I have increased my gym regime this year. (You know, it is very easy to increase a regime from zero!) So I am often in those big, slighty stale-smelling rooms, with equipment down one side and mirrors all down the other wall.
Those mirrors, why are they there?
I always thought that the mirrors were for the narcissistic people. Those who want to look at themselves all day, even when hot and sweaty from working out. Me, I just found that the mirror accentuated my flaws, only now I had a red face from my work out too, (how flattering).
So I would choose the spot furthest from the mirror and avoid eye-contact with myself for the whole session.
The thing is, I am now working with a personal trainer who is all about getting the technique right. And he has me in front of a mirror every single session.
At the beginning I hated it, using my usual techniques of avoiding eye contact with myself. But it is very hard to get your technique right if you can’t see what you are doing. The mirror in the gym reflects back to me everything I am getting wrong and everything I am getting right. By looking in the mirror and focusing on the area I am working on, I find that my technique improves and my workout is better.
The truth is there are so many areas of my life where I need a mirror. Not necessarily a literal one, but rather a group of people who can reflect back to me where my technique needs to improve, and where it is good.
So I gather around me people who can give me feedback on my writing. Without the sugar-coating. People who I know and trust to tell me the truth.
I gather people around me to reflect back to me on my parenting. I ask them, “how did you do this?” I listen and adjust my techniques.
In leadership, I always made sure that I was getting feedback from the right people, so I could see where my strengths were and where I needed to put in more effort.
Notice in each of these areas, I have talked about the right people. If a mirror is warped or fuzzy, it reflects back inaccuracies. So it is very important to gather the right people to be your mirror. And it is important you use the mirror, instead of avoiding eye-contact with yourself, and therefore never improving.
This year as a step of choosing faith instead of fear. I want to be more intentional about using my mirror, and focusing on listening and improving.
Join me for the journey,