Part of counseling is to help folks to understand self, and to fully accept self, the good and the bad.
Are you an “inner compass” person or an “outer compass” person?
In other words....
1. Do you tend to make decisions or take actions based on your own inner feelings, principles/values (inner compass) OR
2. Do you tend to make decisions or take actions based on the feelings, principles/values of others (outer compass)?
Each has its pros and cons.
The “outer compass” folks are great at trying to create outer harmony by pleasing others, making them happy, being pragmatic, trying to fit in, but if gone too far, they can “lose themselves” in the process. It can create a lot of inner disharmony and unhappiness. Some may refer to this “moral injury” in some context perhaps.
The “inner compass” folks are very good at knowing who they are, and living life true to who they are. However, if not careful, it can create a lot of friction for them if the outer compass is too different to the inner compass, leading to maladaptation.
In counseling, we often see the extreme outer compass folks, and the extreme inner compass folks. Outer compass folks have to learn to be a bit more inner compass, and the inner compass folks have to learn to be a bit more outer compass perhaps, in order to adapt better.
Which one are you bias towards? The inner compass or the outer compass?
Have you gone from one extreme to the other? Have you ever been able to find that elusive sweet spot, in order to balance your inner and outer compass?
This self-awareness is very critical for our self-care too, as a health professional.