Rule 4: Confused People Limit Themselves
Confused People argue for their limitations.
The Phoenix Perspective:
we define ourselves. Choosing positive definitions makes sense.
Nothing is more important than how we define ourselves. We are exactly as we define ourselves. Our definitions dictate our actions, our thoughts, our ways of being. Internally, and in the world.
For example, we may be self-critical. We may tell ourselves how we are continually making a mess of things. And then we are amazed to discover that we keep making the same mistakes, again and again.
Or we may decide that something feels good, but decide that we have a rule that it shouldn’t. We do what feels good, then give ourselves grief for enjoying what we “shouldn’t.”
You need to take a good look at how you define yourself. You need to become conscious of your internal self-talk. Also, you need to get really good at listening to what comes out of your mouth. Often, the things that we blurt out (and immediately retract by saying, “I really didn’t mean that!”), are our true perceptions of ourselves. We are exactly what we tell ourselves (and tell others) we are.
In a sense, when our self-talk is negative, we are arguing for our limitations. Our sub-conscious mind assumes that what we are telling ourselves is true. In other words, the sub-conscious mind cannot differentiate between negative self-talk and the truth. It assumes that what we tell ourselves is reality. What we did becomes who we are.
So, who are we? The Phoenix Perspective: we are who we wholly are, not simply the sum of our failures or our negative projections. The way out is to remember that we are people in process. We are learning how to be fully human. We will not get it right all the time, but we will never get it right if we do not begin to work on how we see and describe ourselves to ourselves. We need to work on the only life we have any influence over. Ours.
We begin that process by refusing to leave a negative thought alone. We must learn to immediately correct what we say and think. This is the beginning of being present. The beginning of noticing. The beginning of describing ourselves as we are becoming, not as we have negatively described ourselves in the past.
Your fourth exercise: Most people try to do things differently by thinking about it – understanding with their mind, as opposed to making actual changes in behaviour. Why not make it a project? Correct your language for a week. See what happens.