In my work as a profiler I notice that there is often a difference between our self-image and the image that other people hold of us. Come to think of it – that realisation was why I started this journey so many years ago! Let me tell you why I’m thinking about that again now.
We sometimes look at things we do and all we see is the positive aspect, when some of the people we know might see only the negative. This is the basic reason why a strength, taken to an extreme, becomes a weakness. Yes, it has to do with the differences in your perspective, and your previous experience, and it could be that neither of you really sees what really is! (Don’t forget – what we believe we see, hear, feel and taste are only impulses sent to our brain where they are interpreted!)
Let’s say you’re a confident type. You are very capable, feel good in your own skin, and like to try anything that seems interesting, challenging or profitable. Within the limits of not being immoral, illegal or fattening, of course! You exude energy wherever you go. Nothing ever gets you down, you remain positive and solution-focussed at all times. You happily tell people“I can do that”, almost regardless of what it is because if you don’t already know how then you know you can find out.
You may be surprised to know that this can appear to be arrogance. Other people might see only bravado, and when you think you’re helping others see only that you tale over. How do you find out how you are perceived? Ask some people who know you well and that means well enough to give you an honest answer, not just to have an opinion.
As it happens about 30 years ago I used to say I had a “healthy self image” and someone else at that time used the term “arrogant —–“! I was quite surprised when I heard that the first time, since I thought that I was just the nicest guy!
What that all means is just that there is a difference between the internal reality and the external reality, and it means that you need to consider how you are perceived – at least you do if you want others to actually understand what you really meant.
Another pair that are often confused is “comfortable” and “scared”. Some people really are telling the truth when they say “I’m comfortable already, I don’t need to expand my business any further”. Others really mean “I don’t know what to do or even where to start. I don’t want to rock the boat in case it has an adverse effect on my existing business”. In other words – they are stuck inside their ‘comfort zone’, and that isn’t always comfortable.
Stop and think before you tell people that you’re comfortable with the topic of conversation. Are you really? Or are you just afraid of change? Or of the unknown? Or of even finding out?
And here’s the real kicker – it is almost certain that either you or someone you know suffers from one of these misconceptions. If you can’t think of anyone you know who qualifies…. it might be you!
Now we know that – what do we do about it?
If the person is you then that’s easy – just start to see how others perceive you and modify your words and deeds so that the confidence and comfort show out without their negative side-kicks.
If it isn’t you then you need to get them to understand, and that’s because arrogant people don’t get the best out of life, they suffer because the rest of the population treats them differently from everyone else. Confident people are lauded, arrogant people are usually avoided.
People who live in fear of the future spend the greater part of their lives being concerned about something that will never happen! People who only think they are comfortable are self deluded and not having the level of success that they could achieve if they got out of their comfort zone (I call that being “Inside your Excitement Zone” – What happens when you get excited? What happens when you are outside your comfort zone? Both cause your breathing to get shallower, your pulse rate to increase, your face gets flushed… they are the same thing!).
So in both cases people need to know that they are not achieving their full potential, and now you know about this you’re the one who can tell them. Oh, and by the way – if a someone referred this article to you then you may need to gently ask them if they were trying to tell you something!
What other pairs do you think are sometimes mixed up?