Inviting Possibility: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

The conversation you are about yourself

Much of the work I do with my clients focuses on the conversation, by ‘conversation’ I mean what you tell yourself, your mind talk, that constant chatter that gets more intense when you make mistakes, feel stressed, fearful or become anxious. It is the ‘conversation you are about yourself’ and it is as old as your thinking mind. All the times in your past when you lost confidence, got hurt, had your self-esteem knocked contributed to this self-negating conversation you have with yourself. It comes from your past yet shows up in the present when things get tough for you. It is during these times that you need to focus on your next action, what you need to create, what is possible, on your future, but as soon as you let your negative self talk kick in you go into your old painful patterns and do what you have always done, so you get what you have always got, and blame it all on the past.

You don’t know what you don’t know

This is where I want to start when looking at Inviting Possibility. What is the realm of possibility? Is anything possible? What is the conversation? Possibility is in the realm of ‘what you don’t know that you don’t know’. There are all the things we know we know, and all the things we know we don’t know. To remain open to possibility means being willing to keep looking, to remain open, even when you think you have the answer. Is anything possible? Yes, I believe it is. Scientists work in the realm of possibility all the time. They are constantly experimenting, constantly pushing boundaries, even when others don’t believe they will get results. In order to achieve we have to invite possibility, continually looking with new eyes.

Listening to the past kills all possibility

However, when we are listening to the past, when we are coming from everything we already know and paying attention to our self negation we lose sight of possibility, we become hijacked and we stop. We stay where we are, stagnant and immersed in our shadow. Then we beat ourselves up and turn to the patterns that help us to feel good. We remain in our comfort zone and we do not take risks, and in that moment all possibility is lost. Our dreams fade, we do not allow our full potential to shine and we suffer.

We are also a ‘conversation’ about everyone and everything, as well as ourselves. We are always in conversation without even saying anything. When working with my clients I encourage them to become aware of this conversation, to begin to observe the conversation they are about themselves, everyone and everything all the time. This is a powerful concept as the conversation is determined by the past, by everything we already know. For example; one of my clients suffered terrible emotional abuse at a young age and was also bullied at school. She never shared what was happening to her, she was scared that if people found out they would not believe her. She internalised the experiences and did her best to hide it all, pushed down the feelings and pretended she was okay. This then created the conversation she was about herself called: “I’m weak and useless”. As an adult, when she was fearful or if she had to make important decisions, or if she had to have a challenging conversation with someone (she was a manager in a big corporation, with a team of staff) her past based conversation about herself screamed in her head and she could not perform at her fullest potential.

A world of infinite possibilities can be diminished by a single internal dialog, the conversation “I’m not good enough”, “I’m unlovable”, “I’m thick, useless, dirty, worthless” to name but a few. This is the conversation about ourselves that limits, that kills possibility. When this conversation is in play there is no opening to possibility and until we break free of these limiting beliefs, beliefs moulded over time, we can never fully embrace possibility.

Living in the present invites possibility

When we are immersed in our shadow, we are not in touch with our purpose and our personal greatness. We need to create an awareness of this powerful psychological construct and reconnect to our greatness, love energy, values and purpose. If we are to truly invite possibility, then we need to remain present to the present and take action in line with our commitment to our vision we create for a bright and colourful future. Simple, but not easy. This is future-based action, it takes courage and commitment but it is also the only way to transform the painful conversation we have with ourselves that limits all we are capable of. From this place invite possibility, and possibility will come.

If after reading this you recognise this in yourself and you can see that you are limited by your own conversation then I will be able to work with you to transform it and gain release and freedom.

Graham Kean, MA (Psych), MMC (IAC)

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