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Exploring Who You Truly Are

If I were to ask you right now to describe how you think the world sees you, what words would you use?

What if I ask you how your friends or family see you, would it be different?

What about if I ask you how you see yourself?

What about if I challenge you to describe to me how you really, honestly, truly are?

Just like a group of people can view the same painting and come away with very different impressions and feelings, people also view and judge each other in different ways. The challenge is to be able to separate the views of yourself, others and the truth.

My purpose here is encourage you to explore the difference between your self view, how you believe others see you and the real you. Although some people struggle with an inflated ego, more often the problem is that people discount the true and positive aspects of themselves.

If you have paper handy, write down in one column words that you believe the world thinks about you.  In the next, write what words you think your family would use to describe you.  In the third column, write down words you use to describe yourself. And in the fourth column, write down words that truly describe who you are.

For example, you may feel like the world views you as a college drop-out. Your family may see you as a slacker. You may see yourself as a loser. In reality, you’re trying the best you can while dealing with severe anxiety.

If you’ve been around the internet on social media sites enough, you’ve probably come across memes that are a collection  of photographs that look something like this:
These memes are a great example of the differences in perspective between what others see what we see, and what is reality.

If you’re feeling creative, go to this site which is a very cool meme builder, where you can add your own pictures and text. If you’re feeling brave, you can even share it with others in your life.

We all have moments when we see pictures of ourselves that we think look nothing like us. The reality is that the picture simply doesn’t represent what we believe ourselves to look like.

Sometimes we need to step away from ourselves to see who we really are. And once that happens, we are free to make deliberate choices about how we want to grow and change.



photo from Shutterstock
Exploring Who You Truly Are

Jenise Harmon, MSW, LISW-S

Jenise Harmon, LISW-S, is a psychotherapist with a private practice in Columbus, Ohio. She works with individuals and couples, and specializes in relationship counseling. She's now offering online counseling for residents of Ohio. Stay Connected . Follow her on twitter; and connect with her on Facebook.

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APA Reference
Harmon, J. (2012). Exploring Who You Truly Are. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 5 Aug 2012
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