This week I have been preparing the course outline for the four day Spiritual Intelligence in Coaching course that I am teaching in March 2012 with Nick Williams.
One of the topics we are covering in depth is about self perception. This is important both for our participants and a key topic that they will be helping their clients with as coaches or therapists. Our self perception influences our thinking and therefore our behaviours. Basically, how we perceive ourselves totally impacts how we behave in the world. And guess what, we mostly have our self perception totally wrong!
Our ego mind likes to tell us that because we have done things that we are not proud in our lives we are bad – a bad person in fact. This is confirmed because we have also made mistakes in our lives and haven’t lived up to our own expectations or those of others. When we were growing up we knew that if we were well behaved and did well in school and were successful in all that we did, we were deemed to be “good” and by implication when we did not do well or behave well the message was that we were bad.
This ego thinking is often buried deep in our unconscious mind and yet these perceptions that come from this early conditioning and unresolved past events often stay with and affect our current lives.
In my role as a coach who focuses on the healing of the mind, I find that it is often these very beliefs that we need to be looked at for what they are, recognised as untrue and released. The main problem with having these beliefs buried within us is that they lead us to feeling guilty, and this guilt that sits within us can lead us to sabotage any and every aspect of our lives. It leads us to act in guilty ways rather than ways that reflect our worthiness.
Our ego also has a clever strategy for dealing with all this guilt. It represses it so that we are totally unaware of it and then projects it out onto others, making them the guilty ones who are behaving in bad ways. This of course would work as a strategy except that as we attack others with our thoughts or words for behaving in bad ways, we are then attacking ourselves and what does this do? Compound our guilt and so the spiral of guilt within us increases confirming what we originally thought, that we are bad.
So what is the way out of this? Here are 5 suggestions:
- Recognise that although you have got things wrong and behaved in ways that were not your highest and best, these were only mistakes. These were times when you were acting from your ego’s fears rather than the love and kindness that is within you. So forgive yourself for anything that comes into your mind where you feel guilty or bad for what you did and hand over our feelings of guilt to our Higher Mind or God. And know too, that we all have these areas in our lives where we need to forgive ourselves for things that we have done “wrong.”
- Instead of dwelling on your mistakes, instead dwell on the lovely qualities that are within you. If you believe that there are Higher Beings who are here to help us with our lives, invoke the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. She can help you see the love and the beauty within you and act from that recognition. You can also invoke her to help you to know that you are totally loveable exactly as you are. With her help I am sure you can think of many, many times when you have acted from your innate love and beauty!
- Know that you were created by God as a being that was and is perfect, loveable and totally good. This part of you is changeless and eternal and as such, this perfection cannot be modified, regardless of your actions in the world. Your essence is the love that is inside you and yes, you have made mistakes but these mistakes do not make you bad, they were just places where you did not act in alignment with that love and perfection. Part of your growth here is to learn to act in alignment with your innate True qualities and where you are not yet able to do that it is important to forgive yourself.
- Marianne Williamson suggests that every night when you go to bed, you go over your day and look at the places where you acted well and the places where you did not come from your best and then forgive yourself for those latter places. That way you are every day clearing the places where you may feel guilty rather than allowing it to build up in your mind.
- Remember that every time we judge another we are cutting ourselves off from the love that is inside us. The more we can resist the temptation to judge – and I know at times that is not at all easy – and send loving energies to people instead the more we are reminding ourselves of the Truth within us and adding to our perfection, rather than our guilt.
All of these 5 ways take willingness on your part to be really aware of your thoughts, your words and actions. Often I find that we have to work with a coach or a therapist and go into the mind to release the root cause of this wrong minded thinking.