Does Your Opinion of Me Keep You From Seeing Me? | Blog

  Does Your Opinion of Me Keep You From Seeing Me? | Blog

A few years ago, I was in a conversation with my mom and in the midst of it, I realized that I had not seen her fresh in years.

I was in my mid 40’s and she was in her 70’s. At that time, I was learning how thought shapes our experiences and since thought is fluid our experience is fluid. That started to translate into realizing that I was not a fixed personality. I was holding all my opinions about myself more loosely and in its place, I was experiencing more freedom. I was experiencing myself in new ways.

I had the thought, “I feel like I’m changing all the time and yet I look at her through the same old ideas I have about her.” Now, my thoughts about her are good ones. I love her and admire her. But if I'm honest, I also had a lot of fixed ideas about her and walked around, unconsciously, as if I already “knew” her. As if there was nothing new to see.

In that moment with my mom, I clearly saw that I was living in my ideas, opinions and memories of her. Seeing her “fixed”. I was not seeing her in real-time. I was not in the present moment. My thoughts and memories were affecting my listening and my experience of her. I was not experiencing her fresh. 

I felt new possibility open up when realizing there was more to know, more to see and to experience with this woman I have loved for years. I started to see this everywhere. With family, friends and colleagues. I could see how my assessments, opinions and memory of others was stopping me from experiencing them fresh. 

Regardless of what those ideas and opinions are, as soon as we draw a conclusion in our minds about someone, our experience of them becomes more fixed versus fluid. We draw conclusions, we have opinions, we think we “know”, and we stop seeing fresh.

What would happen if you held your opinions about others more loosely? What would you see if you let go of your ideas about them and saw them as fluid versus fixed? What if you really saw them in real-time, right now?

We draw a line in the sand. We draw a conclusion, have an opinion and it shapes all our future encounters. We can get in the habit of experiencing people through our memory and ideas about them.  What happened in the last conversation, how we felt about something they did, said, etc. Those opinions and conclusions keep us from seeing fresh. We bring our past ideas into the current moment and it shapes our experience. 

Our experience of one another comes from thought in the moment. Thought shapes what we see and feel. 

Being with someone in real-time, experiencing them fresh requires we let go of what we think we know, we let go of our ideas, no matter how right we think we are, and allow ourselves to naturally fall into the moment. 

In the moment, beyond our preconceived ideas, we discover fresh and new. Our opinions have less bearing, less weight, and instead we experience new depths of connection, love and insight. 

I have seen teams go from dysfunction and lock-down to new levels of rapport, creativity and flow when they get beyond their fixed ideas of each other or a situation. 

I have seen mothers and fathers go from constant worry and tension about their children to experiencing new hopefulness and certainty in their child's innate well-being. Relationships transform and feel brand new when couples get out of their heads and into the now with one another.

I have seen people step into new levels of performance and results in their work when they go beyond their old thinking about themselves and discover new potential.

How did this happen? Simply. In all these cases, as the individual let go of history, their memory, their opinions they naturally fell into the present moment and had immediate access to fresh thinking. They literally saw with new eyes.

Teams got into goodwill and as a result were more collaborative and creative. Those mothers and fathers got beyond their worry and started to actually see the innate well-being of their child. Couples went beyond thought and those feelings of love, that were being covered up by thinking, naturally rose within them.

This is the power of holding your opinions, ideas, assessments and conclusions more lightly. Our ability to experience fresh resides in real-time, in the now.

In real-time, we transcend fixed ideas, old thought and opinions and experience one another and ourselves with more depth and insight.

We come to the now and experience each other fresh.

“In the moment, beyond our preconceived ideas, we discover fresh and new.”

What we SEE is shaped by thought in the moment. And behind that momentary experience is an infinite potential to SEE FRESH.

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Barbara Patterson is the owner of a global coaching and consulting company helping solopreneurs, entrepreneurs & leaders access more clarity, creativity, have greater impact and higher levels of fulfillment in work and life. She is the founder of Beyond Limits in Business, a global platform and community designed to point people to the source of human potential. That potential resides within and is experienced via our minds. Barb is also the host of the Real Business Real Lives podcast. You can follow Barb on Linkedin and Instagram. You can also subscribe to her weekly blog on her website at 



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