Some Essential Considerations
You become what you think and feel. Beliefs become reality.
A farmer and an anthropologist pass through the same terrain of undeveloped land. The farmer sees the soil and envisions growing crops. The anthropologist sees signs of an ancient civilization and reconstructs its history. Both are right. The data viewed validates each individual’s story.
Using beliefs and assumptions, you create your own personal story and the themes of that story. The plot that you create defines and orients you in the present and guides you toward the future. The stories you tell about your life becomes your life.
Similarly, internal beliefs determine perceptions, including how you select, register and process everything you encounter.
Scientists went to a lot of trouble to discover what mothers have always known about banishing closet monsters that a placebo generates the effect of the accompanying story. The inert pill is really a story of expectation, taking the form of a medicine to work its magic. The patient is also prescribed some expectations, and in the majority of cases, they manifest. The effect validates the power of story. The story generates a truth so powerful that it can even reverse the pharmacological effect of a real medicine. The placebo is a white lie, a fiction that creates a truth. Someone can even create an experience by anticipating it.
Your experiences are always consistent with your assumptions.
Change begins with the recognition that you are the author of your own story. People perceive and remember what fits into their personal plot–an internal model of oneself and the world. Beliefs and assumptions dictate what you look for, and attribute meaning. You always find or create that which validates those beliefs, and ignore, mistrust, disbelieve–or more likely don’t notice–anything that doesn’t fit into that pattern.
People see what they look for. And what they look for that which appears on the radar screen–is determined by belief and assumption.
Such influential beliefs must be fully and consciously known in order to revise the ones that don’t work, and to create new ones for personal and career growth. When you stop telling yourself all the things you should say and cease listening for what you ought to hear, you can begin to more fully craft your own story.
Half of the struggle is becoming tired of that old story: the one with too many work hours, constant themes of pressure at work, shortness of time, or personal neglect because of caretaking others. Or insisting on being in love with who you hope someone will become, rather than who they are.
4 BASIC INQUIRIES FOR STORYLINE EVALUATION
The best way to escape an ongoing problem is not to create it.
Recognizing constraint and limitation, coupled with the desire to change, may give rise to the question, “How do I get out of the story?” The question assumes the story is there, a given in the universe. The story (the proverbial “box” of the familiar and accepted) becomes the obstacle, yet it is not there until created. To recognize yourself as the author–the creator of the story–challenges an assumed model, usually your own. The question may then become “How do I create something else instead?”
If you want to change your life, first change your mind.
The first step of change involves determining where you are now, deciding where you want to go, and figuring out how to get there. Creating a plan and plotting a course allows you to stay on track, recognize and avoid detours and tangents, and move more effectively toward goals. Without a plan, you can’t know where you are, and cannot strategize to get to where you want to go. If you don’t know where you want to go (a goal), you can’t figure out how to get there. Once you create a plan, be loyal to it.
People are always free to change their minds, always free to change beliefs and core assumptions.
A new story must contain the desired storylines. To stop doing something is not complete change — a new story incorporates new behavior and beliefs. You have to embody — actually live this story you want. Abstaining from an old story–such as excessive drinking or eating–is a beginning. But you have to have a new story to be in before you can give up an old story.