RK Tip of the Week|Just what kind of person are you?

Posted on June 16, 2010


No judgment here, but just what kind of person are you?

This question has been tumbling around with me lately as I watch people who are realizing that they ARE capable of rising up above whatever they previously thought they were. These are the people who are realizing they are indeed the ‘kind of person who jogs/sweats/picks nutritious foods/considers themselves ‘young’ despite their age by allowing themselves to experience life without predispositions or notions about anything.

And then I am seeing others who do things that are seemingly out of sync with what they would like to think of themselves as. Really? You’re the guy smoking on his way into the health club? Really, you’re that guy? –That kind of thing.

As you go through life, you build this image of  yourself that sits within you, and grows over the years, and all of it revolves around what kind of person you see yourself as. Are you the kind of person who has always gone after challenges and will continue to do so? Are you the kind of person who’s sensed failure coming & stopped any action further, even if failure was not the guaranteed final outcome ahead?

The way we build our perspective of “self” is very different from how we build our perspectives of those around us. And for logical & good reason – we can see others with our eyes. Unless we have someone walking around with a mirror in front of us at all times, we never can see ourselves with our eyes. We see ourselves with our feelings & sensations, NOT through a truly objective thing like an eyeball, which sees what it sees and that’s that.

Says Emily Pronin of Princeton University, “People see themselves differently from how they see others. They are immersed in their own sensations, emotions, and cognitions at the same time that their experience of others is dominated by what can be observed externally. This basic asymmetry has broad consequences. It leads people to judge themselves and their own behavior differently from how they judge others and those others’ behavior.”

So if we view ourselves in this out-of-context fashion then we must be assured that our inner understanding of just what kind of person we are is like the strongest CNN hologram ever – or risk fading into whatever comfortable, albeit lethargic, breeze drifts by today. It’s not just about health & fitness gang – for example, knowing that you’re the kind of person who consistently beats the craving for sugar late at night bolsters confidence that you can come through other tough moments in daily life, builds momentum to do other healthier things for yourself, and may impact others in a positive way as they see you begin to express your confidence as you wrestle the diet monster and start to take win after win from him!

For some, like quitting smoking cold turkey and never looking back, it happens seemingly overnight & that’s it. The “old you” is done & the “new you” is the only YOU that you know. For others, myself included, it takes longer to evolve into the person you ultimately desire to see yourself as (and mind you, the work will never be done until we meet our end & hopefully the Pearly Gates). The journey to get there may include steps forward and many steps backward, but even the backward steps are lessons learned that will teach you to “never do that again!”

Things you must have if you intend to evolve into the kind of person you’d like to see yourself as:

  • A willingness to press on despite not knowing what the next step will be or if that next step will be you FINALLY ‘getting it’ with the cravings/workouts/attitude
  • A bounce back attitude like the biggest Super Bouncey Ball you can find – it’s ok to get close to the edge of “this sucks, I quit” as long as you know how to bounce back from that edge fast
  • An understanding that it really DOESN’T matter who you are right now – it’s more important to know who you aspire to be & never forget.

So be on the alert for little things that let you know just what kind of person you are, and if that aligns who you’re trying to be, then carry on! Keep your eye out because the moments when you catch yourself doing something that makes you think “hey, that’s me doing that, awesome!” – you’ll be totally pumped & want to carry that new person forward!

I cracked up when I looked in my work bag as I was packing for this morning, and snapped a pic for every athlete who packs their gear for the day & is suited up as well as a Girl Scout…you know who you are! In my lululemon bag you’ll find *spare workout socks, *2 sets of headphones, *a hair tie, *bobby pin, *vanilla scented lotion that will hopefully cover the sweat smell after lunchtime workouts, *cleansing face cloths to remove makeup & then sweat, *energy gels, *bug spray, *sun block for mid-day runs, *Garmin & matching heart rate monitor strap, *ipod, *body glide for long runs/hot days – all of which is in the bag at all times BEFORE adding workout clothes, food, books, shoes – yep – that’s the kind of person I appear to be & thus I can see that I am!