There is the belief that there are no accidents. That what seems to be a happy coincidence is really part of an elaborate plan. I experienced three things this week which appears to be designed to teach me a lesson about perspective.
First, I came across this piece from Dove. It is worth watching, and sharing. An artist initially sketches people according to how they describe themselves, and then again based on the description of someone else. The two sketches look quite different. Without fail, the self-portrait is unflattering and unattractive. It is a powerful message about how overly critical we are of ourselves.
Second, I noticed a tweet from Kristy Morrison about the stress of swimsuit shopping. Kristy is a beautiful, confident woman and certainly not someone whom I thought would worry about such things. Yet she admitted that “Hollywood has brainwashed me to think I need to lose 20-30 lbs”. In our culture it is so common for women to judge ourselves by the definition of beauty which is set for us by big multinational corporations. Corporations which primarily have men in executive and board positions, may I add.
Third, I had a very interesting conversation with Angela Sutcliffe at the BYA Gala. As a Finalist for Business Woman of the Year, I knew they would be showing a video montage of me to the 320-odd people in the room. Photos, clips of an interview they conducted with me, that sort of thing. I told Angela that I planned to crawl under the table when my video was shown. When she asked why, I struggled to explain. I tried “because I don’t like the sound of my voice.” That didn’t seem enough. So I tried again “because I don’t like the way I look when I talk.”
Because. Because. Because. Angela gave me a sympathetic look and said “You won’t see what you see in the mirror. You’ll see what the rest of us see when we see you.” I flippantly replied “Well that is even more scary.” But Angela was serious and she gently told me “Well, we didn’t run away, did we? We are all here for you.” As I glanced around at the table full of people who had come out to support me, she continued “So just remember than when you watch your video.”
Whack! It was like a new pair of eyes were slammed into my skull. It gave me a whole different perspective. And the message came just in time. I’m thrilled to say that I won the award. I’ve been flooded with messages and congratulations in the last couple of days. Instead of squirming or deflecting, I’ve accepted it all with intense gratitude because I have a better perspective of where it is coming from. As I respond to emails and write out thank you cards (yes, I believe that in the digital world there is still a place for such old-fashioned expressions of appreciation) I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement.