C.S. Lewis (1955) said, “What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.” Adults (and children of all ages) can benefit by improving self-awareness and by learning more about the filters that color their perceptions. Self-help books, counseling, and asking for feedback from others are often only pursued when there is a problem; however, for optimum health, we need to utilize all types of enrichment resources regularly – so we can be in tune with “how we are doing” as we move through life.
How am I doing? –
How am I doing?
Who wants to know?
Guess it depends –
on where I want to go.
It depends on many things.
Like if I choose the monkey bars or the swings.
Am I in training or is it about having fun?
Is this a light jog or competitive run?
How am I doing?
Well “I” want to know!
It is my life – my show – and I am affected by success and woe.
You cannot improve what you do NOT know!
THE target must be seen before the bow can shoot the arrow!
Seeing yourself objectively is truly key.
Asking “How am I doing?” –
well it is good for ME…
It is also good for others in my life!
Awareness enriches unions, diminishes strife!
“How am I doing?” – should be asked all along –
because sometimes what unfolds is simply wrong.
Sometimes without knowing, we get stuck in a phase –
and unchecked hangups cause problems from ‘our ways.”
How am I doing?
Will YOU help me to know….
because only with HONEST input –
can I truly grow…
The kind of person you are is determined by factors like genetic wiring (designed by God), upbringing, social learning, emotional intelligence, life conditioning, self-understanding, needs and wants, and training. AND THE KIND OF PERSON YOU BECOME IS OFTEN HELPED BY THOSE YOU LET HELP YOU!
And like the frog that sits in lukewarm water and does not realize when the water reaches a boil – well we can become ignorant to how we are unfolding and molding. BUT also BE CAREFUL OF WHO YOU GET FEEDBACK FROM – because not everyone will have accurate perceptions. Also, not everyone will value or see with Godly insight. So be a detective to sniff out discernment in others. Be open to feedback from anyone – because sometimes the Lord will reveal things through others unexpectedly and in subtle ways – stay open and be alert.
Are you a worry wart or a big grump?
Do you have a critical spirit that knit-picks everything? Now we can all have our crabby days – that is normal – and some more than others – but you know what I am talking about – some people are just negative FLAW FINDERS!~!
Is your sarcasm actually a way of venting your own gunk?
Are you cynical (which is a sign of anger)? Are you puffed up with out realizing it? Are you overly nice – which is just a fake mask to hide what you really feel? Or are you doing just fine with transparency and wellness?
It takes time to have accurate self- awareness, but it is worth the effort!
~Remind teens (and adults) of the value of being self- aware. To discuss this, we use examples of a lady that had unchecked control issues for decades -she never needed to work (and was not under authority) and had a spouse that only catered to her demands – but in the long run, her lack of “seeing” her harmful controlling side had many bad outcomes – and one was seeing her child rebel the first chance they had. We also have a few other real life examples – like a guy that was married two times, but both times he had spouses that let him “do his own thing” – instead of getting messy to help him improve – they let things go – and then they left. Now he is single with lots of the same issues – and so we do not help someone by letting everything go.
~ Delivery is also a key. People do not always “get” things at first -especially if they need to grow in a lot of areas – and your helpful feedback may be foreign to them (and rejected)! Folks may misunderstand any comments as judging – or as an attack. Our culture is so used to passive-aggressive – or “passive- then leave you” behavior – but we need to get messy at times – and assertively, but carefully, approach wellness. And while doing so – we must consider where others are at and consider WHAT they can receive at the time! Also, people do not always hear what you think they heard- and so clarification is needed too.
~Define the word accountability – and talk about why it is good.
~ Talk about how we cannot always change things right away – but awareness helps us to know weak areas – that can then be fortified or worked around. Awareness doesn’t mean everything will be better right away – but it allows us to strategize, accept, and at least strive for growth.
~ Distinguish the difference among the following terms: self-perception, self-esteem, self-presentation, and self-concept. (Definitions can be different depending on the sources we use. For example, just self-concept has MANY definitions. One view of self-concept views it as subjective description of who you think you are and includes “actual self,” “real self,” and “basic self”. Another view of self-concept has two components: the actual self-concept and the ideal self. A third view has 4 dimensions: academic, societal, emotional and physical sides of self….)
~Talk about choices! Sure, you can do whatever you want – but it IS beneficial to yield, serve, and to think of others. We have a right to have grumpy days – that is human! But as we mature and grow -we learn self-control (which is a fruit of the spirit). We can keep things real while still respecting others – even if we do not “have” to! We live in a social world – that interdependently interacts with others – we need accountability – and self-awareness. When we have accurate self-awareness, our relationships will have rich rewards – but so will personal wellness because inner joy is a natural byproduct of healthy relationships.
Below is a list I made for out teens one day – it was a nice starting point for talking about “How we are doing”
~Answer each question and then discuss how you think you are doing in the following areas:
1. Media time
a. way too much
d. not really sure
e. depends on the day
f. feel balanced
2. Feeding my faith side (spirit man/woman)
a. Anemic, not doing well
b. ok, but could be improved
c. doing pretty good
d. doing very well
3. Patience Bar
a. low this month (or this week)
b. medium – not bad, not good
c. a little bit strained –
d. normal and good
e. feel fresh – high patience bar
4. Anger expression
a. feel frustrated – and not expressing it
b. able to express my anger, but not sure what I am mad about
c. not fully angry, but irritated about a few things
d. not angry, not frustrated – feeling smooth
e. feel exceptional – not angry and even more than that, in extra outreach mode
5. Sleep Level
a. Exhausted and low on sleep
b. Tired, but holding my own
c. Not too tired, but not as fresh as usual
d. Well rested, but still not 100%
e. feel 100% and then some –(working out, sleeping and eating all well)
6. Physical Care
a. not eating well – not stretched – not working out
b. doing okay, but could improve
c. eating well, stretched, and working out
d. not sure – need to think about this more
a. Do not feel in tune with where I am at right now
b. feel somewhat in tune with where I am
c. I may need to ask someone close to me to provide some honest feedback about what they see in me.
d. I know exactly what my situation involves – very in tune
8. Personal Goals: Give yourself a grade for where you are at regarding your small and large goals (i.e. what you’re working towards, your plans, etc.), explain. If you do not have any – make some. (Who gets in the car to just aimlessly drive? – Nobody! – And having objectives is helpful.)
9. Describe how you think you are communicating with some of the key people in your life.
10. How is your quiet time with God going? Have you been taking time to listen and meditate on some Bible verses?