our selves. And our windows are not always the perfectly square window we see in this diagram! Some are more self aware than others. Some are more open than others. Some are both closed down and unaware. I think remembering the Johari window will help me to be a bit more patient myself and others.