As human beings, we like to know, to be sure and we don’t like uncertainty. Practicing being curious means we are willing to listen to our own way of making the world certain for us even if that certainty is painful at least it’s our pain. By following the same pattern, you are experiencing the same thoughts and feelings which bring the same results. Many people want different results and yet will keep doing the same thing over and over again thinking the results will be different. Here are the steps to take to break that cycle and get a better understanding about who you are:
1. Take a deep breath and ask yourself what am I feeling right now?
John takes a deep breath and he hears himself say: “It’s my project. I’m the one who did all the work. ” John remembers other projects with the same manager and with other managers where he felt the project was taken from him. John is feeling sad and angry.
2. Is this feeling familiar?
John admits to himself that the feelings are familiar.
3. Who or what does this situation remind me of?
John then remembers how his father criticized him as a child. He remembers how he could not wait to be a grown up so he could do projects the way he wanted.
4. If the feeling(s) are familiar what did you do back then?
John is aware the he is feeling just like he did when he was a child. He could feel himself getting angry and deciding he would just not let his father know what it was he wanted from him. Feeling disappointed and not meeting his father’s expectations was just too painful to experience.
5. What keeps happening over and over?
John becomes aware of his belief that it is the project that determines his self worth. He is more aware now that he keeps repeating the same pattern of identifying with the project and feeling the hurt and disappointment like he did when he was a child.
6. What am I going to do instead?
John decides for this project that he’s okay and that the project is not the determining factor for his value as a person. John realizes his manager is not his father.
Next week is Part III where I will present how practicing curiosity can lead to a 5 distinct levels of awareness and why that is important.