Take A Hard Look In The Mirror

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Remember in the story of Sleeping Beauty how the wicked stepmother stood in front of the mirror every morning and night, asking Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all?

And of course the mirror always replied Snow White.

For the rest of us, taking a hard look in the mirror means standing in front of our honest selves and taking some daily time for introspection.

As leaders we are always answering to others, but we must answer to ourselves first.

Make it a ritual to take some time to look hard in the mirror and see if you like the reflection.

Ask yourself these questions:

Are you proud?

Are you proud of who you see because you’re living the kind of life that reflects who you really are, or are you hiding from our own image because you don’t know how to project what’s inside you?

Are you self-aware?

Do you know what you want? Have you put effort into figuring out how to get it? Made a plan and worked toward it?

Are you managing?

Are you managing your emotions and the circumstances that come at you daily? Are you humble enough to admit that you don’t always have the solutions and that you sometimes need help? Remember, managing doesn’t mean you have to manage on your own.

Are you responsible?

Are you responsible for your flaws and accountable for your strengths? Life is a mix of good and bad, but the best you can do is be responsible for everything that happens to you so you can be accountable to yourself.

Are you struggling?

Are you struggling in your circumstances or stuck in your patterns? If so, what are you doing to stop the struggle? Are you seeking help if you need it? Struggle is a sign that things have to change. Will you take the leap?

Are you grateful?

Are you truly thankful for the things you have? Do you spend time acknowledging the small things while working toward what you think will fulfill you, while also being fulfilled in the present?

As you answer, be objective and don’t judge—try to think only in terms of whether your actions, thoughts, and speech reflect your character and represent who you really are.

You probably have someone to hold you accountable for your abilities to perform, to produce, to show results. But who is holding you accountable within yourself?

When the life you lead reflects your inward self, you can then truly lead others.

So after taking a long hard look in the mirror ask yourself:  Am I as I want to be?

Lead From Within: Reflect and decide whether or not you are the best example of what you would like to reflect for those who call you their leader.

[box]Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and customized leadership programs Connect with Lolly Daskal[/box]

© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.


Additional Reading:

Become The Leader Worth Following

How Does EGO Edge Greatness Out

Courage Is The Key To Fearless Leadership

Leadership: Challenging The Status Quo



Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. David Greer

    23. Sep, 2014

    Hi Lolly,

    I don’t use the mirror, but have two habits that create the same effect for me. I start the day seated cross legged with prayer, meditation, and journaling. It is interesting what shows up for me with this practice.

    I end the day seated cross legged too (gets me grounded) and more journaling, with at least five things I am grateful for in the day written down in my journal.

    These daily habits have, over time, proven to be fabulous tools for me to both gain insight about myself and to be grateful for the amazing abundance in my life.

    Thanks for your post which has reminded me why this is so important for me and my growth.



    Reply to this comment
  2. LaRae Quy

    23. Sep, 2014

    Clever post, Lolly!

    Too often, we don’t take the time to see how others see us…we have this inflated or distorted image of how we appear to the rest of the world.

    Often, we don’t give ourselves credit for all the things we do. We appear much larger in life than we do in the mirror.

    Other times, however, we see ourselves as doing all these amazing things, while others see us—well, not so great…

    Important thoughts, and thank you for sharing 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  3. Garren Fagaragan

    23. Sep, 2014

    Yes Lolly…I’ve found it hard to look in
    the mirror…very uncomfortable at times.

    Nonetheless…the reflections continue.

    Just yesterday… my life partner reflected
    an important unconscious mindset/behavior
    pattern I continue to perform.

    A wakeup call for me…and an opportunity
    for growth.

    This time…I humbled myself from a place of
    strength and chose growth.

    thank you for the great post Lolly…

    definitely worth reflecting upon. ~ smile ~

    Reply to this comment
  4. Panteli Tritchew

    23. Sep, 2014

    Hi Lolly,
    When we stand in front of a mirror, the image is accurate because reflected light follows the laws of physics. When we ask ourselves the kind of tough questions you provide in this insightful post, it is our inner light that determines the honesty of the reflection. We can’t alter the laws of physics, but we can choose truth or illusion.

    Reply to this comment
  5. sridhar laxman

    24. Sep, 2014

    Thank you for your wonderful post, it reminded me of a
    song by my childhood hero

    “ I’m starting with the man in the mirror
    I’m asking him to change his ways
    And no message could have been any clearer
    If you wanna make the world a better place
    Then take a look at yourself and make a change “
    ~ ‘Man in the mirror’ by the late, great Michael Jackson

    As a coach, I frequently challenge my clients to reflect and ask themselves, ‘What can I do to be as I want to be’ and more often than not, they find the answers.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Arturo

    28. Sep, 2014

    Their critical negative attitudes have caused them to miss
    much of the joy of married life. While this is true in every generation, since our time is quite toxic
    towards boys we need to be very careful about the influences
    and values being taught to them. This has been something the Eagles have
    done for years.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Miguel DIonis

    29. Sep, 2014

    Like a teacher It’s good do this exercise first of all ourselves and after with the students, specially with the teens

    Reply to this comment
  8. Lisa Murray

    01. Oct, 2014


    In a time where most of us run around “doing,” it has always been necessary for me to have time each day in simply “being.” Solitude is what allows me to listen inside, to create a compassionate, truthful dialogue with myself so that I can move through my day intentionally and authentically. Powerful reminder. Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Andre Monk Book

    02. Feb, 2015

    …yes, the Mirror lot of time not easy…

    Reply to this comment
  10. Linda Long

    22. Mar, 2015

    Type your comment here…

    Reply to this comment
  11. Linda Long

    22. Mar, 2015

    Good insights Lolly. I have found that trying to “…manage on your own.” can often lead to merely coping. Also. when I hear someone say, “I don’t care what others think.” my first thought is…they’re either lying to themselves or have no interest in developing and improving. Reflecting on where you are (what brought you there & where you want to go in the future) is a very valuable, vital tool for building a life that has meaning (for ourselves and those we love). Thank you.

    Reply to this comment
  12. sherrie

    14. Sep, 2015

    Mirror.. Mirror.. on the wall reflect the one I want to be… look deep into yourself and always find the beauty. There is ingredients in all of us. They give us our polished look. start the day with a deep look in the mirror and before walking away always remember to wear a smile it reflects the gem we all contain within. #love #yourself #youareforeveryou
    Appreciate this post.

    Reply to this comment
  13. VS

    21. Dec, 2015

    If we create good systems and people know what they seek to accomplish, leading oneself becomes the only assignment. Think driverless cars versus a flock of sheep. The latter have to be ‘led’ while the former is a ‘system’ that has to be assigned the destination.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Joel

    05. Apr, 2017

    “Are you truly thankful for the things you have? Do you spend time acknowledging the small things while working toward what you think will fulfill you, while also being fulfilled in the present?”

    In short, yes to most. I struggle to find a balance between the here and the tomorrow. All I can do is work at it, which I am and over time it is my hope that this will correct itself.

    Reply to this comment

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