During reverb13, I wrote a little ditty about Perspective. Actually, the post was not intended to be about perspective, it was about failure, but the way I see it, those two things go hand in hand. They aren’t the same, they are inversely correlated. The more perspective you have, the less you see as failures. The more failures you perceive you have, the less perspective you have.
I read this totally and completely amazing post by RateYourBurn adapted for fitness professionals from an article written by Seth Godin today and it got me thinking.
Especially the part that says Don’t assume that once someone knows things the way you know them, they will choose what you choose.
Oh shit! I mean, I’ve lived my whole life under this assumption!
I’ve lived for 30+ years thinking that my perspective is superior to others’ because I’m so logical. I’m so rational. I’m so evolved.
I’m so into myself. Barf.
Let me just take a very dramatic step back and give myself a little break. Don’t most people see it their own way? If there is any way to see something, you have to make your own personal judgement first, based on what you know and your past experiences and your personality. All of that is 100% OK and totally normal. Know thine own self. Rule #1. It’s your baseline.
But putting the time and energy into also thinking about other people’s choices and why they make them… that’s a whole different story. I strive to be empathetic as much as possible. Put myself in others’ shoes. Feel their pain.
I’ve always been a big supporter of people’s choices. People’s choices in faith. People’s choices in lifestyle. People’s choices in fashion. haha
Let’s focus on that last one since it is so shallow it’s an easy reference. Don’t you ever think to yourself If that person could see what I see, would they still choose those too-small pants that give them muffin top and that misshapen top that does nothing for their gorgeous (yet disguised) collarbone? It’s a truly nasty thing to think, I am aware. I may not ever share such thoughts out loud except maybe to G. She won’t judge me. But the point I am trying to make is that I always assume if she knew, or in this case saw, exactly what I see, then she would make the same choice as I would. And that’s simply not true. Maybe that chick just likes polka dots and fancied wearing them that day and those were her only clean pants. Maybe she doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks about her style or muffin top and carries on with her confident self. I love confident people.
So now I’m faced with a dilemma. I’m not really judging that girl. I’m judging myself in her shoes. I am projecting my own insecurities about body image on someone who may not share those insecurities. And that’s not fair to her. Or her look. What harm is there is allowing someone to just be who they are? With no judgement at all.
This awareness of how we need to take ourselves out of other people’s equations is very liberating. No one will ever have the same perspective as you. They aren’t you. So let’s all sit back and enjoy not being judged for the choices we make and extend the same courtesy to the well deserving equals all around us.