Dove, in continuance of its “Real Beauty” campaign, recently came up with another great commercial. (The link is below.) They have a sketch artist draw a woman based on her own verbal description of herself, i.e. her own self image. The sketch artist can’t see her. Then the artist draws the same woman based on a description of her by someone who just met her. The artist also doesn’t know when he is redrawing the same woman.
The outcome is that the women who were sketched tended to point out their flaws. While the strangers, who just met them, described them in more glowing terms, such as, “She had nice eyes. They lit up when she spoke.”
What a clever way to demonstrate that we are too hard on ourselves and have trouble seeing ourselves clearly for who we are. People often come to me and want me to “fix” them. But, to me, therapy isn’t about fixing, it’s about uncovering the real you, which you have been disowning for so long. I see my clients more as diamonds, who have gotten dusty and dirty and who can’t clearly see their own brilliance and their many facets.
This reminds me of a man I worked with who came in because he had not passed the Bar Exam for the second time. He was planning to take to take it again, but he had lost his self-confidence and his anxiety about not passing again was sky high. Through the course of therapy not only did he regain his confidence – there was so much evidence in his life that he was clearly intelligent enough to pass – but he realized that he didn’t even want to be a lawyer! He finally admitted to himself that he really wanted to get an MBA. And, he even realized that he didn’t even want to live in NYC anymore; he wanted to live in a warm Southern state.
Through his efforts in therapy, he was able to brush off the dust of failed exams and other people’s expectations and see himself clearly for the intelligent, highly competent man he was. He admitted to himself and others what he really wanted out of life. By the time therapy ended, he was accepted into an MBA program, was moving down south, and had retaken the Bar Exam. He wanted to prove to himself that he could pass it – and he did!
One reason why people don’t see themselves clearly is because they give their personal power away to others; they let others define them. Even in the Dove commercial we hear a woman describe herself by saying, “My mom told me I had a big jaw.” As the saying goes, “Don’t let others decide who you are; that’s your job.” Therapy is just one of the ways in which people can begin to see themselves more clearly and own their beauty, strength, and power. So whatever method you choose to get to know yourself, whether journaling, yoga, art, meditation, therapy, etc., it’s time to start seeing your brilliant, multifaceted self more clearly!
“A human being has so many skins, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves!” ~ Meister Eckhart
Here is the video link: http://ti.me/13t1Spe