Beginning of October I started a self-development training which has been making me think quite a lot about how my brain works, what scares me or moves me, and is helping me identifying the moments I feel my best and that I should pursue and those that suck my energy and that need to be minimized.
For the duration of this programme called SWITCH, I will receive every Morning an email with some instructions to be performed during the day. This exercise is in line with the theme of the week, for example “understanding my fears”, “introspection”, “flow moments” or “exploration” (this is where I am so far). The purpose of all this is to understand myself better (thanks to self-development tests, specific questions to family and friends) then understand how my brain works and makes decisions, then deconstruct the image I have of myself in order to test new things and finally make a move to what really inspires me.
So for instance the first week was a difficult one as it requested to dip right into fears: all the people registered to this training want to change their lives, “switch”, and for some reason they are stuck or/and do not know where to begin, and how to switch correctly. This first phase showed us the contradiction fighting inside of us and which are blocking our change. I, for instance, clearly want an exciting life while being a very conformist person, meaning that I follow the rules and need others approval (I have always loved being the first in my class since I was a child). Hence, walking out of a drawn path terrifies me as much as it excites me. Not easy is it?
Other example: to understand the strengths fighting inside of us we had to picture the little voices in our heads as if they were little characters from the animate “VICE VERSA”. It was important to give a very specific character and form to each of these voices and understand how many they were. For me there were a few, never fighting but discussing for hours! For other people it would be 2 very strong voices always fighting hard!
Then, another hard exercise was to identify our “Chore Wound” as it explains the way we behave when we feel threatened. This exercise, based on Lise Bourbeau famous book «Heal your wounds and find your true self » introduced me to the 5 wounds of the soul discovered initially by Dr John Pierrakos:
To understand your wound you have to read the detailed description of the associated “mask”, meaning the behaviour you put on to protect yourself from being hurt. As I clearly have a “Dominator” mask my deepest wound (to my surprise) would be “Betrayal”: this would generally begins as an “Abandonment” wound and evolve with age: Yay!
I could also situate at what moment in time it appeared (between 2 and 4 years old) and the reason (of a parent that betrayed me by leaving or preferring a new child). So in my case that could definitely be when my brother was born (I was 2 years old) or when my parents divorced (I was 3). Although I don’t remember it now as being a difficult time, that seems to be a valid reason to become a controlling, very demanding person, with high standards for myself and others. This has been my role as a first-born all my life, I want to be the person that keeps it all together, always. I never show weakness, I have a serious job and bring home money so I have a very comfortable life. I have fun and spend all my money on travels and gifts and fun activities (as I consider that life is about experiences) but every decision I make is carefully though and all its consequences dissected before making a move! So yes, that would be my wound. This being said the purpose of this discovery is to find a way to be less governed by my wound, in my case I need to chill and let life happen!
Then we concentrated on our “aptitudes” rather than our skills, aka every competence we acquired through our jobs & life that can be used to do something different. For instance, I love learning fast and get bored easily: that is why I am a consultant, I have a mission, I learn a new job, do it for a year and then leave. I am also empathetic, wherever I work I need to build strong relationships with my coworkers as this is a way for me to work well: know and understand the people around me. These aptitudes can be applied to many fields (finally some good news!), now I just need to understand what field makes sense to me.
Finally we are getting to it: this week we are working on our “Flow” moments, a concept named by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in 1975 and defined in positive psychology as being the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.
“In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.”
During the next two weeks I will have to write a “Flow” journal, to identify what brings me energy and happiness. I will also have to initiate myself to new things, test activities that I might like and that I have not yet experienced. I must say that for this past year “experiencing” has been my main objective, so I think that I am good on that side, but anyways, I have to put extra efforts in the next weeks to get the best results of this training!