i want to break free

12 breakout


Just checking to see if you mean business.

Many of our prisons are mental ones.  We’re incarcerated by guilt or shame or the images projected by others or our sense we should-be-better.  Brené Brown tells us, these feed upon ‘the darkest areas of our lives: disconnection, disengagement, and our struggle for worthiness.’*

Our thinking is often lazy, which means it’s faulty:

‘Our conscious information processing circuits get easily overloaded by detail complexity, forcing us to evolve simplifying heuristics to figure things out.’**

Otto Scharmer would say this leads to downloading: believing what you see is all there is – passing and failing everything else by our downloading standard.

We need to employ new ways of thinking in order to break out of our imprisoning thoughts.  It can be hard to imagine there’s another ways of seeing and understanding people and things when we’ve seen and understood ourselves in a certain way for a long time.

But, there are ways to break free.

One way is to write out your thoughts to purposeful questions.  If we don’t find it easier to write things out, try doodling them down, or use some combination.

For starters, write out all your skills as specifically as you can.

Do you get things done (maybe you love “to do” lists)?  
Do you enjoy speaking and demonstrating things (perhaps succeeding in a difficult sale, or coaching a football team)?  
Do you find yourself energised by working closely with people (supporting them, solving problems, growing connections)?  
Do you love ideas or learning new things (viewing documentaries, taking another course, or wearing out search engines in pursuit of information)?

It doesn’t matter how small or large your examples are, make sure you write or doodle it down (analogue wins over digital).  Keep on with this for a week or so; whenever you find yourself energised by something, record it.  You’ll be astonished at the number and type of things you’ve written out.^

If you’re already doing this, great.  If you don’t do anything, well, it’s why I ask if you really want to break free.

(*From Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly.)
(**From Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline.  Also see Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow.)
(^You can build on this by expressing gratitude for each of the things you’ve recorded – whether to the universe, to another, or to your god.)


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