Through the eyes of others

The only possibility we have to get a reliable view on ourselves is to look through the eyes of others.

Most of us have the tendency to think we are better than the average. We think we are more intelligent, better performing, more charitable, more careful, even in the face of evidence that we are not.

Or we beat ourselves up for things we did well. We give in to resistance, we feel our work is not yet perfect, our blog post not enough researched, our project not ready to be launched yet.

And so, it’s the others who can be our compass.

Ask those whom you hold dear, listen to their criticism, and act on it. When you are not getting the honest opinion you were seeking, look at facts, events, circumstances that tend to repeat themselves with different people, in different context, at different times. If you often find yourself raising your voice, you might have a challenging temperament; if you are not getting promoted in a series of consecutive gigs, you might have to adjust your professional presence; if you continuously find it difficult to convince others of your views, you might want to start crystallizing important ideas first; if your work is not getting the results you were expecting, you might try setting some relevant metrics to track over time.

The point is, the sooner you get out of your mind when it comes to judging yourself and your work, the more practical and actionable feedback you will get. Be the one who determines where to look, then let others be your guide.

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