April 30, 2007
News & Opinion: Excerpt from The Flip Side
This excerpt is taken from Chapter 4 of The Flip Side: Break Free of the Behaviors that Hold You Back by Flip Flippen, an educator, psychotherapist, and business coach. The Flip Side is about how to recognize and deal with the personal constraints we face every day.
Feedback is Critical
Unfortunately we are often the worst judges of our own situations. Our constraints may have developed because we just don't see them, or they may directly impede our ability to recognize them. Either way my years as a psychotherapist have convinced me that self-assessment is not something that can be done effectively in isolation. I've asked lots of people over the years to name their top areas needing improvements, and very few have any sort of accurate response.
The fact of the matter is that self-assessment is an oxymoron. You can't get a self-help book and sit alone and read it and think you have accurately assessed yourself by yourself. Although it is a good start, your own assessment is only part of the equation. If I went through life without feedback, I might think that I have great hair (even as it gets thinner every year) and have what it takes to be a world-class jockey (not likely at six feet three inches). The problem is that reality does not always bear out our favorite illusions about ourselves, and I want to live in reality (at least for the most part, I do). I can't fully self-assess by myself, so I must get others' input to have a more complete picture. Although this book offers all the tools you'll need to put together a plan for success in overcoming your personal constraints, it is the people around you who hold many of the keys to effective diagnosis.
Recently I was packing to go out of town, and two of the boys were sitting on the ledge of the tub in our bathroom. They were giving me a hard time about what I was wearing, and I turned and looked in the mirror, commenting that I was sure thankful that I had a full head of hair and looked as good as I did (they had really been harassing me). Of course one of them couldn't resist.
“Well, Pop, you need to slip around back and take another look!