How do you identify yourself?
Society conditions us to identify who we are through the things we do. Rarely do we remember to recognise that before everything else, we are a human being.
“Well, that’s obvious!” I hear you say. “Why would I ever need to acknowledge I’m a human being?”
Because, for your entire life, you’ve been conditioned to ignore your being-ness and only acknowledge your doing-ness.
You’ve fully accepted that the things you do equal the person you are. When, in reality, you are none of those things.
Most days, confusing our being-ness for our doing-ness is not an issue because practically everyone else is living under the same delusion. It’s only when something powerful enough to jolt us out of our fantasy happens, that we come face to face with our true being-ness.
So what is this being-ness I’m talking about?
Over the centuries of human civilisation many great philosophers, scientists and spiritual leaders have all addressed this concept of understanding our true nature – our human beingness.
Such debates are beyond the scope of this post, however we do need a common understanding, so I’m going to give you my perspective on being-ness as our starting point.
My perspective is our ‘being-ness’ is our consciousness, our soul, our spirit. We connect with our being-ness in moments of quiet solitude, like when sitting in meditation or journaling.
How often do you sit quietly on your own – no music, no background T.V., no distractions?
Maybe a few minutes a day if you meditate but, for most of us, being quiet and on our own is very uncomfortable.
Why is that?
In my experience, it’s honestly because most of us don’t like ourselves very much.
Many of us carry beliefs we created through our childhood experiences that tell us we’re unworthy, unlovable, or not good enough. We have decades of repressed ‘negative’ emotions like shame, anger, fear and sadness.
When we’re quiet, when we’re still, these beliefs and emotions come to the surface and we experience them all over again. Without the proper strategies and tools to healthily work through these beliefs and emotions (like the ones I mention in this blog), we are left with the only strategy we know – keep busy and push it aside.
We work longer hours because we don’t want to deal with the tension at home.
We meet up with friends so we can talk about what’s happening at work or at home because it’s too hard to deal with it directly with the people involved.
We fill our kids’ afternoons and weekends up with sport and extracurricular activities so they’re never bored.
We spend our evenings scrolling through socials or binge-watching Netflix (or both simultaneously) so we’re not alone with our own thoughts.
Through all of this we have become expert human doings and amateur human beings.
Thanks to COVID-19 and enforced social distancing measures, our ability to ‘do’ has been severely curtailed. Not only for ourselves, but our partners and our kids – also expert ‘doers’ – are being forced to ‘do’ less.
This is an incredibly uncomfortable and stressful situation precisely because we’ve been conditioned to believe that what we do is who we are. So, when we’re forced to do nothing our whole sense of who we are is called into question.
Let’s assume you have the very common belief “you have to work hard to make a living”.
You’ll know you have this belief if you’ve been working hard your whole life to make a living.
People would say of you, “you’re a hard worker” and you’d be proud of that because that’s what you believe you should be.
I want to make it very clear, your subconscious beliefs rule.
Imagine your brain is an ant on top of an elephant.
The ant represents your conscious brain – the part of your brain you think and analyse with, set goals with and communicate in language with.
The elephant represents your subconscious brain.
As you can see, it matters not a bit which way the ant thinks it’s going, it’s always going to go where the elephant takes it.
So, when a business owner who’s working 60-hour weeks promises their partner they’re going to work less, there’s no doubt that the intention is there. It’s just intent alone is not enough to change the behaviour driven by the belief that tells them “I have to work hard to make a living”.
Whilst there may be a change initially, over time, the subconscious belief will override their actions and entrenched behaviours and habits will resurface. The late-night invoicing will restart because ‘it’s just easier if I do it myself’ and the going into the office on the weekend will happen more and more frequently because they ‘just have to get a jump start on the week’.
Changing the subconscious beliefs that drive our behaviour is difficult work. As such, most people simply will not do it.
And I want you to know that’s ok. During this time, you may choose to focus even more on ‘doing’.
The pros of increasing your human doing-ness:
Or, you could take this opportunity of enforced quiet to make incredible changes in your life and in your business. You could choose the road less travelled and increase your human being-ness.
The pros of increasing your human being-ness:
The road less travelled is just that for a reason. When you choose to increase your human being-ness, you’re deciding your worthy of having the life you want.
To have what most don’t, means that you must “work harder on yourself than your business”E. James Rohan
You’ll also likely need to engage some help to do this work.
“We can’t solve the problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”Albert Einstein
Taking the road less travelled means you’ll need someone to challenge your thinking, challenge your behaviours, ask you better, bigger and harder questions than you’ve ever been asked before, give you practical tools to help you and hold you accountable to do the work.
By making the choice and taking the opportunity of this ‘winter’ to do this kind of work, when ‘spring’ comes, you will have a business that works for you, a team of people working for the success of your business and a wonderful family life.
If you’d like to know more about how we can assist you through the process of increasing your human being-ness, reach out. We’d love to help you create the life and business you truly want.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.