Most of the times where we find ourselves held back from following our nature, what holds us back is our habit of re-thinking thoughts relating to judgments made about us by others. These can be very debilitating.
It is true that sometimes judgments by others can have serious repercussions in our lives. But it is also true that most times, all that would happen is that we would possibly get in some form of trouble or even more likely, just be embarrassed.
But what does being embarrassed even mean in a world where we are guaranteed to ‘make mistakes?’ That’s like saying we’re not allowed to be human. Embarrassment might help us steer ourselves to better cooperative behaviour, but who can take a demand for zero mistakes seriously? Embarrassment doesn’t denote a failure, it is simply a step on the path to who we will be.
If past criticisms or our mental replaying of those criticisms leads us to feel embarrassed then it’s critical for us to remember that those thoughts are our responsibility –they are not forced on us by the situation. We must take responsibility for choosing to think those thoughts over all of the other potential thoughts we could just as easily have focused on. Those debilitating beliefs about ourselves are what create our resistance to life.
Let’s all spend the the next few days trying to source our own resistance in our daily situations. Well often find we’re really only afraid of being embarrassed, yet we also make mistakes at things we’re good at. So why are we okay with those mistakes but not the others?
It’s worthwhile to ask ourselves; why is doing this or that thing quite difficult for us when that same thing isn’t difficult for others? And why are some things that others find very hard, so incredibly effortless for us?
It’s good to notice those differences and ask those questions, because we’ll come to see that all people are more alike than they might otherwise seem. We are less notable than embarrassment often makes us feel. Everyone screws up.
Each idea in our heads will have a source that will have shaped what that idea means to us personally. It’s why we like certain kinds of movies but not others, and why other people disagree about our views of them. They simply have a different set of thoughts about the things in the movie. This is what it is to be an individual.
Regardless of the sources of our individuality, judgments about our Selves that limit us must be seen for what they are: nothing more than thoughts. Self consciousness and embarrassment are states of thinking that can be changed.
Unfamiliar situations can rightfully make us feel uncomfortable, but our thoughts have no actual power to stop us from taking action in our lives despite the internal blabbing of our egos.
We can’t let our thoughts stop us from realizing all that we are. Because that person is far too expansive and powerful for a definition in mere words.
Let’s all enjoy our day.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.