When was the last time you spent more than a minute looking in the mirror? Not to check for leftover food in your teeth or a new pimple (yes, sadly middle-aged people still get zits), or to practice your best Blue Steel. But when was the last time you dedicated time to self-reflection? Perhaps you’re taking a minute to reflect on THAT question! If so, good for you! It’s a start!

I ask this because so many of us are very driven to accomplish the goals set before us (by ourselves or others). We are rewarded for our progress and productivity. With the go-go-go, we can get stuck in the grind. And then we can forget to pick up our heads to survey whether the row we have been plowing so hard is, in fact, going in the direction we intended in the first place. And is plowing really what I want to do for the rest of my life??

To Look or Not To Look

Looking in the mirror can be INTIMIDATING. I don’t want to face myself – too vulnerable, too risky. What if I don’t like who I see? What if I can’t change what I don’t like? Yes. And…

Looking in the mirror can also be TRANSFORMATIONAL. This is the work of seeing what is there and parsing it into its respective bucket — what is good to hang onto, what is not helpful to shed, and what is new to be explored? It’s your personal “Start, Stop, Continue” exercise!

How to go about Looking in the Mirror

I offer the following questions for your consideration as you self-reflect. And I invite you to consider how your responses direct what actions you want to take next!

  1. Why am I here? For some of you this may mean “Why am I here in this line of work?” or “in this job?” or “in this company?”. For others, it may be a more existential question of “Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life in this time?”
  2. Why do I do what I do? Perhaps this makes you consider your job or your interests outside of work. It might be helpful for you to identify your core values and motivations. What are the things most important to you?
  3. How do I show up? This question gives you a chance to consider how you perceive yourself, but taken a step further, can give you insight into how others perceive you. Put yourself in others’ shoes and honestly assess your impact on them. What do you do that is helpful? Or potentially harmful?
  4. How do I want to show up? Maybe there is someone you admire who models an attribute you wish to embody. Or you read a book that inspired you and you want to incorporate what you learned into your leadership style or approach. What do you want to be when you grow up – and what will it look like when YOU do it? Your answers here create the tension between what is and what could be. Tension is ENERGY!
  5. What do I need to do first/next? After looking in the mirror through the previous questions, what possibilities have you opened yourself to see? What is the next step for you to get to where you want to be? What options do you have? What is the very next action you are willing to take to set this in motion?

Looking in the mirror. Will it be hard? Maybe. Will it be messy? Maybe. Will it be exciting? Probably. Will it be worth it? Definitely. Do you have to do it alone? Absolutely not. Give me a call. I can help you hold your mirror.