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Seeing Yourself Clearly: Self-Observation for Personal Growth

Seeing Yourself Clearly SelfObservation for Personal Growth
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Did you know you have two kinds of eyes? One, of course, is your set of physical eyes that looks outward at the world around you, perceiving everything in your immediate environment. The other is a spiritual sense rather than a physical sense.

It has a special ability to see beyond the physical world and is the seat of your imagination and of your spiritual perception. One important role of this eye is to see your interior self, the inner world of your being. You could think of it as “the eye observing the I.”

Your Inner Eye Knows Everything

This ability to see within oneself and to observe oneself is one of the most important and useful tools for spiritual growth. Other people can look at you and give you an evaluation of your performance and their opinions about your character, and personal accomplishments can tell you something about your progress, too.

But nothing is quite as true as your own view of yourself to provide you with a sense of where you are on your journey and how far you still need to go. Ultimately, you can’t hide anything from your inner eye the way you can from others. You are the one with a complete view of who you are.

For example, your inner eye knows when you are sad inside, even when you smile on the outside, and it knows everything about your level of sincerity and openness in everything you do in life.

Having this ability, however, does not always mean we see ourselves clearly. Everyone has this ability to see themselves, but, unfortunately, few people use it well. Because our minds are too focused on our exterior lives instead of on our interior growth, we tend to ignore our own ability to see ourselves, preferring instead to build up false exteriors that are designed to please others and to provide short-term physical and emotional satisfaction.

Often, we delude ourselves, telling ourselves “I am not a control freak.” or “I’m not the jealous type,” even when we do in fact have some element of these traits hidden in the recesses of our character. Shifting our focus away from this false sense of self to our truer inner eye is key to growing and transforming ourselves at the deepest level.

Be Honest with Yourself

How can you start to use self-observation for greater personal growth? You can begin by being honest with yourself about who you are, why you make the choices you make, and how you actually feel in the moment. Look beyond the false self-image you prefer to project to the world. This is who you are on the inside.

There are many beautiful characteristics you will find there—love and the desire to make a positive difference in the world, for example—but in the dark shadows, you may find the remnants that blocking your True Self from shining forth in its true brilliance. If you recognize those things and resolve to change them, growth can happen naturally.

Make deliberate, honest self-observation a part of your daily practice, something you carry with you through the day. You can imagine that you are hovering above yourself like an angel with an omniscient view, watching yourself from a distance as you go through your day.

As you complete your work and interact with people, objectively observe your inner being and the ways you interact in the world. Avoid judging anything about what you see; just take note of what you observe as honestly and completely as you can.

What are your emotions in each moment? What are your motivations? How do your choices make you feel, and how do they affect others? I recommend recording your observations in a journal, if possible, too.

Do It with Self-Love and Self-Care

If you can observe yourself honestly, you will be able to see emotions and habits that are holding you back and elements of your character that you would like to change. Instead of viewing these things with judgment, as “bad” traits to be ashamed of, simply resolve to change them through self-love and self-care.

Be like a kind, loving parent to your inner child, gently guiding yourself toward self-understanding and growth. These elements are a normal part of the human growth process, and seeing them and resolving to change them is the way we learn to live in closer alignment with our True Selves.

If you observe yourself honestly and consistently in this way, I guarantee that you will move closer and closer to your True Self. Your True Self, your soul that can be damaged by nothing, in fact, is already there, waiting for you to uncover it and to shine its light on a troubled world. Seeing yourself clearly is an important step in that direction.
Written by Ilchi Lee
A visionary, educator, author, and founder of ChangeYourEnergy.com, Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Body & Brain Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Keep up with Ilchi Lee on his blog at http://www.ilchi.com.
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