I am becoming more and more aware of my own clear personal deception. I am a master at skewing the facts and data to come to the conclusion that I want to. This is especially true when I’m evaluating my own performance or behavior or thoughts. I am so good at granting myself grace and patience. And in keeping with what is par for most people, I do not extend others the same charity that I extend myself in the evaluation process. I have been thinking about this and am pretty sure I am not alone in this regard. In fact, I am pretty certain that most people do not have a healthy practice of self-critique. I think it would do all of us (including myself) a great deal of benefit to learn how to really be honest with what we are really like. I want to be able to see the facts as clearly as possible, no matter how brutal, while still maintaining an optimism that things can get better. I think the optimism piece is key. I think we skew reality because we are terrified about what things really are like and how this could lead down a road of defeat. Bottom line – we need to look in the mirror and really process what is there and not what we want to be there.
In an attempt to get better at this discipline, here are some questions I am asking myself that you may want to ask yourself:
- What type of spouse am I really? Where are there clear opportunities to serve my spouse if I would quit being so selfish?
- Am I really a good parent? Do I spend enough time just hanging out with my children? Are my words and answers harsh far too often? Am I modeling what a good spouse looks like for my kids? Is it possible my kids are an idol and I dote on them too much and that is not healthy?
- Where do I expect more from everyone else at work while giving myself a pass? Do I expect others to get better at their craft even though I do not expect that from myself?
- What kind of passes am I giving myself for not taking care of my physical and emotional health? What do I need to do to be healthier?
- What excuses am I making for not being more generous?
- How can learn to dwell on others’ strengths and not their flaws?