One of the keys to personal and spiritual growth is the ability to see everyone in your life as a mirror, a mirror reflecting back to you strengths, weaknesses and irritations. The reflections in the mirrors are tools to awaken you through self awareness – but only if you are courageous enough to make the choice to see them.
In recent years, I’ve embraced this practice. At times when I’ve found myself irritated by another person or when I’ve found myself standing in judgment of another’s actions, I’ve tried to have the discipline to challenge myself. I’ve challenged myself to look within myself for the same qualities I see in that person. I often ask myself, “Why am I seeing this in them? Do I also hold the same quality? Do I have the same habit? Do I need to grow in the same way?” This isn’t an easy practice. No one wants to see their limitations and weaknesses. We are conditioned to hide our flaws so deep within that we can’t even acknowledge them to ourself. We are taught to be prideful, confident and self-assured to the point we can teeter on the tip of arrogance. It’s very hard to undo that conditioning. It’s very hard to accept our own limitations. Brave is the individual who makes the commitment to open their eyes to their own truth – no matter how ugly it might be. Change can’t happen without acknowledgement of the “as is” state.
I started a new job five weeks ago. Since day one I recognized that one of my team members (not a manager) is a mirror for me. While I respect my coworker and admire her commitment to hard work, she refuses to ask people for help. She tries to do everything herself. She puts a tremendous amount of pressure on herself. She keeps so much to herself that it’s hard for anyone else to help her. This means she also can be a bottleneck for communication, collaboration and progression. I haven’t shared my observation with any managers as I like her & don’t want to put her under the bus. I know she is working very hard. I also don’t know the history. Perhaps she developed this habit out of necessity to ensure things got done or she sees it as job protection. I don’t know her motives. I only know it’s her habit. I am slowly working to build trust and open her up; she’s finally let me in a bit and let me help her this week.
I recognized this pattern in her so easily because I do that same thing. I bury myself and try to do everything myself. I see now, as my responsibly level grows, I have to break this habit. I have to use the mirror and choose to change that habit. I took on a project this week to refine requirements for a contract. I originally planned to do all the work myself. In a flash of self-awareness, I realized I would cover more ground and I would be able to redefine the requirements better by asking for the help from subject matter experts. So, as of Thursday, I am now facilitating the work. I am helping to exchange information and ideas (moving the project forward) as oppose to writing everything myself. It’s opportunity of me to stretch my managerial skills and leadership abilities as well as get a better product in the long run. I am choosing to grow by using my coworker as a mirror.
Food for thought
Who are your mirrors? Do you see a weakness in another that you can use to provoke growth in yourself? Are you in alignment with the Universe? Are you heeding the signs? Do you know when you are being divinely guided to a new opportunity? Are you manifesting your best life?
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