Feb 27, 2019:  ~ 4 min read

We can't objectively see ourselves and our situation

We become so accustomed to our lives, that we can’t truly asses the situation we’re in, be it good or bad. Think of the impostor syndrome: people with great achievements — even extremely famous ones — that still feel like a fraud. But it works the opposite too, of course.

And that’s what I want to focus on. I’m not saying we can’t see that the situation is bad, because we can. It’s just that it’s hard to realise its true amplitude. We most likely think it’s not that bad. And sometimes we’re so far from the truth, we have no intention of fixing anything, because we don’t believe there is anything important to fix.

I’ll start with a quick example, from my own life. I was overweight pretty much my whole life. In my 20s I don’t think I ever dropped below 120 Kg and if I did, it was short-lived. I’ve been up to 136, at which point it ”struck me” and I lost weight, but I stopped around 120, then hovered between 120–128 from then on.

For all my adult life I thought that I'm not that fat; that if I were to lose 20 Kg and reach ~110, I’d be OK, it would be enough. I really believed it. Now, about the fact that I didn't actually do anything about it is a whole ’nother story, for another time.

Then, last year, I reached 128 again and I finally decided I want to lose weight until 107. That would be the point where I would drop below 30 BMI (obese) and into the overweight zone. Why here and not down to normal? This is also a talk for another time, because there’s a lot to talk about. It involves our identity, how it was formed, how our brain tries to protect it … it’s a full story in and of itself. In short, each of us has an identity, a set of beliefs about ourselves, and our brains fiercely guards it.

Now, the fun part. When I lost those 20 Kg that for all my life I thought would be enough, I realised I could go 10 more and still have a belly. I couldn’t believe it. At that point I realised how distorted my view was.

Fast forward to 99. What do you think happened?

I realised I could go another 10 and still have a belly. Now I really couldn’t believe it. At this point I truly realised how distorted my view was and how hard it is to be objective with the situation you’re in.

For now, that’s where I’ll stop, at 89, right in the normal zone. But think about it. I always believed ~20 will be enough and I flew right past 20, lost 35 and I realised I still have quite a bit to go.


What about other areas of your life? Like entourage/friends, your job, outside influence, etc?

They all obey the same rule. When you’re ”inside” of it, you can not see the truth. It’s one of the reasons why people misunderstand and judge you when you make changes: they can not see their situation and believe everything is OK, when in fact, you now know it’s not (which is why you’re changing).

The worse part is that if someone tries to show you the truth … You’ll most likely deny it. You’ll try to defend your truth, your vision.

I don’t have any tips for this topic. I could suggest to try and be more objective, to be more open to others’ opinions and their help, but I don’t think that truly works by itself. You first have to become aware of how hard it is to see the truth, then you'll be able to accept it.

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