Time for Reflections.
I’ve mentioned before that I am taking, and fully invested in the Everyday Happy e-course, and in one of our recent classes we were asked to stand in front of a mirror for 10-15 minutes and just look at ourselves. The purpose is to just look, take in our face, body or even things about ourselves that can’t be seen, but while doing all of this, our goal is to keep our personal criticism quiet. When I saw this on the agenda that day, I was both nervous and excited. I know how critical I am of myself in all things, but I was also excited to challenge myself, to see if I really could stand there and stare at myself without judging.
I set the timer on my phone for 10 minutes and I stood in front of the mirror. My immediate first thoughts were, how am I going to get through 10 minutes of this without thinking one negative thought. All I could see was every single flaw that I have and I couldn’t get my mind away from it. First my mind jumped to the outward flaws that I saw and then as I fought those off, I jumped into what I think I do wrong as a person.
I kept briefly looking down at the timer and the minutes were ever so slowly ticking away and my mind was still trying to jump to the negative. I was fighting it, every time I’d criticize something, I would stop myself mid-thought and try to come up with something positive. That was hard, so so hard. I’m sure for some of you, this may seem silly but I have always had a very low self-esteem and just looking at myself felt like pure torture in the beginning.
The next time I looked at the timer, 5 minutes had past and my negative thoughts had turned somewhat positive and I was beginning to note things that I did like about myself. Things like my hair, and how I frequently have good hair days or the arch of my eyebrows (which are personally done by me). These were ideas that I normally just pushed aside and allowed the critical comments, fill the empty space in my head. It felt good to finally see some positive features in myself.
Then, I even started thinking about positive attributes about myself. The way I care so deeply for people and how I’m always willing to do everything in my power for a friend in need. Or, how about the fact that my body grew a little human and now I’m raising that little human (with Seamus’ help) to be a thoughtful, caring but strong man? All these things came flooding in around the 3 minutes left mark, it felt good, empowering!
I won’t lie, I still had to wrestle pretty hard with those negative, self-doubt comments that were running through my head, but it was so much easier to see the positive once I’d been looking at myself for awhile. I was so surprised, that what I had originally destined (in my head) to be a completely unfavorable activity, turned into something positive. Something I actually got something out of.
Will I spend time doing self reflections in the future?
Yes, I think I probably will. Maybe I won’t sit in front of a mirror, maybe I’ll just take ten minutes whenever I can get them and try to review the uplifting things about myself, instead of the cynical pessimistic side.
And just because I adore him so SO much…
Have you ever spent 10 minutes just staring at yourself in the mirror? If so, what were your results, share them in the comments below?
If you’ve never done it, I challenge you to take 10 minutes today do some self-reflections exercises.
You can see some of my other Everyday Happy posts by clicking here.