Have you ever had that experience of being completely astounded, shocked and dazed by what someone just said to you, something that makes you come back instantly with a spontaneous reply such as, “are you sure you really mean that?”
Most of us walk around with our heads full of the most bizarre beliefs about ourselves, mostly unconscious, often negative, only too many times self-limiting, and frequently seriously at odds with truth and reality. I once met someone, a middle class man born in England during World War 2 who admittedly had experienced a hard and disturbing upbringing, who actually claimed his suffering was worse than that of the enslaved prisoners of the concentration camps in Germany and Poland. “You can’t be serious,” was my shocked reaction. But he insisted, much to my incredulity.
Strangely enough we are all in danger of believing things about ourselves that are not true unless we make a point of listening carefully to ourselves on a regular basis, because much of our behaviour is unconscious. In other words, we function on autopilot a lot of the time. If we listened carefully, we’d realise at once what we were saying or believing just didn’t have the ring of truth.
Having unconscious beliefs and behaviour is all very well if your ‘default setting,’ as it were, is such that they support you, but all too often they sabotage your best efforts, and then it becomes a problem. That’s the main reason why we must make every effort to listen to ourselves carefully.
Let’s take the hypothetical example of someone trying to succeed in business to become wealthy. You can set goals and take appropriate action till the cows come home, but if you have an unconscious self-limiting belief that says, “I’m a failure,” or “I’ll never be successful,” you will never achieve that goal.
Your mind takes its instruction from your dominant thought and creates more of that. Now you might think your dominant thought is, “I’m going to become a millionaire,” when in fact, “I’m a failure,” is your dominant thought. Therefore instead of creating success and wealth for you, your mind creates more failure. If you have a history of failure, it’s useful to notice that because it’s an obvious clue that you have that belief.
If, like many of my clients, you are trying to work out what to do with your life, to take another example, the most reliable guide you’ll ever find is your own heart, which always knows what you need and what will make you happy. But your heart has a still, small voice which is easily drowned out by the tyranny of your conditioning, which kicks in when you mind tries to take over, as it always does. So if you want to hear what your heart is trying to say to you, sooner or later you must be still and silent, and listen…
There are many tools and techniques for dealing with this issue. The one I’m talking about today is cultivating the art of witnessing. Be silent and listen carefully for the guidance of your heart.
E-mail Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: www.daverobsoncoaching.co.uk
Dave’s book: www.thefivepillarsofhappiness.com
Dave’s blog: www.askdaverobson.wordpress.com