Seeing Ourselves as Others Do

mirror, mirro, on the wall
Mirror, mirror, on the wall


 Today, our CEO,  Michael Hyatt, blogged about an author we publish in the Fiction division (Ted Dekker and his new book, Green) .  One of the sections of the post was about the marketing done for the book.  As I read through his post, I saw this line “…and his intrepid marketing director, Jennifer Deshler“.    Though I know what it means, “intrepid” is not a word that pops up in my vocabulary often enough so I decided to hit the dictionary and brush up on the full definition

  • Main Entry: in·trep·id
  • Pronunciation: \in-ˈtre-pəd\
  • Function: adjective
  • Etymology: Latin intrepidus, from in- + trepidus alarmed
  • Date: 1680

: characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude, and endurance <an intrepid explorer>

Me + Intrepid?  Resolute Fearlessness?  That’s the woman I want to be every day when I wake up, but rarely feel I’ve shown the world when I lay down to sleep at night.  It was such an empowering moment. 

Why are we so held back by our own limited image of who we are and how the world sees us?  And how do we begin to see ourselves as others do?

Since I am constantly challenged here, I’m speaking to myself when I make these assumptions about how we can change our perceptions of who we are:

  1. Ask our friends, coworkers, and family for transparency-When they have good feedback, we need to know it to help transform our internal images.  And when it’s a critique, we really need to hear it.  Who wants to walk around making the same mistakes over and over?
  2. Be willing to step out of our comfort zones-When I’m not at work, I’m pretty gutsy.  There’s not much from an adventurous standpoint I won’t do; especially on a dare.  But at work, part of me wants to stay in the pack so I don’t ruffle feathers, while the other part of me feels driven to stand out from the crowd and make my own way, mistakes and all.
  3. Learn to love who we are-Boy, this is a biggie.  I can rattle off a list of my faults far easier than I can list my unique talents and abilities.  Often, the thing  that keeps me grounded is remembering that we were made in the image of God and trusting that He has a divine plan for each of us and knew this would be one of our hurdles.
  4. Face the fear of failure-One of the most freeing moments of my adult life was while sitting in a meeting with a group of leaders hearing that every person in that room struggled with a fear of failure.  I had thought for so many years that I was alone in this battle.  And it seems that sometimes the best thing that can happen is for us to royally screw up so we learn a new pattern of behavior. 

Does this boil down to an easy fix?  If yes, what would you say is the one thing helps the most? 

We all know people who exude self-assurance.  Because they know inside themselves that they are smart/talented/tenacious, they are seen by others that way.   I’m working to get there…without trepidation.   


12 thoughts on “Seeing Ourselves as Others Do

  1. Great post… and I love your blog. I’ve been considering switching to WordPress but don’t look forward to re-formatting my blog. Yours inspires me that it would be worth it. Great design… was it a template or did you design it yourself? I don’t know what’s available with WordPress. Anyway, good thoughts on how we see ourselves and how others see us. I tend to care too much about how others see me, so the part about learning to love who we are was really helpful. I’ll subscribe to your blog by email now.

    1. Hi Susan,

      Thanks for stopping by. I am really enjoying WordPress and had a great friend help me update my blog to this amazing look. You can go into WordPress and click on themes to see lots of choices, or do a search online for themes you can download.
      I tend to care about what others thinks too much, as well. One day at a time, right? 🙂

  2. Jennifer, this is an awesome post. Like you, for so many years I had that big fear of failure, fear that I was not as smart as my co-workers, and on and on. At one of my employers there came a point that we needed to put on a “road show” of our products. I was the most knowledgeable and the administrator of the product, thus I became the program facilitator and primary presenter.

    I was forced to do something I was not very good at and felt very insecure about. After a few of these I became confident with my knowledge and built my self confidence in presenting. That doesn’t mean that all of my insecurities have gone away, but I know how to put on the face of confidence, a bright smile and share my knowledge. I have had people tell me that would like to be a poised and confident as I am. If they only knew the mind trash that goes on just before a presentation they wouldn’t say that.

    The last thing I try to think before I am introduced is “If you knew you couldn’t fail what would you do?” I am 62 and continue to be a work in progress. Take #2 in your list to heart and forge on.

  3. Good post and thanks for sharing! I’m thinking of an addition:

    #5 Look in the mirror. See yourself in God’s eyes, your identity in Jesus Christ. (Read all Scriptures telling about “in Christ…”.)

  4. Jennifer….
    This made my day! True, years have passed….but YOU are amazing! What fun to read of your wisdom/lessons learned.
    I think I hear JP buttons bursting!
    Onward Girl!
    Dan (as in Johnson)
    (very nice format here!)

  5. Very thoughtful post Jennifer. One of the things I pray for is to see myself the way God sees me and to see others in the same way. I’ve realized some pretty interesting things with God’s help!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *