Maybe ten years ago there was an interesting film called ‘Wag the Dog’. The idea of the title is that if the tail is smarter than the dog then it will wag the dog, and not the other way around.
Well it’s incredible the degree to which we underestimate and limit our creative power through our sheer lack if self awareness. This is true both for our ability to create happiness in our lives as well as pain, and everything in between.
Just by thinking negatively about a situation we influence the way it unfolds. Conversely by thinking and focussing on positive feelings and thoughts we will contribute to the creation of a positive experience, not just for you but for everyone involved.
A simple example is when we approach a meeting expecting a conflict, or we’ll focus on the criticisms we have of the other people, or the judgements we imagine that they apply to us. Almost invariably this will result in some level of conflict. At the very least it will detract from the creative potential of the meeting. Whether these criticisms are true or not is not the point, unless you actually want to create conflict.
The thing is just to be mindful of what thought baggage we are really carrying with us. Just becoming aware of this will help to move it and will limit its influence over you and others.
The bottom line is this. Until you begin to know your mind, it will control you, rather than you controlling it. This is because until this time your mind knows you better than you do and it knows all the buttons to press to get what it wants. And what it wants is often very different from what you want. But once you start to get to know your mind you can get it to work for you rather than against you!
This is one of the greatest benefits of coaching and other techniques that cultivate self awareness, like meditation and some cognitive therapies. Through these practices we start to learn about the limiting beliefs and other aspects of our cognition that are hindering us without us even knowing it.
As the great oracle said: ‘know thy self’.