If we are able to do anything then we are only as able as we believe. The challenge is our projections. This is the inner turmoil, our thinking, the self-talk and the subconscious bias, which we tend to project in ways that stem from doubt or assumptions.
For example, we tend to create narratives of upcoming events. We mentally set the stage and systematically predict that there will be problems ahead; therefore, we behave on behalf of or in response to our assumed projections.
It’s not always so bad. Life, I mean.
Not everything will fall apart. Things do work; however, if we respond to everything with catastrophizing ideas or addict ourselves to tragic thinking and expect the worst, then get ready because the worst is certainly possible.
For the record, I reject the notion of “Unconscious bias.” However I do subscribe to the records of our subconscious programming which leads us to “Unconscious” behaviors that we are not consciously aware of. However, I say unconscious because we are unaware but I reject the notion of the bias itself being unconscious because our biases are programmed.
Kindly regard this as my point of view. This is by no means an offering to debate others who discuss Unconscious Bias but instead, I report this is a set of emotional and intellectual guidelines that have helped me improve my understanding of self and interpersonal interaction.
Put simply, I choose to view my programming this way and rather than be disruptive or a “Disruptor,” I choose my level of thinking because this helped me understand my thinking, reactions, my behavior, and of course, this has led to a better level of my personal awareness, which is why I offer this here.
Once I learned to negotiate my thinking and work around my obstacles, I created opportunities. I was able to improve my relationships because my thinking improved; therefore, my feelings improved and I was not afraid or insecure.
We have thinking patterns in the mind that exist beneath the layer of cognizance. For example, much of my routine and habitual behaviors were set in place as a result of past experiences, which is simply my brain trying to navigate without difficulty and keep me safe and aware of old harms.
As I see it and as it has been explained to me many times, our mind is a detailed record of our past experiences. These details are kept like files and our thoughts connect to our old data, experiences and memories, which by the way, memory is often a liar.
Memory has the ability to be shaded by emotions and can either be exaggerated or changed, depending upon our emotional content or investment.
Thus, our perception of an incident becomes an alteration of truth, which is no longer true per se, but instead, our perception is only true to us.
The mind can leave us as the victim, the villain, or we can choose to see ourselves as our own hero and rewrite the narrative as our own best friend.
Now, getting back to the ideas of our assumptions, projections and our resulting behaviors that lead to our demise or success; we find ourselves at the mercy of our target biases. This means we aim towards what we see for ourselves; hence, these are the dangers of projections.
How many times have you assumed the worst? How many times did you expect someone to start an argument? In our preparation for this, we were already predisposed and pre-wired for the dilemma to come.
Now, consider a moment of fear. Think about the way someone hides and jumps out to scare you. The body rises to the occasion. The adrenaline pumps. But even after the moment of fear subsides, there is an aftershock because the body has just experienced a chemical reaction.
Our emotions are flooded. Survival mode has clicked on. Suddenly, the clear pool in our mind was disrupted and the clear waters became murky. This takes time to settle down but we can’t settle down if we continue to disrupt ourselves.
Perhaps of all things I work to overcome on a daily basis, improving my thinking has been both the most difficult and rewarding task of all times.
And as for assuming the worst . . .
This is what happens when we project. This is what happens when we allow our assumptions to take control and create vivid pictures and movies in our mind. Because in the end, the finished product is frequently different from what we expected.
However, if we keep pushing an assumed agenda and if we continue to stir the waters, the murkiness of our irrational thinking will never allow the waters to settle and thus, the pool will never clear.
It is certainly possible to think ourselves into becoming sick. Our projections and our assumptions can run the risk of challenging our hopes, wants and dreams. As a result, this triggers our fears and worries of disappointments that daisy chain all the way back to our inner core and connects us to our ideas of self judgment and rejection. This is all subconscious and all below the layer of our conscious mind.
I can remember my very first presentation in front of a large audience. I was petrified. I was stricken with anxiety attacks. My nerves were frayed like the end of a tattered old rope.
I tried to plan my thoughts and my speech but in my head, I kept losing my place. I kept stuttering both emotionally and verbally.
I worked myself up into such high anxiety that I assumed I was going to fail. I assumed the worst. I planned on failing. No one was going to like me.
No one was going to care. I was going to humiliate myself but worse, I was going to publicly embarrass myself, which triggered old fears of being exposed in public and laughed at.
Where does this come from?
Well, one could say that this started in my childhood and worked its way up.
After years of personal research and inventory, I learned the conditions of my subconscious traps and cognitive biases. After years of wellbeing practices, mindfulness and introspection, discovery and growth; I was able to trace these fears down to my past experiences with public shame and rejection. And I was able to fix this. I was able to learn methods of disconnecting from old thoughts and creating new pathways of thinking.
Since I was overly critical of myself and rejected of me as a person and since I viewed myself as awkward and imperfect, naturally, I assumed everyone else would see me the same way, which was flawed.
Therefore, my target bias caused me to focus on the elements of rejection and failure. This was my programming.
In the case of my first real presentation, I was last on the dais. The people speaking before me had titles and several letters of description after their names. And all I had was me. All I had was how I saw myself, which at the time was petrified and inexperienced.
I was too afraid to fit the role that I was given after a performance during a recovery initiative. The intuitive itself was covered by the local news and perhaps this might have been my first time ever being mentioned in the newspaper for something this important. The initiative was designed to help people receive treatment for substance abuse.
I did well here.
I was asked to speak and share my experience. But in my mind, who would listen to me? What could I possibly have to say that would change the way people view mental illness?
I struggled with the ideas of imposter syndrome; expecting that at any minute, I would be exposed as a fraud and that I would be humiliated off the stage.
Would you like to know what happened when I spoke?
I spoke honestly and openly and from the heart. I decided to move away from my emotional directives. Instead, I allowed myself the humble passion to say my share and give my all.
I was offered a microphone but turned it down. Rather than submit to my fears and the projections which I assumed were true, I rejected this and let myself go.
The result was unbelievable. I received a standing ovation.
I never experienced something like this. In fact, I had experienced moments that were the exact opposite. This is where my subconscious programming came from. This is what led to my unconscious projections and responses. However, once I gave myself a better vision and allowed myself to have an open goal towards success instead of thinking myself sick, I was able to think of myself as a hero, as a role model, and more accurately, I allowed myself to fill the role and be the person I always deserved to be.
Don’t be afraid to challenge your assumptions –
trust me on this one.