I had a bit of an ‘aha’ this week when I realised how much I approach things having already decided how they’re going to go. It was a bit of a shock, I can tell you, because I pride myself on being a glass-half-full kinda gal.
This revelation showed itself through a course I’m on at the moment about Happiness. When I was about 12 I decided that people didn’t get me. It stuck, but with lots of training and personal development I thought I’d made peace with this particular old chestnut ….. but noooo.
Could this be, I wondered, why I find it hard to get my fabulous program Future Self Now out to a wider audience?! If I’ve already decided in advance that people don’t get me, how can it possibly be allowed to fly?
I love it when we name things. It’s like using flourescent light to reveal fingerprints. Clues are revealed! I’m not going to be able to turn this thing about being ‘got’ on its head overnight but I can be more concious of it. I can catch myself in the act and when I do that, it’s no longer running me.
Have a look at this for yourself. Think of something that is important to you and then write down what you might have already decided about how it’s going to go, before it’s been given a chance to unfold. For instance – you might be going to a meeting tomorrow. Have you already decided that the others there will be hostile or, perhaps, apathetic? Have you already decided that they won’t take you seriously? Who would you be if you didn’t go in with this expectation? Open, light-hearted, confident? How might this affect others around you?
When you start to think about this, you’ll see that there are all sorts of assumptions that we make about our day. “Washing up is boring!” “Fred will be ineffective”, “Tomorrow will be busy and tiring”. Try and catch these as much as possible and ask yourself, “Is that necessarily so? How could I approach this in a whole new way?”
I have a friend who tries to change her routine as much as possible – drying herself after a shower in a different way, putting things in different cupboards in her kitchen to keep herself guessing, even hiding her shoes. I can see now why she does it. So much of our lives can be automatic and when it’s like that we lose the ability to be fresh, alert, present and alive.