by Jay Timms : Before Christmas, I had an experience that I have been hesitant to share with people outside of my family, but it keeps creeping up to my consciousness which tells me I need to do more with it than just keep it to myself.
I have a couple of mentors in my life that have been very instrumental in helping me learn more about myself. I had a meeting with one of these mentors back in December. She told me things about myself that at first made me very defensive and angry. Like a child who has been scolded, I went into my shell and pouted about the injustice of it all. There was only one problem. What she had said to me about what she saw in me had been shared with me a couple of times throughout the years. It got me thinking about how others see me and why they see me that way.
Very few of us have the opportunity to truly see ourselves clearly. What I mean is that very few of us really understand that what we see in ourselves is not reality. It is a very skewed version of the world. I think of a comment that my wife makes on occasion jokingly. She says, “What do you mean? The rest of the world doesn’t see it my way?” Unfortunately that joke is often a reality for most of us. If we truly realized what faults we have, I think many of us would be shocked. We see things through our eyes. We believe things through our belief system, and we act through a set of habits and behaviors that are unique to us. And we operate from the belief that what we see is what is real. It isn’t.
I get the feeling like many of us don’t want to look at what what we could do differently because of the possibility that it may hurt to see that we have areas of deficiency. Simply put, we don’t want to believe that we possibly have weaknesses. Nobody likes weaknesses. Nobody lies to be faced with the fact that they have things about them that are not benefiting them. However, the reason that we have weaknesses is because it gives us opportunity to realize our strengths and to make the weaknesses become strengths.
I am a firm believer that the reason that we have been placed on this earth is to learn, grow, and become better. It is in fact a view that I try to imbue upon all of my clients that if you are not progressing and moving forward int his world, becoming better each and every day, then you are in fact going backwards. When I gave up pouting about the fact that maybe I am not as great as I thought I was, I decided to put my mentor’s views to the test. I made a list of 10 men that I respect and admire. Some of them are powerful CEO’s, some of them are computer programmers, and some of them are retired mechanics. But each of them posses a quality that I think is amazing. I made a list of 10 questions about what they have learned in their lives, and what advice they could give me about being a better man, husband, and father.
I have met with about half of the men on my list. One thing I have learned so far is that I have a lot of growing to do. But that is okay. Growth shouldn’t be a scary thing. We all need to be able to get out of our comfort zone. Nobody ever accomplished anything by staying still.
I guess what I am saying is that we do not need to be afraid to realize that we have a lot to learn, no matter how old or young we are. We need to get out there and see what we can do differently, rather than keep doing what we currently are doing. You truly are amazing. I have never met a person who I haven’t thought was an incredible creation. But, you can be better. Don’t be afraid of that. Actively search for your weaknesses and you will stop being afraid of them.
Jay Timms BMT MA CCC
Author, Trainer, Researcher
Empower Training Development & Research