“Story” has become a favorite word in our vocabulary. We use it in many contexts. We make up stories from the past, the present, or the future; it may be about what things should be, what they could be, or why they are or simply what we want them to be.
We have stories appear in our minds hundreds of times a day – we interact with people, colleagues, and family and often times strangers. We observe and our minds take off – when someone gets up without a word and walks out of the room, when someone doesn’t smile or doesn’t return a phone call, or when a stranger actually does smile; before you open an important letter; when your boss invites you to come to his office, or when a colleague talks to you in a certain tone of voice. Stories are the thoughts and made up theories that tell us what all these things mean – or so we think at least. It’s unconfirmed, made up, unproven. We often don’t even realize that they’re just theories as we act and mostly react upon them like they are true facts.
Small stories turn into bigger ones; bigger stories create major theories about life and people and their intentions and actions. We need to ask ourselves, “Who would I be without my story?” How much of your world is made up of unexamined stories? Ask yourself!
Behind every uncomfortable feeling, there’s a thought that isn’t true for us. We have a thought that argues with reality, we have a stressful, sometimes anxious feeling, and then we act on that feeling, creating more stress for ourselves. Rather than understand the original cause – a thought – we try to change our stressful feelings by looking outside ourselves. We try to change someone else, or we fool ourselves into thinking we have control – the illusion of temporary control.
Radical Self-Awareness will allow you to separate the thought – when you recognize that the thought isn’t true, that it’s only your ego speaking up.
Radical Self-Awareness isn’t a strategy to keep you away from your thoughts and real feelings. It is simply for you to acknowledge what they are, and for you to be less reactive. There’s no right, not wrong, not good or bad. One technique to slow yourself down is to ask yourself, “How do and will I react when I think that thought?” Inquiry and consciousness invite us into the awareness of internal debate, cause and effect.
We usually know the answer we may just not allow them to surface or acknowledge them. Ask yourself, for example: “Is it really true that everybody should value me?” “Is this thought that I’m telling myself really true?” “Do I really know what I am thinking is really true?” “What is my attachment to this thought really all about?” “What would be possible without this thought running through my head?” “What new opportunities could I create for myself and my company without this thought?” “How do I react when I think this thought?”
Get real with yourself. No Bull. Face your self-saboteurs.
You are the storyteller. You project. And you build your world around it. Through Radical Self-Awareness you will see more clearly from moment to moment, and it will allow you to let go of more and more unwise, reactive, self-absorbed, aggressive, or even fearful impulses – the realization that thoughts are just thoughts.
Radical Self-Awareness is probably the greatest catalyst for personal change.