In 1987, in a Landmark Forum, there was an exercise to drive this deep seated judgment about yourself to the surface. To make the invisible visible.
The question was: Who are you that you are?
I raised my hand and I was called on. I started to ramble about fear of commitment, wanting to remain a student all my life...
The Forum Leader said: Oh, you are a failure!
I set down and didn't hear another word for the rest of the session.
Today, 31 years later, I muscle tested the truth value of that "failure" thing, and it was "almost true"... but not quite.
And that can be really closely tracked in my life: I will disappoint, especially myself.
I set my sights high, and I produce high, but not quite.
Bottom line: I am afraid to go public, because I am sure I'll disappoint. You, me, everyone.
It's the only thing that still needs to be managed, day after day, or I'll go depressed, and want to die.
I am that I'll disappoint you. Ugh... -->Click to read footnote 1
Now, in this article I didn't want to talk about me, I wanted to talk about that simple statement that is killing your life.
For one: you need to get clear on what it is.
Because unless you do, you'll be wholly and fully controlled by it. Really.
I could tell you it's a belief, but it is not...
Beliefs are weak constructs. Or more precisely: there is no such thing as a belief. What you call belief is way higher than the seed level... and is scarcely is ever influencing your actions.
Just look at your chart... You believe your self smart, better than others, and yet you are hesitant if not fearful to do anything new that would prove that you are smart or better than others.
What is directing your action is deeper than the so-called belief.
So if we looked at all the things you think about yourself as a dart board, the linchpin belief would be the bull's eye, and the rest of the board would be filled with all the rest...
If you are fixated on the bull's eye, you'll be fearful to do the things that take care of you on the long run, that would make your life worth living.
I was told by my parents that I was stupid, but even though I heard them, it was noise. I knew what I could do... but because all they could see is this stupid girl, I felt that I was a disappointment. Once and for all.
But that also gave me freedom: they never really expected me to succeed, do well, so they neglected me. And I could do what I wanted, which is learn, experiment, excel, without being disturbed, praised, or any of the parent-child nonsense.
I was able to hear my innate desire to be the best I could be. Even though the pain of being a disappointment was nearly unbearable.
I don't remember ever feeling loved, appreciated, valued, supported. I was alone.
But I was a high achiever.
My problems began in earnest when I started to work for money. I transferred my parents' disappointment in me to my employers, co-workers, and I didn't do well as an employee.
I started to blossom when I finally left employment, and worked for myself.
But one-on-one coaching still brings back the relationship of "I will disappoint you."
So this will never end. But it can be managed.
My job is to do the best I can do, and get better... Make my best I can do grow. In leaps and bounds.
Keep my attention on growing, instead of the feedback.
Until you manage on focusing on something other than your ultimate issue, your "case", no coaching will really do much good.
In some cases finding what lights you up, an activity you enjoy and you are good at, is going to turn your life around. Because it will successfully and effectively take your focus off your bull's eye.
The Juice Exercise is a very effective way to find that activity...
The Juice Exercise is an hour long conversation, one-on-one, to dig deep down.
When it is not successful, the reason is always the hiding ultimate issue.
It is something that the person is trying to hide... but hiding it will make it stronger.
- One client I had the Juice Exercise with, turned out much later, was hiding that who he was that he was is disgusting. He decided it at age three... That is the age where most of these ultimate pivoting points are decided.
- Another client decided that she wasn't safe.
- Yet another client decided that they cannot trust themselves.
- Another decide that they are powerless...
That "who you are that you are", when it is not managed, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You stare at it, and you'll wind up arriving to it... again and again.
Managing yourself is to see that it's there, that what is predictable is that you'll end up proving it true... but instead of stopping there, you look at the escape route... where you know you can succeed. Or you can remain in momentum.
It's not easy, but even if you only succeed half of the time, your life won't be that predictable, that miserable, that underachiever.
You are already doing the escape route, but your escape is unproductive.
You go to activities that bring you temporary relief, instead going to activities with a different focus.
So how do you know that the core issue is stalking you? You are afraid.
As I am writing this article, I am very afraid. My breathing in shallow, my shoulders are tight, my chest is tight... and I have to take frequent breaks as I am writing it.
I am afraid that I will disappoint you, because I am not sure if I am clear enough, but more importantly, I am not sure if this article is accurate enough.
So what is my alternate focus? every writing is re-writing. There... and this: It is hard to be silently brilliant, lots of thoughts occur when you open your mouth.
And once it is out, you can re-say it differently, you can look at it, you can re-write it, you can test it, and refine it, correct it, adjust it... you can massage it, tweak it... and eventually it will be good... I am sure of it.
Now it is out in the open, and I can hit publish and take what I get.
I can take it.
I am not a Bible person, but this quote makes me thing. When you give too much importance to what others like you think of you, then you are abandoning the real values, the intrinsic values, the extrinsic values, and you render yourself a slave to society, to other people and their opinion of you.
Which means, you are out of integrity, because being true to yourself is being true to the Origina Design, your god-nature.
You live on the horizontal plane, plagued with fears, uncertainties, and fleeting pleasures.
This article hints on how to have a choice... because at present you probably have none.
- Later that same year I got clear that that is who I was, stripped away everything.↩