“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” In Snow White, Grimm’s famous fairy tale, the Magic Mirror never lies – much to the Queen’s great displeasure. But in real life, there is no such thing as a magic mirror and our mirrors don’t always tell the truth.
When we look at ourselves in the mirror, what do we see? Some us only see what we don’t want to see: imperfections, insecurities, weaknesses. Others of us look and only see our own idealized versions of ourselves. Neither perspective takes you to the whole truth.
In the fast, disruptive world we live in, it is too easy to lose our center and become vulnerable to the accelerations around us. If we don’t know what is core within us, it is easy to be blown around by the winds of change. Take a look in that mirror, what do you see?
If all you see is flaws, you won’t be able to see your own potential. If all you see is good, you will never be able to improve yourself. For your whole story to emerge, you need to look deep in the mirror and become self-aware.
Harry Kraemer, investor, award-winning business school professor, and ex-CEO of Baxter International, says it best: “My style of leadership starts with self-reflection. In my opinion 99% of us are just racing around and in constant motion, and don’t really take the time to think.”
Self-reflection starts with Go Deep, one of the four pillars to Conscious in our CEO Bob Rosen’s new book: CONSCIOUS: The Power of Awareness in Business and LIfe.
Choosing Who You Want to Be
Like a poker game, in life you are dealt certain cards and then you have a choice. You can hold on to what you’ve got or trade in your less desirable cards for new ones. Each of the options has risks and rewards and sometimes you win; sometimes you lose.
In life, you’re born with certain genes and a specific family. As you get older, you have choices: you can hold onto the person you have become or trade in your less desirable attributes for new ones. You play the game of life with four major “cards” in your hand – genetics, child and family development, life experiences and personalities.
Tips for Conscious Living
Diagnose your personal history
- Accept your genetic predispositions and learn to work with them
- Ask yourself, how have your early family dynamics shaped how you interact with others?
- Understand the personal story you tell yourself about life and work and rewrite your story to create new possibilities.
Conduct a 360 Approach to Self-awareness
- Reflect on who you are and who you aspire to be. Ask yourself what are your passions, values, and purpose
- Seek feedback from family, friends, and colleagues about how you show up in the world
- Notice how your surroundings are affecting you (challenges/opportunities/organization)