In today’s society, an inappropriate amount of attention is given to ‘perception’. Your perception of yourself, other’s perception of you, your perception of others.
The ultimate Golden Rule in that way of thinking seems to be that, whatever else you do, you shouldn’t think too much of yourself. No matter how you twist or turn it, entire industries have been built on the idea that – certainly if you’re a girl or woman – you can never be good enough. The make up industry in particular is basically surviving on that idea – you’re imperfect, have some products to get rid of that.
It’s basically led us to an environment where being confident has been twisted to mean the same thing as being arrogant, where having low self esteem is a good thing – especially if you’re a girl or woman.
Recently, I read somewhere that a good trick is to just say whatever you’re thinking about yourself, out loud, as if you were saying it to a friend. And you know what – if I said any of those things to a friend, I’d fully expect her to block me on Facebook. If any friend said any of that to me? I’d have to push her out of my life.
And all of this got me to thinking – what if I did a little experiment? It’s so easy to get stuck in certain patterns of thought, to just think that what that little voice in the back of your head is telling you – that’s the truth.
So I went out and did something that absolutely terrified me. I asked people to describe me in 5 words. The first terms that popped into their head when they thought of me. Just give it to me.
The first thing that struck me – an overly large majority of the words I was told, was positive. And of course – people are les likely to tell you in your face that they think you’re a bit of a twat. Especially the people I asked.
But – and that’s the thing – they had some good things to say.
Does that mean that I’m this little angle that never steps a toe out of line?
Absolutely not, even.
But, if nothing else, there are some good things to be said about me.
You might be laughing now, thinking – of course, that’s the case for litteraly everybody!
And I guess that’s true.
But remember what I just said? About how self esteem is basically seen as arrogance? And about how society’s reaction, as a whole, appeared to have been to simply, collectively, not have any self esteem?
(By the way – is that a huge overstatement? Absolutely. Does that in any way diminish the relevance of my writing this? Nope.)
So here’s the thing: it’s so incredibly easy to remember the negative. Somehow managing to balance that with the positive is a whole lot more complicated.
So why not call in the back ups – why not remember, even if only because someone else told you so, that the positive is just as much part of who you are? And that that’s absolutely fine?
Why not, when you get a compliment, accept it – and for once not tell that person why they’re wrong?
Why not start a revolution…
One last, fun little fact? Hardly any mention was made about the way I look.
And here I was getting worried…