Every time you look into the mirror, do you say “how cool am I?” or are you like many of us, including me who says “oh, my hips are so big” or “oh, that pimple left a mark” or “my paunch shows” or “my nose is flat” and so on … its so easy to criticise ourselves and so very difficult to praise ourselves. Self criticism is an acquired habit, if you don’t believe me, look at babies and small children before they go to school. They haven’t learnt to frown yet when they see themselves in the mirror. They are thrilled with their tummies, their feet, their hands and everything about their body. I wonder who teaches us to criticize ? Parents, elder siblings, aunts, uncles, teachers, who ?
Last week, I attended the first part of my Coach certification program along with 21 other wonderful human beings. I only knew Atam from before as she and I are part of the cycling group “Pedalyatris”. The program started with asking each participant what they looked forward to in the program and the last day, we went through that list of expectations. I had put down a simple expectation as “learning” and well, that expectation was met nearly every minute of the program. But as I started to share that, I had a deep insight about how far I had come in my personal journey.
Those of you who know me well, know that I am deeply intuitive and many of you who have worked with me always dreaded my instincts about people – because they turned out to be right often. The operative word here is “often”, not always. For a long time I was cocky about my “first impressions” because they often turned out to be right and that fuelled my belief that my ability to know a person was nearly accurate. Till my friend’s marriage fell apart and my “first impression” about her spouse went completely wrong. That was the first time, I realised how wrong I could be. Then I started to park my “first impressions” on the side and not let it influence the way I worked with the person and that helped too, because I was pleasantly surprised sometimes and sometimes when reality was different, I could accept it and move on.
The insight I had on the last day of the program was that for the first time, I had not even formed any “first impressions” of my co-participants !! It was a special moment to see how far I had come and how good it felt not to be burdened with first impressions and allowing myself to enjoy knowing each individual as they were. Anyway, as my master coach Osho says, each person is unique, incomparable.
Right through the program we had just one rule, we could not criticize and what a relief it was !!. As you focus on what’s good in each person, and in yourself, you realise that you are quite cool and so is the other person. Osho was so right, and I am glad, I finally got it :). I always “knew” in my head that he was right, but getting it is something else. Its like knowing about love and falling in love.
So go out there and be the incomparable you… yes, even those you don’t like, are still unique and incomparable.