Rina Barbut

Be Your Own Mirror

We all feel lost in our journeys in some period of our lives. Sometimes you may find that you have lost your way and you realize that you need a change, or you’ll just stay in the same place. The way to move out of this is by seeing things in different way. This is something that I needed to adopt many times in my life in different situations – and it’s something, I still focus on to this day.

Changing where you live is a big challenge. You have to learn a new language, new mentality, new culture, meet new people, find friends and work…It is a big deal. You want to make it work, and you want to succeed in your new life. You want to adapt and fit in, and sometimes it takes time.

I moved from my hometown to a new country 9 years ago and experienced all the tough and easy together. And I found my way: how to live, how to breathe, how to enjoy – in short, how to make it work for me. Then I started to share with others and help others make it work, too.

I’ve been mentoring people for years now. I help people see their potential, their known and unknown skills and talents. I ask my mentees often about their self-images and how they want to be seen. I call this “mirroring.” I help people find their ways, whether in their careers or in their businesses. I love helping people and helping them help themselves to make a difference in their lives.

One of the ways I do this is by holding workshops. Here, I share an excerpt from a workshop that I led last month:

We’re going to spend some time with our inner selves. You’ll take a journey into your daily life and how you want to see it play out in real life, and then we’ll do a reflection. Make yourself comfortable and try to relax, enjoy, and be with yourself. Try not to think about the things that you’ll do after this session or tomorrow or next week.

Let’s start. Part One: Take me Back to my Boat on the River…

When the last time that you closed your eyes and thought was: what is happening in life, and where is my life taking me? Perhaps, before you go to sleep, you sometimes think about what’s happening in your life or what happened on a specific day. But this reflection is only for a short time before you fall asleep. So you haven’t really done any deep thinking. This is your opportunity to do so. Let’s think first: what does your life look like? What do your days look like? Do you have a routine? Do you wake up at a specific hour every day? Are you a morning person or not? Do you start with your day with a short run or any other sport or activity? Is a good breakfast a must for you? Do you find time each morning to make your bed before you leave home? Are you angry about the construction noise that woke you up? Are you angry about the traffic you have to sit in? Do you sit in the same seat every day on the bus? Do you see the same people on your way to work, studies, and errands? Are you happy each day doing your routine? Or instead, each morning, do you think about what you’ll do when you finish your day or during the weekend?

Are you happy with the people around you, or do many of them annoy you? Are you happy with the area you live in, or do you always want to move to another place? Do you have a location in mind where you dream of living? Are you happy with what you do in life, or do you envy others’ lives? Your friends, families, or people online?

Imagine you are this other that you envy. Think about what you like so much about this person. What does he/she do, where is he/she, what does he/she have?

Pick one or two things that he/she has or is and imagine you have it, and you get to take it with you. Go to the location that you always wanted to be in or live in, and see yourself there with whatever you took from the other that you envy.

Take me Back to my Boat on the River… Do we manage to get away? Go to the place we want to be, and took the parts of the other we want to be?

Part Two: Dust in the Wind…

Are you aware of all the skills you possess, or are you mostly busy thinking negative things about yourself? Have you ever thought: Who I think I am, and what do others think about me? Am I happy with myself? Do I keep trying to change myself? Do I want to be in the center of others’ lives, or I am in the center of my life? Do I love myself? Or I am busy trying to make others love me?

Think about the first 2-3 things that come to your mind when you think about yourself, about who you are, what skills you have.

Take few seconds to think about these things.

Now, think about the person in your life that you believe knows you best. A stranger comes to him/her and asks about you, who you are, what you are. What are the 2-3 things he/she will tell the stranger about you? Take yourself few seconds for yourself and think about it.…

Are what you say about yourself and what he/she told the stranger about you the same? Similar? Different? How come? He/she is the person that knows you best!! And of course, you know best about yourself? Now think about what you want people to say about you when they think about you. Take a few seconds to consider 2-3 things or words.…

Are there any similarities between what you thought/knew about yourself and what your bestie would say about you and what/how you want to be known? Any differences?

Think about it and why there is any difference. Why you are not happy with what you have and want to change it?

Change is good, but you need to make a change? And if yes, do you do anything about it to make people think how you want them to think?

All we are is dust in the wind? Are you nothing? Are you something? Or Are you everything? For your life? For Others?

Part Three: Wind of Change…

Where you want to be, how do you want to be? What do you want to be?…

You made it! You made the change! Imagine you became the other that you envied, and you are living in the place of your dreams.

Wow, it took time. Change is difficult, but the result is beautiful…or is it???

Do you want to be back at the point where you started, or are you happy with what you see that you are now? You can always go back. You can always restart. You can always stay whatever you are and wherever you are. Time flies, life goes on…Do you want to move forward and make more changes?…

Think about all the colors that exist. Which color are you? Put that color in your life, and imagine you are that color in your life picture. Do you like the picture you dream about yourself? And now think about how people see that picture?

You know what? You underestimate yourself; you are not honest and open with yourself. You are more than what you are and who you are. You are too busy to impress people sometimes, show someone to them it is not you. You have so much to say and to give.

Those 2-3 things that you think about yourself and asked your bestie about and heard from others – do you remember those things? You are much more…

People have a lot to say about you. You have so many skills, beauties in life. You have so much color in your life, in your character.

Don’t limit yourself, don’t keep thinking whatever you used to think about yourself, get out from the box. Stop being only the center of others’ lives. First be the center of YOUR life.

We always look for the answers in far places. But the answers are in front of us, close to us.

End and Beginning: Blowin` In the Wind…

If you are ready, I want you to think / draw whatever pictures you saw when you were with yourself imagining where you want to be, how you want to be, how you want others to see you, what you truly desire, which colors you saw, and the place you dreamed of being.

Try to Make it Happen, See the Many Things You Have and Be Aware and Thankful..

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind…

About the Author
Rina Barbut, made aliyah from Turkey in 2008. In Israel, she’s been working in business and technology related positions at global companies and completed an International MBA. For years she led Jewish educational and social activities in Turkey and Europe. Rina is currently developing JConnect Forum, a network for young Jewish professionals from Israel and Europe to nurture business cooperation.