I Two weeks ago (I’m late again. This was supposed to be done 2 weeks ago – shame on me!) I spent the weekend at a business mastermind meeting with Geoff. (No, neither of us is a mastermind but somehow we were able to sneak in!) All in all, it was a great experience. We learned a lot about different aspects of business but also about ourselves.
While traveling, I was also able to finish reading a book called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. There were a lot of components of the book that were echoed in the mastermind group. Together, I think they will have a very positive effect on my life and I would like to share some of those insights.
This week I will cover some general some of the basics, and the upcoming posts will cover each of the 4 Agreements.
One of the main concepts, and the underlying premise of The Four Agreements is the concept of reality. The author proposes that our reality is a direct result of beliefs passed on from one generation to the next.
Each of us has a different perspective of life based on what we are taught as children and the experiences that we have throughout our lives. As children, we are presented with information from authority figures (parents, teachers, etc.…) and since we trust those people, we transform those teachings into deep seeded beliefs, which we tend to keep for the rest of our lives. Some of these beliefs are positive, but often they become self-limiting and have a negative impact on our lives.
As children we also learn to seek approval from others (our parents) and avoid punishment. This translates into a fear of rejection and fear of not being good enough. We learn to judge others and compare ourselves to others. Instead we need to accept others for who they are and be comfortable with ourselves.
As I look back on this past week I noticed my tendencies to criticize myself and judge my performance based on imaginary criteria. I was playing basketball with a group of guys on Tuesday morning. We have been playing together for the past 15 years or so. The games are competitive but we are not getting paid. We are just there to have fun and exercise.
I was not playing well and was feeling down as I walked back to the car. Then I began to think about the book and the mastermind group. I realized that it does not matter that I did not play well. It does not matter if the other guys think I am a poor basketball player. Their opinion of my skill level does not impact my life, and my performance on the court does not change my income. I was only there to get some exercise and since I was drenched with sweat, I probably achieved that.
How can you reframe some of your self-criticisms?
The following posts will cover the specific agreements and include strategies for overcoming our self-limiting beliefs.