Would you believe me if I said:
“You can only be the cleverest you have ever been up until yesterday. Today gives you the opportunity to apply that learning to the best that you can.”
(Yvonne Rosney, 2022)
Truly looking at yourself will show that you have the answers you need to make the decisions that you feel you need to make.
Yes, I’m a full believer that every day is a school day but yesterday is the cleverest I’ve been. And tomorrow I’ll be even cleverer because of what I have learned today!
Reflecting back is great to remind ourselves what it is we already know and can apply to today’s concerns. Note I said reflecting back – not living in the past or sitting with any negativity. They are not fun parties to be at! But reflecting back and seeing what happened before, the learning, the feeling, the conclusion to the situation, the “next time I’ll...” thoughts are all really powerful as your encyclopaedia of growth.
Trusting yourself though and having the faith of knowing that you hold the answers to a lot of your questions is easier to write than to be. Here are some things you can do that can help you get used to looking at yourself and your own situation, to self-educate:
1. Looking in the mirror
Visually looking at yourself focuses your mind on you, just you. It helps you to get your imagination juices going in your brain – to recall a past situation, reflect on it and to even feel how you felt. In essence, it’s like you’ve gone into a daydream yet when you come back to reality, you’re still looking at yourself instead of brushing off your daze and busying yourself with some task at hand because how dare you take a couple of minutes to yourself – right?! So by coming back to looking at yourself, reminds you of why you went into that daydream or reflection in the first place... for you. Because you wanted to try and find an answer to a situation.
You may not have an answer immediately but even just allowing your brain to ponder like that means it’s still chewing through it subconsciously whilst you get back to some other important task for the day.
2. Looking at your current situation
This is a hard one for a lot of people, especially if there is discomfort or potential uncertainty involved. But allowing yourself to sit in the current situation without brushing things off, dismissing them or justifying them means you are allowing yourself to simply “be”. It’s like getting off the roller coaster for a bit and just being a spectator instead of all sorts of images flying past you at a million miles an hour. Slowing things down just for a bit, allows our brain to take a breath, recalibrate and then look at things a little calmer rather than running around as if the house is on fire trying to make life and death decisions all the time.
Often the answer is literally right in front of you!
3. Looking at yourself
This is where you need to be your own best friend. You would trust your closest friend so why not yourself? Being honest with yourself means you don’t have to wear that pretence mask for others or yourself and so lowers the energy drain that can easily come from pretending. The key here is to love your weaknesses as well as your strengths. I actually prefer to call weaknesses ‘growth opportunities’ because it sounds less negative. We don’t want to negate ourselves or be mean to ourselves so in order to not do those things we need to look from a more positive angle. For example, It’s ok to say “I can’t draw to save my life” as that is a statement as opposed to “I’m so useless at drawing.” The first comment is more light-hearted and current (which doesn’t rule out the opportunity that my drawing skills may improve). The latter is simply a put-down and does nothing for morale.
Being kind to yourself is single-handedly one of the best things you can do for your self-esteem.
4. Looking at the “other” you
This is an exercise that I often get my clients to work on. It involves either imagining or sometimes physically having another chair in front of you and discussing a current situation that is troubling you. Then I get you to either imagine that you get up and go and sit in the other chair looking back at yourself or actually get up and go and sit in the other chair so that you notice that you are looking at the situation from a different angle. From this viewpoint, we are not allowed to have the same opinion – so what other opinion could there possibly be? If we have more alternative thoughts coming through then another chair comes into the equation. I note down these other pointers and when you come back to your original chair we look at all the possibilities and start to consider them all... plenty of new information to chew over.
You can try this yourself, making your own notes as you go and then reflecting on them all when you are back in your original spot.
Why don’t you give some of these tips a go? Consider how effective or easy you found them. If you feel you are struggling to do them by yourself then get in touch with me here. Let’s chat about what you are trying to achieve so we can work together to find the way that can help you with your challenges and desires. You are in the driving seat.
I look forward to being on the journey with you!
© YMR Coaching & Development
Yvonne has qualifications in Coaching, Positive Psychology, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and believes in continual personal development. She is currently based in the UK and also has life and work experience in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. She helps with mindset wellbeing and change which includes significant relocations. She is contactable for client availability, public speaking events and media enquiries here: https://www.ymrcoaching.com/helpful-links