What do you see when you look in the mirror? What do you see in the mirror over your sink? Even better, go in front of a full length mirror and think about how that changes your perception. In this exercise many people typically see the physical, they look at what they can see with their eyes and see only what the mirror reflects back. This is similar to the world that we live in today. The world reflects back its reactions to the externals, to the results, to what they can tangibly evaluate. The goal of the exercise is to help evaluate what is internal.
1. Go to a mirror and take a look at yourself. It may be awkward at first but take 1 minute and look at yourself. Recognize the first things that go through you mind. Are you evaluating your looks? Is it difficult to look yourself in the eye? Are you feeling a weird sensation through your body and uncomfortable? Are you “happy” with what you see?
2. After this minute write down all the things that you “see”. This may take a few minutes to remember or take a few minutes to feel comfortable writing these things down on paper but put everything down, don’t hold back on the things that you have seen.
3. Once you are done writing down the things you saw in the mirror write out a list of attributes that you either know about yourself or you have been told. These can be physical but hopefully they will be internal things as well; caring, dedicated, hardworking, smart……
4. After you have made your list go back to the mirror and take a look at yourself not only looking at the external but also the internal as well. Take a look at the internal things this time and try not to be distracted by the externals. See the value in who you are as well as those aspects that others may not physically see.
5. Do this exercise each day for a week. After the first time all you have to do is look in the mirror for 2-3 minutes and see the things that are in front of you as well as the internet things. Don’t let you mind think negative thoughts or evaluate how you should change, see yourself for who you are. Don’t worry about any flaws that you see or think need to be changed.
6. Once you can stand in front of a mirror and look at both the internals and the externals start to verbally say the things you see aloud. Speak your positive list to yourself and look yourself in the eye when you say these things. This stage will be very awkward at first but it will get easier.
The internals of a person are just as important or even more than the externals to an individual’s functioning. The internals are what creates athletes to be great. While size, speed, and athletic ability are definite delineations in a player’s success, the internals are the biggest attributes which allow for a player to really succeed and find stability.
For instance, a home is typically build on some type of foundation that is under the ground or hidden from sight. The walls of the home are typically covered with drywall and pained covering the boards that actually support the home and give it rigidity. Most people when buying a home or looking at it only see the externals of the walls. They see the color of the pain or the carpet, how the kitchen looks or what type of furniture has been put in the rooms. They don’t evaluate a home by its structure. A car can’t run without its motor working. The engine is hidden under the hood where it isn’t seen, most people today don’t know how the engine works but they know what the interior looks like.
We evaluate and find success in the externals, the mirror test helps an individual see what they might not want to see. If done correctly it forces him/her to look much deeper and understand the many levels of a person’s personality and functioning. If you can look at yourself in the mirror and see the internal you, then you are going to find success.