Understanding our limiting mind

I have always been glad that I decided to start this blog 4 years ago. The 2 foundations I have chosen to build this blog are (1) Covey’s 4 dimensions of life (physical, mental, emotion and spiritual) and (2) the conscious competence theory, which also are the first 2 posts of this blog. Both frameworks are sound and extremely important. (click here and here for the posts)

So today I want to talk about our limiting mind, something that is so important yet under discussed. It is easier to rectify a ‘limiting physical body’ so to speak. The conditions of one’s physical body are obvious to those who bother looking. But not so with our mind. I have seen healthy bodies carrying limiting minds. And the sadder part is they are unaware of it (recall stage 1 of the conscious competence matrix – unconscious incompetence).

So today’s objective is to move us to Stage 2 of the conscious competence matrix, i.e. conscious incompetence- that we are aware of the situation and we accept it. Most people will have limiting minds one way or another.

(1) Self doubt – “I don’t think I can do it”

(2) Other oriented doubt – “He/She wouldn’t be interested in me”

(3) Environment doubt – “Everyone else is like that”

(4) Existential rationalization – “I don’t feel like doing it now”

(5) False judgements – “He/she seems too shallow for me”

I’m not a big fan of categorizing the different types of limiting minds but I think this is important so that we get a clearer idea of it. Note that healthy people rarely have problem with #1-3 but often fall short of #4 and #5.  We tend to rationalize our shortcomings/situations and we often pass out quick judgements so that they serve as a shield to our vulnerable mind (we don’t want contradicting explanation that is inconsistent with what we hold as true in our mind). Our limiting mind is often a product of our upbringing and the beliefs that we have are spoon-fed by our parents, teachers, peers etc.

So what should we do? Accept it (and don’t deny via rationalization i.e. this doesn’t apply to me, my situation is different or judgements i.e. this concept is not right) and let go of the need to have everything under our control.

“Expect everything and anything seems nothing. Expect nothing, and anything seems everything.” Samuel Hazo

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