The Iceberg Principle: What's Below the Surface
- Written by John Sovec
When an iceberg is floating free in the ocean only a small part of the whole is actually visible. Perhaps ten percent of the iceberg is discernible above the water line, while the rest is hidden below the surface in the depths of the ocean. Think about that, ninety percent of the iceberg is invisible.
There is a very similar phenomenon that occurs with people, many of whom walk through life and only share a small part of who they are. They present a visible surface image that is only a small part of the whole. This image is composed of the aspects of self that they feel safe showing to the world, usually the aspects that receive positive feedback and are viewed as safe and neutral. And so they share only ten percent of themselves.
Underneath this placid surface. thought, is a collection of deeper feelings, beliefs, and ideals that they are not as comfortable revealing to the world. These are the aspects of self that are rarely revealed and only with the closest of friends and family.
Hiding ninety percent of yourself from the world may be a way of playing it safe but it also limits your ability to fully experience your life. Think of how many times you have stopped yourself from expressing ideas or feelings that are important to you all because you were worried what someone else might think. It was safer to hide your true feelings or ideas beneath the surface then to chance rejection
So how do you alter the balance of openness in favor of sharing your deeper self and experiencing how satisfying relationships can become when all of you is present? One method is to begin revealing small facets of your deeper self to a trusted friend. Choose a person who has been supportive in the past and makes you feel secure when sharing. In practicing being vulnerable with this safe person, you will be able to experience the positive results of sharing the other ninety percent of who you are.
So next time you are drinking lemonade or another frosty beverage and you see those ice cubes floating around think about the icebergs. Take a chance and dive beneath the surface to share yourself with the world.