“You are not, repeat not, who you think you are”. Let this sentence sink through your mind. Take a moment and try to visualize yourself. Look at who you are and what you stand for. Barring a few exceptions most of have a view, that is inflated to varying degrees, of ourselves.
It is said that “What we think of ourselves, what others think of us and what we really are” are three completely different things.
In our mind we are honest and sincere, tactful when required, correct, upright, generous to the right degree, etc. etc.
Our view of ourselves after all is measured through the lens of our own limited knowledge. We look at ourselves based on our reasons and often incorrect perception of others.
We live in our minds. Right from birth we are constantly viewing the world and making sense of it. We are building layers and layers of reason – of the people we see and the experiences we get. We tend to rationalize things and we put people or things into different slots.
Almost all of us are slightly selfish and also have a tinge of narcissism. Our mind tends to construct an edifice of reason of the perceived world and our place in it. This narcissistic outlook of ourselves, when viewed in the mirror of our mind, results in us assuming a very pleasing, upright personality.
So when we are rude to somebody, we are being forthright, honest and calling a ‘spade a spade’. When we drop some coins to the beggar in the street we are being ‘noble and generous’. If we ignore all beggars, then we are against begging and beggars who can’t earn a livelihood.
Out mind constantly keeps justifying each and every action that we take. So we are never wrong. Our conscience is always clear. We are always striving to do the right thing. This is the opinion we generally have of ourselves.
However, the world, which can only view occasional snapshots of your behavior, can have a diametrically opposite view of you.
The view that the world has of you is nothing more than an ‘averaging’ of the encounters that it has had with you. So this also is not right.
Who you really are in the final analysis is something that cannot be easily determined.
So next time you think of yourself, do so, with a liberal amount of salt. It is quite likely that you are way off the mark!