Are You Living Outside IN?
It is so easy to fall into the habit of comparing ourselves to others. It’s almost written into our human DNA. Subconsciously, we move through our day to day lives always asking the questions: How do I place in the social order? Who am I in this world of people and social systems? Do I measure up? What is my value?
As common as it is, this subconscious pathology can get us into trouble. We may lose sight of who we really are by focusing too much on how we think others perceive us. Let’s call this pattern of thinking and behaving Outside IN… seeking vital information on the outside before checking in with ourselves first.
Does this sound like YOU? If so, welcome to the club!
The Outside IN Dilemma
People get caught in the Outside IN dilemma in so many ways. For instance, women receive constant messages from outside sources that their appearance matters. When they compare themselves to glamorous models and images of beauty, they usually fall short. As a result, women may try too hard to fit an image not of their own making. They may attach their value to what their reflection shows in a mirror. Outside IN.
It’s not just women who fall into this unhealthy pattern. A man may fear that if he follows his true path he will not be seen as strong, but rather he may appear weak. Many men fear a certain ‘social death’ in a culture that favors a specific, and very narrow code of masculine behavior. Outside IN.
Consider how often we see something in others that we admire. And yet, instead of fully celebrating their unique qualities, we may turn against ourselves. We sometimes perceive the Self as inadequate because we are not THAT…Outside IN.
Here are a few examples of some Outside IN thinking:
That person is very confident, I’ll bet they can do anything. I am too afraid to do anything special.
That person is in great shape, they go to the gym every day. I don’t have enough discipline to make that commitment. I can’t get myself to go.
That group is made up of powerhouse individuals. They’d never let someone like me on the team. I’m not enough.
And so on, ad nauseum.
Love Yourself Inside Out
To more fully succeed in the act of loving yourself, it is best to START from the inside. You already have what you need to do this. It’s really about where you place your attention…
Here’s what you can do. In any moment, when you experience conflict, a dilemma or crisis, or even if you’re feeling inspired, start by checking in with YOURSELF:
What am I feeling right now?
What is happening in my body?
What feels off?
What feels right?
What energy is tugging at me?
Make these your daily, moment-to-moment questions. Become familiar with the practice of asking them. There is no such thing as doing this too much.
When you can start from a place of checking IN, you are already making a difference. You are bringing your power back to the center – YOUR center.
Here is WHY the Inside Out method works:
1. You are paying attention to your inner wisdom. Yes, YOU have that. No one knows you like you do. You are better at figuring out how you feel and think than figuring out what others feel and think. Making assumptions about others is only a guessing game!
2. You are placing less power OUTSIDE your realm of control. This is always a personal choice once you know how to do it. Those ideas coming at you from outside? Myths. When you check in with yourself first you may actually notice that!
Don’t fret too much if you are feeling some negative stuff on any given day. Look inside FIRST. Whatever is there is information, messages to pay attention to. Only then can you decide – you can choose – what to keep or discard.
When you learn how to love yourself Inside Out you are taking charge of your own life and happiness. You can experience the freedom of being 100% YOU.
Keep calm and Brumbylon.
Thanks for hanging out with me – have a great week!