This will come as a shock to some of you: not everyone thinks you’re awesome. For those of you who weren’t shocked by that statement, this idea might be more radical: some people think do think you are.
Motivational speakers often tell their audiences to imagine their own funerals, to try to figure out what people would say about them if they were to die that day. It’s a valuable exercise, because it gets people thinking outside themselves – that is, trying to see something from the perspective of someone else (a skill sadly lacking these days). What I find interesting is trying to figure out not what in general is said about you, but what specific people would say about you.
We are all exposed to others in different ways. My coworkers see a side of me that my best friend doesn’t, and he sees a side of me that my parents don’t… and my parents see a side of me that none of the others do. This is hardly a radical idea. But what it means is that people who all have met the same person may have radically different ideas of who that person is, based on what was exposed to them.
Recently, my supervisor pointed out to me that I do too much under the radar – I don’t get attention for the extra work I do, so when I make mistakes, it’s only those mistakes that stick in people’s minds. This could be a huge problem for me if I allow it to continue – so I am now making an effort to be more deliberately open with what I’m doing, and communicating it better. In other words, I am exposing more of myself to those around me, intentionally, and am already starting to see the rewards of doing so.
There’s a saying when dealing with competition – “Never let them see you when you’re weak.” As a corollary, you might add: “Always let them see you when you’re strong.” But hiding weakness isn’t always easy, and neither is covering up a mistake. If it were, you probably wouldn’t have made the mistake in the first place. It’s probably unavoidable, then, that people will at some point see you when you’re weak – so it’s all the more important that they see you when you’re strong as well.
Those people who give you a little insight into something about yourself you didn’t realize? Who see something great in you that you don’t see in yourself? Maybe they’re showing you a part of you that should be developed, that should be brought to the forefront. Maybe you’re stronger than you think.