A lot of years ago, one of my then business partners and I, attended a weekend workshop packed with great tools and information on increasing self-awareness. I was glad I went. One of the things that stuck with me was a little activity designed to demonstrate the unlimited creativity of the human mind.
I won’t go into detail here because a written description couldn’t do it justice. While words may explain the mechanics of the activity, they cannot produce the muscle memory of the doing or the blueprint for future learning and discovery. The lessons it taught were layered and some were not immediately apparent. More lessons have appeared over the years in sudden bursts of clarity without directly thinking of the event. Some things increase in value when they are discovered during reflection.
This activity is very powerful and we’ll be using it in our BullySelf workshops. For that reason, this will have to wait. I don’t want to steal my own thunder so to speak. More than a hundred participants learned a great deal that afternoon. Mainly they learned about tapping the unlimited creativity of their previously limited minds.
Your mind is a creative masterpiece, a genius-mill inside your head, waiting for its chance to grind! There is literally NO LIMIT to the creativity of the human mind. It is capable of producing impossible solutions, righting every wrong, overcoming any difficulty, solving any problem, even the ones we can’t see yet.
The mind can see both sides, understand any perspective, consider eternal options and put man into space. It can create art, junk, poetry, and pastries. It envisions medical and technical advances that propel the world. And yet we all hit a point where we become stagnant and bored, listless and ho-hum.
This mind of ours is so powerful that science still cannot fully comprehend its boundaries. It’s like its own unlimited universe, comprised of human cells and electrical impulses. We have no limits. We can block out pain, use tools, anticipate danger, recall memories, and memorize words, sounds, faces, and feelings. I’ll stop here because there is a limit to what I can put in a post.
Ohp! There it was… caught in a lie (well, sort of)… did you see it?
It seems there IS a limit to the mind and what it is capable of.
The limits of the mind …It brings a feeling of melancholy, water on my flames, as I remember these boundaries, these limit(s)… My limits. …limits which I fight for and defend. Maybe you have discovered the limits of your own mind; but in my mind, my own brain-turf and battlefield of my life, the limit of my mind is me.
The limit of MY mind is ME!!
I feel the energy draining from me as I ponder this painfully amazing revelation. “The limit of my mind is me”. The LIMIT of MY mind is ME?!?!? Really, I mean ME!?!! The guy who has the big dreams, the long life ahead, the bright future, perfect family, the thriving business? The guy who makes a difference in the world and the lives of people. The guy who had it all figured out but has somehow drifted, missed a mark or two? That guy? The one who ended up here… with… me?
How could I get here? With all this talk, nay, proof that the mind is powerful beyond belief, how have I missed out? How has my life strayed so far off course? This has turned out nothing like I planned.
Is MY mind deficient? That’s it!! …When God was passing out brains, I thought he said “trains” and I didn’t want to go anywhere!!
We think we are somehow less than others. We begin to believe it. We start to feel like we aren’t as good. Sometimes this belief is verified by our lack of skill in a certain area. Like sports, music, math, art…
Pretty soon, if we’ve embarrassed ourselves enough times, or made a fool of ourselves in front of our peers, we admit defeat and stop trying. We distance ourselves from either the task or the group or both. We isolate ourselves inside our heads.
But too often, we don’t go there to rebuild our courage. We don’t go inside that magnificent mind and patch ourselves up. No, too often, we begin to think our low thoughts, belittle and berate ourselves. We awaken the BullySelf.
“I’m not as smart as ____.” …”I’ve never been able to ____.” …”She’s had better training.” …”His dad had money so he was able to ____.” …”She’s always had the movie star looks.” …”I have two left feet.”
If we stay with this line of thinking, we form the habit of believing the lies of the BullySelf. Once we form this habit, it’s easier to return to this place the next time we find ourselves slightly lacking in some area. We continue, over and over again, strengthening the BullySelf opinion, whether it’s real or perceived, important or insignificant, until we snuff out the desire to ever try again.
It can happen in a few minutes or span time and distance. It is always easier to believe we are less than our truth. Most of us DO NOT hold ourselves up as a standard. We’ve bit the dust too many times. We begin to think that everyone we meet has the same knowledge and recollection of us and our failures as we have. We feel like an imposter, a fraud. To attempt again would only bring mockery and derision. Who wants that?
As we hide from our failures and mask our weaknesses, we believe all the lies we tell ourselves. Soon, we aren’t sure we know who we are. We no longer believe in ourselves. We lose our creativity, probably even more.
Next post, we’ll get out of this funk and talk about some things we can do to awaken our creativity. It’s not gone, silly, it’s fully intact and ready to explode from the confines you have placed on it. We’ll establish some boundaries to contain our limiting thoughts. Let’s give them the proper place in our mental state. Our newfound creativity will help us see how we can stifle the BullySelf and make him eat his own foul words.