Well, by now, you should be able to see the fruits of your thinking in the life and circumstances that surround you. You may also be starting to recognize the self-bullying thoughts that impede your progress.
Have you tried using mindfulness to identify these specific thoughts and/or emotions yet? I recommend it. I’m finding that when I become aware of specific thinking habits, they start to look ridiculous to me. I can quickly think in another direction and I’m able to push some of them out of my mind. This is minimizing the potency of my BullySelf.
Where are you headed? Are you moving onward and upward or are you spiraling in for another crash?
Sometimes, we can push past a brief encounter with our own self-doubt. Some thoughts of our limits are actually short-lived and have such a small emotional footprint that we easily step around or over them without a second thought.
This, of course, became a curiosity for me. Why is it sometimes so easy, to press on to completion, without much interference from the BullySelf? While at other times, my own bully thoughts and feelings of inadequacy, guilt and non-worthiness, coupled with my chronic under-education, lackadaisical approach and crippling inabilities, hinder me at every turn.
I’m finding that when it does occur, there are several reasons and combinations of reasons that influence my ACTIONS enabling me to push past the little moments of doubt, before they awaken that Bully. (I want to elaborate on these in a coming post).
Last post though, I promised you I’d tell you about “S.T.A.R.T.”ing.
S.T.A.R.T. is an acronym we’ve been using around here when we discuss our own bully troubles. It refers to our ability, as humans, to STOP, EVALUATE and CONSIDER our reactions, thoughts and emotions. Notice… reactions (DO), thoughts (THINK) , emotions (FEEL)… it’s just “THINK, DO, FEEL” in a different order…
…. I’m sure you can see the cyclical rotation and how each one of the words continually influences the other, no matter which direction the cycle turns!
S.T.A.R.T. stands for: Seeing The Alternative Response Trajectory.
In other words, seeing where a different choice could take me. Where could I be if I made new, better, different choices? The Bully in my brain makes me think I have no choice. My BullySelf doesn’t want to face the pain, fear, sorrow, embarrassment or failure of where a different choice may take me.
As soon as a situation arises that involves a new direction, or circumstance, The BullySelf goes into immediate reaction mode and pushes us into the paths of our well-practiced habits. Habits are safe. Habits always take you to where you have already been. We don’t stop to think about it, we just DO it.
We humans, it seems … possess the ability to pause … and consider our responses … BEFORE we react to them … BEFORE!?! … HELLO!?! … BEFORE!! …Earth shattering news contained here!! We ALL have the ability to PAUSE and CONSIDER our responses, to whatever situation or circumstance we encounter.
BEFORE we respond to ANYTHING, we have the wherewithal to consider options and possibilities, … PRIOR TO giving our responses … to everything. We do NOT have to be prisoners of our BullySelf habits.
Do you have ANY idea what this means?!?!? (…I pause here … to let the gravity of the question sink in …)
This means, we don’t have to take anything we hear from the bully inside of us at face value. We can hear it, examine it and reject it if it doesn’t fit the ME I’m trying to become!
It means, we don’t have to listen to mean-spirited, debasing comments from friends, family, enemies or acquaintances! We can hear it, dissect it and put it away if it diminishes us in any way.
Now, we know better. When we begin to feel anxious, guilty, unworthy, sad, mad or scared, we simply have to take a step back to study the thought, comment, or situation and refocus where we want to go with it!
All this time, we’ve led ourselves to believe that our very first prickling of a thought or feeling that comes from whatever stimulus we receive is the gospel …the righteousness. We get angry, offended, mad, critical, and hateful or any number of harmful reactions, because we feel “justified”… “This is how I am.”… “This is how I’ve always been.” … “It’s always going to be this way when someone does _____!”
More on this very important subject in coming posts but suffice it for now to recognize and ADMIT it folks, we ALL have the power to pause before we react. And once we have learned to harness it (even a little bit), that giant pause can bring us phenomenal growth in a very short time.
Once we have learned to pause …and THINK …after a stimulation or an agitation, we will be more composed in our FEELings and more accurately metered in our DOing. After we have developed some capacity for the pause, we are ready to move on to the next step.
This next step is… to learn the art of the pause. Though you are not yet an expert, mastering the art of the pause will fill you with tremendous power. With the pause in place, you can consider your reaction-options before you make your reaction. This is done in the context of deliberate consideration of the influence your chosen reaction(s) will have on your future life.
Measuring and projecting the impact of your reaction-options on future outcomes, opens the door to creation of the future. The difference is, it’s now a future YOU have designed, with everything in its place.
Believe me when I tell you… this very same process is how you ended up in your current personal state, (minus the pause and the unlimited control it gives you). Up until now, you have given up control of your reactions to the BullySelf. Instead of pausing to consider where you are going, you had knee jerk reactions to your circumstances, with no planning or metered forethought of your future.
You’re where you are because of it. To get out of the old and into the new… pause …recognize your thoughts … look at a different option … look ahead with a choice in mind and then, visualize.
Practice! You have the tools you need, you just need to S.T.A.R.T.! …And the next time your BullySelf shows up in your thoughts, maybe you could S.T.A.R.T. to rethink him!