As a coach I encourage everyone to take a good and deep look at themselves, as step one.
Looking at ourselves is very human, but during this past hundred years or so the concept of looking at ourselves had changed, drastically. Looking at ourselves gradually became synonymous with looking at ourselves in a mirror, or looking at images of ourselves. But looking into ANY mirror regularly is somewhat odd for our brains, because you become the audience and the participant at the same time of the Experience of You. This is a relatively new situation that we have to deal with.
BEFORE MIRRORS… your opinion about your own looks was simply formed based on how others looked at you. When they smiled at you with appreciation or lust you got the hint you looked good, otherwise if they frowned or smirked you were inspired to ‘do you’ differently. Many of your actions were based on this type of motivation.
Even in the 1600’s, mirrors were so rare that Venetian mirrors were often worth more than fine art from high-renaissance master painters, like Raphael. Mirrors, as we know them today, have only been around for about 300 years.
‘Mirrors’ provide you with VISIONS OF SELF, which is not filtered through the perception of others.
This is the reason I suspect that mirrors might have been an important step toward our highly ‘INDIVIDUALIZED’ society, where we can believe that ‘self without others ‘is the most important focus of the individual, and that ‘self’ can be viewed by itself without the importance of the perception of others.
Though what YOU actually see in a mirror is NOT what others see in you, even in the physical sense. Only specialized true mirrors could show you how others see your face.
People don’t really have true mirrors at home. So, what you see is a version of you, which pretty much nobody else ever sees.
The same goes for photo and digital IMAGES. An image of you is not how you appear, but how PHOTOGENIC you are. Yet today, we do so much to ourselves based on a mirror image and based on a photo image. Many industries gather customers based on the desires that rise within us as a result of the image we want to create. A lot of the beauty industry deals with those desires to make that IMAGE OF OURSELVES into something we want to become.
Most people today are looking for reassurance in mirrors and in images. They look to fit in, reassuring themselves that they can be like everyone else, or they can be like their role models, or, be like who their social groups find fitting to the BEAUTY modality that matters to them. There is a competition to compare ourselves to many selected groups.
Traditionally, people compared themselves to a relatively small group of people with similar opportunities, skill sets and genetic make-up. But in our modern world today, people are COMPARING themselves against a huge global tribe. Now, we are easily able to compare ourselves to models and stars, people from different financial backgrounds, different countries, different genetic backgrounds, and with different sets of skills. Today the competition is ginormous. It is simply OVERWHELMING to our traditionally wired minds, the level of comparison that is coming our way from all sorts of media/ social media. It really feels like Me vs The World, where ME will obviously lose the battle.
I am interested in how we could possibly step away from this COMPARISON competition and still participate in our modern world. There are some solutions. We can do that LOOKING and that COMPARISON in a WAY that might actually benefit us individually, it could also be the best for business, the best for society and the best for our environment, at the same time. In our next blog I will attempt to dig in to point to a WAY OUT.