top of page
  • Jonn Kares

Why the Reverse Selfie is Good for Your Self-Identity

Before everybody had digital cameras being carried around with them in their smartphones everywhere they go, you used to be able to tell the tourists from everybody else because they all had cameras hanging from around their necks. At popular tourist sites you couldn't see the faces of those tourists with their eyes pressed up tight against their camera viewfinders. We used to joke they were substituting their experience of "being there" with looking at the pictures later when they got home because they were so busy having the view blocked by their cameras.

Today of course at these same popular photo-opp destinations the tourists are still not seeing in real-time what they are visiting. All you see now is a crowd of outstretched arms of people with their backs turned to the vista taking selfies of themselves. And instead of having to wait for the film to be developed when they get back home, the ignoring of the famous view they are standing in front of continues with the immediate gratification of getting likes from heads bent down focused on posting their pics to social media.

So what was the point of taking the trouble to travel to that place? To prove to yourself and others you had been there.

What a reverse selfie looks like
One of my favorite reverse selfies. I know I was there. Here's the proof.

Selfies – Am I Really Here?

Looking at a selfie you have taken provides a kind of confirmation of your existence. Yes you are really here (make that WERE actually THERE). But that's the you from the outside, and that's not where you really live, the place where your feelings are, the place inside the world of your thoughts, the place of your own immediate felt experience of existing right now. The selfie is all about superficial externals, how you look to others, which can never be the same vista seen from the unique inside experience of being you. Personal strength‑building happens over time inside you, not from instant gratification from the outside world.

Defining your self-identity by how you look to others can lead to much angst, dismay, and misfortune because what others see is not necessarily what you see yourself as. Basing decisions about what's important to you on what you think other people want disconnects you from what YOU want. The way you are choosing to feel, in this moment right now, choosing from what's really most true for you, is a much better guide for self-directed Self-Leadership than the way you look to others in a selfie.

Self-Identity is Not What You See in the Mirror

Defining yourself by what you think others see in the mirror or in a selfie or in a photograph is letting something outside of you shape your future, and separates you from your internal self-defining, self-identity creating mechanism of what it feels like to be you, something only you can know. Something only you are in charge of creating.

Like snowflakes, no one feels exactly the same way you do. Because no one thinks exactly the same way you do.

What another reverse selfie looks like
Another of my favorite "I was there" reverse selfies

Authenticity in the Selfie Universe

Defining yourself by how you think other people view you is no way to be authentic. That kind of self-definition can only ever be just a pale reproduction of somebody else's idea.

Being the author and captain of your life is the essence of Self-Identity creation. It comes from the inside out, not the outside in. Doing so immediately erases any inspiration for self-doubt. Your self-identity is perfectly clear to you with no confusion because it is you who has cooked it up, right in your own kitchen, with you being the only chef.

Other people are always going to be having ideas about you that are at odds with how you understand and have created yourself to be. Being authentic means standing up for your right to define yourself by what you know to be true for you who you think you are, who you are creating yourself to be.

And the world is aching to know what you have decided that is. It's difficult for the Universe to make room for it, though, when your authentic expression of who you are is muddied by what you think other people are seeing. Besides, other people's perception of you can never be any of part of your business, because it is truly impossible to see through someone else's eyes. What you think they are seeing can only ever be just a figment of your own imagination.

Self-Leadership is defined by the Self-Identity you create

It's that person in your mind's eye, the person who you think you are, that prioritizes what's most important to you, and what you choose to have showing up more in your life by the focused attention it correspondingly gets. Either you take charge of creating your Self-Identity, or you are by default letting someone else do it for you. Relying on selfies to guide you is giving up that Self-Leadership responsibility. And you end being a person stumbling around in an adopted life not really yours.

Try capturing your "being there" memories with Reverse Selfies

Instead of being influenced by what you think the "other person's perspective" selfie is telling you about who you are, take pictures as you look outward of what YOU are actually seeing in that moment. When you look back at those pictures you will be reminded of your feeling experience of having been there as the person who YOU thought you were in that moment, with your hands now still firmly on the levers of fresh choice-making, from the inside out, about who YOU, not somebody else, want to be experiencing yourself as next.

bottom of page