My mom had a cartoon hanging by her mirror for decades that showed a mutt looking into the mirror and seeing a beautiful collie. I was always drawn to the image because I think for so many people the reality is the reverse: they are collies but see themselves as average mutts.

I thought of this cartoon when I read a Twitter post by Oogimauskii:* “A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone who knows you…the person you think of as “yourself” exists only for you, and even you don’t really know who that is. Every person you meet, have a relationship with or make eye contact on the street with, creates a version of “you” in their heads. You’re not the same person to your mom, your dad, your siblings, than you are to your coworkers, your neighours or your friends. There are a thousand different versions of yourself out there, in people’s minds. A “you” exists in each version, and yet your “you”, “yourself” isn’t really a “someone” at all.”

 You can’t control how others view you or what those multiple different versions of “you” are in the minds of others, but you can choose how you talk about yourself and picture yourself in your own mind. Believe yourself to be that beautiful collie!

*Concept from Uno, Nessuno, Centomila by Luigi

Illustration by Jerry Van Amerongen, 1985

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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