One of the first assignments given in a psychology class I attended many years ago was to make a three column list with headers that included:

1 – How You View Yourself

2 – How Others View You

3 – The Real You

The exercise was quite insightful and one that is helpful to periodically repeat. People rarely see themselves as others do. Our self-image is usually tainted. We are everything from very modest to completely delusional.

We all know people who talk about how great they are at something. The old saying was that their superiority complex is actually an inferiority complex.

Nor do people know us as well as they think they do. They don’t know everything about us and can be biased for many reasons.

This is true with body image as well as personality, abilities, and gifts. A recent study offered participants three photos of themselves and asked them to choose the one that was untouched. The other two were either slightly or drastically touched up. Everyone chose the one that was slightly touched up. We typically think we look at least a little better than we actually do.

If you’re interested in self-improvement, try performing that three column exercise above. When completed honestly, we may be surprised at what we learn about ourselves. It’s a great little starting point for a better us.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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