I live in Australia which holds the unenviable title of one of the fattest countries in the world. Yet about half of all overweight people don’t consider themselves to be overweight. This reflects similar findings in the USA, a fellow ‘fatty’ nation.
So you can see the problem here. You can’t even begin to address the issue of obesity until you can get obese people to realise and accept that they are themselves in fact, obese.
Now you might not be obese, but how well does your self-image actually reflect who you actually are?
Let’s play a game. Think of a word to describe yourself and then let’s put that word under the microscope for a bit of good, ol’ fashioned analysis.
I’ll start, shall I?
I’m going to go with: easy going. I like to think of myself (interesting phrase, right?) as being a laid back, chilled kind of guy. While I’m not impervious to the stresses of modern life, I generally find myself pretty calm and pretty happy. In other words, easy going.
But would my parter agree? Or my friends and family? Or could they all point out instances where I am in fact, anything but easy going. Like the time I got angry about….Or when I flipped out at…..Or the bad mood I was in recently…..
Now this is where it gets interesting. Faced with evidence contrary to my preferred view of myself, how do I respond? Would I take the observations of those closest to me, those that know me best, and thoughtfully consider them? Or would I be dismissive and possibly defensive, looking to focus on the flaws of those casting aspersions? Shooting the proverbial messenger, if you will.
There’s a good chance that I, like I’m guessing most people, would probably opt for the latter option. For some reason, we humans don’t like to deal with things that disagree with or disrupt how we see things. We seem to cling to a need to be right, over the need to see things objectively and for how they really all.
Of course, things aren’t always objective. But if I polled 10 people who know me, and 8 said that I wasn’t easy going, what would I do then?
So, back to you now. How well do you know yourself for who you truly are, as opposed to who you’d like to be? And how willing are you to put your self-beliefs to the test?