How to Look at Yourself Objectively?

Here, you will learn how to look at yourself objectively (self-objectivity) and see yourself as you are.

Being objective towards yourself is difficult because your psyche needs to evaluate itself, which isn’t easy. In practice, it means that you either overestimate or underestimate yourself.

When can our brain’s innate objectivity begin to flourish? Only when our inappropriate self-centered subjectivity begins to dissolve.
James H. Autist

Why is it Important to Look at Yourself Objectively?

Only if you look at your life objectively enough will you be able to distinguish your virtues from your flaws, your bad habits from good ones, and your successes from your failures. 

Distinguishing victory from defeat is significant for your mental health since it influences the quality of future choices you’ll make. Many people don’t admit their defeats but declare them to be victories.

This trait can also become a collective characteristic, where nations declare historical events that were realistically defeats, as victories. They make myths out of them, thus negatively affecting future generations’ consciousness. 

Consequently, young generations won’t know how to distinguish success from failure and will probably repeat their ancestors’ mistakes. It will continue the vicious circle of collective self-deception.

Admitting that you have flaws, bad habits, and that you make mistakes is crucial to making your mental wellbeing better and makes space for your progress.

And since you have managed to distinguish between the experiencing ego and the observing ego, it will be much easier for you to admit flaws, bad habits, and defeats because you’ll no longer identify with them.

Are You the Observer or the Observed?

You’re now aware that you’re the one who’s watching what’s being lived and not the one who’s just experiencing it. 

Unfortunately, very few people have the ability of assessing themselves objectively. We’re usually much more objective towards others.

Surely you’re familiar with a situation where you see flaws in a friend that are obvious to you. However, your friend remains completely unaware of these flaws.

Then you wonder: “How is it possible that my friend doesn’t notice that he never lets me finish my thoughts and doesn’t listen to what I’m saying. For him, it’s just important to say what he has to say. He even complains when other people do the same to him!”

That doesn’t necessarily mean that your friend is stupid or rude, but simply that he doesn’t see himself objectively due to activation of some unconscious complexes.

What does the Activation of Unconscious Complexes Mean? 

This can mean many different things, depending on the person.

One possibility is that your friend’s parents, or some other authority figure from his childhood, were doing precisely the same thing to him. He couldn’t express his thoughts freely, and his parents were not interested in what he had to say. He just needed to listen to what others were telling him.

In this scenario, your friend builds an aversion to such behavior on a conscious level. Still, he identifies with such behavior unconsciously, and we come to a situation where what he consciously despises, he unconsciously does to others.

Because of this unconscious complex that your friend has, he can’t consciously see the modus operandi that everyone else around him sees. If you draw your friend’s attention to his behavior in a disrespectful way, he may react strongly and deny it. He may even end up being angry with you.

Paraphrasing Jung, the ‘poison’ of insight should be given in small quantities, a principle that is applicable here. This means that for many people, self-awareness, driven by self-objectivity, acts as a kind of ‘poison’ for their consciousness. It’s capable of challenging the unrealistic positive opinion they hold about themselves. You must admit that none of us like it.

The Power of Denial: Hidden Truths and Ourselves

Have you ever been in a situation where you’re in a group of people, and a person’s partner has a secret romance on the side? Everyone knows that, except the one whose partner is doing it.

That person doesn’t see it because they unconsciously don’t want to see it. And if you draw their attention to that, there’s a high probability they would deny it, perhaps even declaring you are jealous of them.

This is a typical case where one’s unconscious complexes are activated – even the most innovative and experienced person looks stupid and naïve. When Jung noticed this human trait, he said: Everyone knows nowadays that people have complexes. What is not so well known, though far more important, is that complexes can have us.

If you want to be objective towards yourself, you have to start questioning yourself and analyzing your reactions to events.

You could also start listening to the messages in your dreams because they can symbolically show you where you’re wrong. Dreams usually compensate for wrongful conscious attitudes.

How to Improve Self-Objectivity

To engage more deeply with yourself and gain a clearer, more objective perspective on your life, consider enriching your routine with activities that nourish your mind and soul.

Here are some practices to integrate:

  • Take Time to Slow Down: Allow yourself moments of pause throughout the day, giving your mind the chance to absorb and process information more thoroughly.
  • Embrace Meditation: Regular meditation can be a powerful tool for mental clarity and inner peace.
  • Explore Artistic Expression: Whether it’s painting, playing an instrument, singing, or any other form of art, creative activities provide an outlet for emotions and foster self-expression.
  • Connect with Nature: Spending time outdoors, surrounded by the tranquility of nature, can have a grounding effect on your psyche.
  • Enjoy Non-Competitive Physical Activities: Engage in physical activities like swimming, jogging, or mountain climbing, which not only improve your physical health but also offer a meditative experience in motion.

As you immerse yourself in these practices, you’ll find your mind becoming more relaxed and purified from the clutter of daily thoughts, emotions, and events, enabling you to view your life from a more detached, objective standpoint.

Additionally, seeking feedback from a trusted friend or family member who knows you well can offer invaluable insights. Often, others can provide an objective view of your behaviors and patterns that you might not see yourself, helping you to understand and grow in ways you might not have considered on your own.

Here we come to the next step you should take in growing your mind: Break bad habits, form good habits.

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