The Self Cycle
I like taking notice of the patterns of my thoughts. It’s not coincidence that my thoughts draw me towards experiences that reflect my thoughts. Which also means that what I think about , both consciously and subconsciously, shape my experiences. So why then would I ever entertain thoughts of fear and insecurity knowing that I would be manifesting experiences to reflect my worries? To answer this we need to first explore what shapes our thoughts. Our thoughts are a reflection of our beliefs and each and every one of us have numerous false beliefs that can sabotage our mindset. Our false beliefs usually reveal themselves through our biases and irrational choices. And our beliefs are mostly shaped by our life stories which in turn develop from the beliefs we form from our previous experiences… which are formed by our thoughts, which are formed by our beliefs. The cyclical nature of this is what forms our patterns of thought. It’s a challenging cycle to deconstruct and change. If we focus on awareness of our beliefs and ensuring they are aligned with truth and our core values then we can begin to re-architect our thoughts, including our thoughts about our past experiences.
Patterns of thoughts are reaffirming which then strengthens their hold on us. This reoccurrence becomes our comfort zone, even if it is a negative pattern, the familiarity of it feels comfortable. This is the nature of being human. The challenge is to both embrace being human and to develop the self awareness to grow beyond the limitations of our patterns. A big part of this is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable by challenging and mindfully choosing our beliefs. I would like to propose that there is nothing more important than developing our self awareness. The fact of the matter is that the only thing in the way of what we want in life is ourselves.
The affects of this are pervasive. The most challenging pattern I see with every company and leader I work with is the lack of recognition that the biggest thing in their way is themselves. Companies are made up of humans and it is our collective beliefs, thoughts and experiences that shape our ability to prosper. Smart leaders recognize this and invest in self awareness for themselves and their associates. There is no more powerful competitive advantage than self awareness. I dream of a world where kids are explicitly taught about self awareness both at home and at school. A world where companies explicitly invest in developing the self awareness of their leaders and associates. And my dream is more attainable that you might think. You do not need to be a leader to be a part of making this happen, you just need to begin to invest in your own self awareness and encourage others to do the same, it really is that simple.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” Gandhi