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Business Bullets: The hall of Mirrors

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

I was sat at my desk last Saturday night.

20 years ago I woulda been drunk in a bar somewhere in Sunderland pondering my third year at University. Now, here, I realised there I was posting about podcast edits and writing whilst studying qualitative methodology. (Although I did have a beer - its not all work)

How life changes.

I was editing up a future episode with a new guest that really delves into the nature of how we see ourselves. Of course that's also both influenced by and reflected in how others see us, and so we are left constantly examining our own reflection in a hall of mirrors that are only partially of our own construction.

It's an interesting metaphor, because the way others project their image of ourselves back AT us can sometimes be false and/or unflattering, much like those convex or concave mirrors at fairgrounds that make you look fat/thin etc. Or in other words, what we become aware of is merely a perception of a reflection that is affected by that from which it reflects.

Are you seeing yourself clearly?

So then, examine not just the reflections, but the mirrors themselves. Do they give one true picture? are they tarnished? do they need a clean? or should some be swapped out? Covered up?

Cooley said "I am not what I think I am, I am not what you think I am. .....I am what I think, you think, I am" and so the saying goes that we are the average of the five people we associate most with, or perhaps: "I" is the average of the image we perceive from five mirrors, each called "you".

The question is though, who are "you" looking at?

After all, its very easy to get lost in a hall of mirrors. We might stay a while and polish some, since it is in the polishing that we are able to clearly see ourselves. However no amount of polishing can correct a warped mirror. So in navigation I would suggest using a compass. They tend not to be deflected by such things. As a result they (and you) may "see" the way forward all the clearer for it.


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