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Discover Yourself

Updated: Jun 12, 2019

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Have you ever seen your reflection in a window or in a mirror across a room, and for a moment you didn’t recognize yourself?

As infants, we don’t connect our own little face in the mirror to ourselves. We still think the face in the mirror belongs to someone else.

(This phenomenon normally happens to grown-ups only in the bathroom mirror the morning after a real hangover!)

Babies smile and laugh at their reflection and seem to have fun with it. Looking in a mirror becomes a favorite pastime. In fact, if you need some adventure for your baby? Install the car mirror in front of them! It will bring great enjoyment, at least for the next hour or so.

Babies Don’t “See” Their Reflections

But even though babies delight in “playing” with the reflection in the mirror, until about 18 months of age, babies do not realize it’s themselves they see in the mirror! They expect it to be someone else, and they enjoy the company of the “other person” smiling back, laughing, cuddling, and doing funny things. This is natural since even as babies, we are just social beings.

So, when does self-recognition start?

Researchers have studied this, and learned facial recognition as in “that’s me!” happens around the same age in most babies. To determine when babies first recognize their face as their own, the Mirror Test is used.

Sometimes called the Mark test or mirror self-recognition test MSR, this was developed by Gordon Gallup Jr. and originally set up for animals! The version for human beings is called the “Rouge Test.”

To determine if a child recognizes their own face or still thinks the reflection is a friendly (and remarkably similar looking) cute baby, the researcher uses rouge make up and places a dot on a child’s face.

Before 18 months of age, children seem to see only the social playmate in the mirror and have fun with them. After 18 months, most children try to wipe the dot from their nose, realizing it is them! This is a huge and exciting discovery!

Becoming Self-Aware is a Life Long Journey

Becoming self-aware requires the understanding that you are a separate physical being with your own thoughts and feelings.

Self-awareness per definition is the ability to recognize oneself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals.

It has to go hand in hand with consciousness, which is the state or quality of awareness.

It is a learning process and also one of our most sophisticated, uniquely human qualities! With consciousness and awareness, we start knowing and understanding our own character, feelings, motives, and desires.

But this “learning” is not just for babies! In fact, it is a lifelong process, because motives and desires change. Through different stages of life, we have different issues to deal with. But consciousness is the first milestone on the journey! If you are conscious about something you cannot ignore it and you are able to deal with it (and also - with the right strategy - get rid of it if it doesn’t serve you).

Want to know more about yourself, to learn and develop, to continue the journey you started when you were a small child discovering your own face in the mirror? Join us at our Kaleidoscope Retreats! Let’s dive deep and use cool tools and methodology to discover what needs to be discovered. Take ownership of your life – because YOU matter.

(Unless you still have the red rouge dot on your nose and are able to read this on your own, then - seriously - we need to talk!! ☺)

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