Following on from “How to be the best version of yourself” the reason you want to do this particularly in difficult times like we are experiencing now is if you are not this way you make the difficult times more difficult than they need to be.
In “Don’t fear the Fear” and then in “Fear is your teacher the world is your sangha. Reclaiming the power of your Shadow. Learning what coronavirus is here to teach us” I wrote about the idea that fear is your friend when you relate mindfully to fear and move towards it rather than running away from it.
But to do that you need to be the best version of yourself, who you aspire to be and who you have the sense you are evolving into.
This is different to how many people think unless you are an athlete focussed on designing your life to achieve the win at your event or have elite military training where you have gone through and survived the conditioning process of getting to that elite level. The reality is we’re just pretty average ordinary people. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do extraordinary things.
If you have grandparents or great grandparents who fought in the Second World War you’ve heard the stories or if you haven’t had the blessing of those people in your life you’ve seen the movies of ordinary men and women like you and me doing extraordinary things.
There’s also the story of the man with Asperger’s syndrome a type of Autism a developmental disorder who also happened to be gay at a time when homosexuality was illegal in the UK who saved millions of lives and shortened the war by at least three years. This was, of course, Alan Turing whose story is told in the film The Imitation Game.
So who are you to think you can be extraordinary? Or who are you to think you can not be extraordinary?
Marianne Williamson speaks to our deepest fear in her book: “A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles” where she says:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Yet for many people letting that light shine is sabotaged because the fear is overwhelming.
We grow up often in cultures and families where Tall Poppy Syndrome is in full force. This is where if you shine your light too brightly if you stand taller than the people around you your “loving” family cuts you down to size.
And your family are in most cases genuinely loving they are afraid for you. Because they have been cut down to size themselves and it hurt. And emotional hurt feels as bad as physical pain.
But then the athletes and the elite military get this and move towards fear and pain.
But we’ve been taught the opposite in every film we see we always know bad things are going to happen when you go down to the basement to investigate. That’s when the monster gets you.
But what if the monster could be your friend because it’s actually part of you?
What’s preventing your light from shining is your Shadow the “monster” inside of you.
Carl Jung created the concept of the Shadow in a psychological way where it is all the stuff you disidentify with because it can’t be you that it is the nasty bad evil people not you so you hide that in your unconscious.
For example, many of the people who have criticised homosexuality as wrong and bad neuroscience research has shown have a sexual attraction to men but because they put that desire in their Shadow they ended up in the newspapers getting caught with underage male prostitutes. It’s the idea that if you are not conscious and in the driver’s seat of your life you let that Shadow drive.
This is why mindfulness has become so popular and been incorporated into many types of psychotherapy.
But it’s easy to misuse mindfulness to escape or bypass what you need to do to develop yourself and fix what needs fixing this is called spiritual bypassing.
So when you don’t move towards fear but run away you’re making the choice to step out of the driver’s seat and become a passenger in your life and ignore the problems.
I work with the Shadow in a psychological, spiritual and energetic way because I’m working in an applied way so I work with your direct experience and that’s different for different people. Let me start to show you how to do this. Because the key is self-coaching.
What a hypnotherapist isn’t going to tell you is that you are always a better hypnotist than they are. It’s just that you are hypnotising yourself to do the wrong things because you let your unconscious drive.
This is the value of a hypnotist that they can work with your unconscious. However, it’s better if you do that for yourself because you listen to yourself and your story more than anyone else and their story. And you’re on the StoryOS website after all.
Fundamental to my approach Precision Hypnosis is the refusal to take power over the subject, over you. So I work as a coach, not a teacher. The advantage here is I’m not stepping into the lifetime of conditioning you have and are conscious of or are unconscious of and have disowned and put in your Shadow.
So I insist that you work within a self-coaching process which I mentor you around.
This enables you to take a position of self-leadership in your life. In other words, you are not doing what I tell you, you have me as a coach and advisor to provide input into your thinking. And you can by externalising that thinking as mentioned last time by using extensions of yourself self-coach yourself.
You become the best version of yourself not by accident though hopefully you do show up that way when called upon by life. But as those elite military people say your success is built on failing to the level of your training which is what athletes get as well which is the difference between practice and performance and not confusing the two.
You can’t perform at your best unless you have practised that endlessly. This is the trap of spiritual bypassing where you just feel good for no reason. Instead, you should feel good for a reason ideally that you have moved closer to that best version of yourself.
At the high-level overview, this is simple. You choose to move towards who you are becoming that best version of yourself.
Just do what works for you in moving closer to the best version of yourself.
We’ll go into more detail next time because your Shadow is still there even if you don’t think it is. Remember it’s unconscious. But you can with practice become more conscious.