How Do You See Yourself?
Am I my body?
Am I my thoughts?
Am I… my habits? my past? my relationships? my accomplishments? my illnesses? my possessions? my intentions? All of these? None of these?
If I perceive myself as shy and someone else perceives me as outgoing, which am I?
I’m going to depart from my normal way of things by asking you to do something.
Make a list of all your personal labels, such as:
I'm an extrovert
I get bored easily
I love traveling
I'm afraid of being poor
I'm a procrastinator
Make the list as long as you’d like, but don’t try to think about it too much. Just write down the things that pop into your head.
Now go through your list and write down a time when that wasn’t your experience.
Here are a few of mine:
I am an extrovert — I often like staying at home on Saturday night instead of going out with my friends.
I am plump — I didn’t feel that way when I looked in the mirror after my shower yesterday.
I get bored easily — I’ve spent full days laying at the hot springs with nothing to do, and I wasn’t bored at all.
What did you notice about your list? How many counter examples have come to you so far?
If you’re up for some movie watching, give I Feel Pretty a try. The main character in this film hits her head and instantly sees herself as the gorgeous maven she’s always wanted to be. None of the circumstances in her life have actually changed, but she experiences herself in a whole new way. Not only is it hilarious, but the film has some profound insights to share on self-image.
The more you play around with this label game, the more you might start to notice about who you really are.