I loved this piece in the Times the other day about acknowledging our “thing” — “that particular behavior, habit or mind-set that is self-destructive but that we’re completely blind to” — that’s keeping us from achieving our full potential (including a happy relationship). Apparently — and this may come as no surprise to you — something like 95% of us think we’re self-aware, but one study suggests only 10-15% of us truly are. Most of us don’t really know what our “thing” is. That’s part of why people write to advice columnists. Sure, they want advice on a particular issue, but often I believe what they’re really asking is: please tell me what my “thing” is, as you see it, from this example I’m sharing.
The author in the Times writes: “A close friend and I have this agreement: If one of us ever recognizes the other person’s “thing,” we’re bound to disclose what it is, no matter what.
Are you one of the few who knows what your “thing” is? If you had to guess, what would you say? Are you brave enough to ask someone you care about to tell you? Would you tell him or her what theirs is?
For the record, I asked Drew what my “thing” is and he first replied with: “Nothing. You’re totally living to your full potential.” Ha! He’s no dummy. But then I promised him I wanted to know my “thing” and wouldn’t get mad if he told me, and this is what he said:
“It’s not as bad right now [as] in the past, [but] I think your unmanaged anxiety keeps you from living your full potential.” Basically, he’s been suggesting for years that I see a therapist to help treat my anxiety, and my reply is always that I’m too busy — I should say that my lack of self-care doesn’t end at mental health; I haven’t had a physical in YEARS (don’t even have a primary care physician) — and that I do manage my anxiety, through self-medication. But he’s right. I need to address my anxiety in more proactive ways, and I need to prioritize my own health and well-being.
So, what about you? Any idea what your “thing” is? Are you brave enough to ask someone who cares about you to be honest with you? Would you tell someone you love what his or her thing is?