We are our own worst enemy

Every now and then some pattern strikes me as interesting. I have been talking with several people about politics, and I know that is always dangerous but what the heck. Anyway, I began to notice a trend from people that were very emotional about a candidate or an event; they seldom had any noticeable basis in fact. I say that only because I could not find any even after repeated questioning. I began to realize that people had purely emotional positions. OK, so you probably suspected this as well, but now that I considered that I took it a step further. Hey, why not – I may as well charge down this path to see where it leads me.

Let me back up just a bit to explain my thought. If you buy into the emotional intelligence or self-mastery theory that is popular these days or at least I find it to be popular, then you are in control of the interpretation of the event and the reaction. The self-mastery theory is that an event happens, and we interpret that event based on our beliefs and assign a meaning. That meaning causes us to react. The example we often use in our seminars has two couples receiving an invitation to a community dance. One couple believes that dancing is a sin and has a very negative reaction. The other couple believes that it is a great way to have fun and has a very positive reaction. There is a whole section here about what paradigm they are in, but I am sure you remember that part if you attended any of our seminars. The point here is that one couple creates joy in their life, and one creates fear. We seem to have the ability to shape the world as we wish, yet we constantly fall due to fears and limitations that we put in our brain.

Looking closer at this, if there is no basis in fact and the event itself is just part of your belief system you are also in control of the event.   In other words, there is no invitation, which was the event, to kick off this process. The event is built into your belief system, and you are searching for evidence of it. Once you find it, you are off and running. Now that seems interesting to me. You have something that is creating a strong emotional reaction in your life that you have total control of. This is great if the result is joy, which I believe is a good thing. But, what if it is causing stress, headaches, upset stomachs, or any of the other negative results? Well, the good news is you can prevent it. The bad news is you not only created it, but it is with you always.

I don’t think this phenomenon is unique to politics. I have seen this in business as well as life in general. Have you ever noticed that the same key moment or event will produce different reactions in people? You may become depressed or frustrated while someone else may just laugh it off. Frustrating huh! You should be getting some idea as to why this happens. It is in the meaning each gave to that event. Imagine what your life would be like if you have a built-in event that is guaranteed to cause a negative reaction! No joy in Mud Ville (I think this saying comes from “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Thayer).

Now my bigger question is, why do people do this in the first place. Some of the stories I have heard in politics are just amazing. Where did they originate? Why do people believe them? What kind of stories have you created about yourself, your clients, your staff, your business, or whatever that has no basis in fact? How many of these stories are stealing your joy? Well if you don’t like the results, re-write the story.