“The outer limit of your potential is determined solely by your own beliefs and your own confidence in what you think is possible.” ~ Brian Tracy
Take a moment and look at this picture. What do you see (what is your interpretation of the image)?
The Big 4 energy blocks keep you stuck and prevent you from achieving what you want in your life. We’ve already explored limiting beliefs and assumptions. This week, let’s look at the third energy block, interpretations.
When you interpret something, you create an opinion about an event, situation, or experience. Essentially, you create an explanation and then look for evidence to support that explanation as true. When you make an interpretation, you don’t even see that other explanations exist. In reality, though, an interpretation often represents only one viewpoint among the many that are possible.
Your interpretations hold a strong energetic charge, which affects your emotions and actions. If you believe your viewpoint of a particular situation is the only explanation, you might not be aware of another point of view. You may end up wasting a lot of time and resources marching off in the wrong direction. Because you don’t see that other possibilities exist, you remain stuck in your story and feel like you have no control over the outcome.
For example, let’s say you come to work one day and your boss barely nods hello, and then goes into his office and closes the door. If you think your boss acted that way because he is angry with you, you might spend the morning wondering what you did to get him mad. Therefore, you might be hesitant to approach him with the great idea you came up with on the way in to work.
As with assumptions, interpretations are personal and somewhat difficult to challenge and let go. Holding onto them may seem like the easier thing to do because “it’s better to deal with the devil you know.” However, challenging your interpretations literally opens you up to a world of possibilities!
Typical interpretations may sound like this:
- He doesn’t like me.
- She thinks I’m incompetent.
- They don’t want to follow orders.
- My son is just not interested in doing his homework.
Interpretations can be directly challenged by asking: “What’s another way to look at that?” Just realizing that there are other ways to look at something lessens the power of your interpretation. One way to do this is to imagine what another person’s perspective of the situation might be. Asking for someone else’s point of view on a difficult situation (even if they are not directly involved) can break your existing paradigms and open pathways for more successful solutions. Challenging yourself or others to argue the point of view directly opposite your interpretation also works remarkably well to arrive at new information, new angles, and new paths to success.
In the example of the boss above, perhaps the reason why he barely acknowledged you was that he had just received a disturbing phone call about a family member, or he had a deadline that had to be met – or … well, there are many possible explanations, aren’t there? What an opportunity you’d miss if you decided not to present your great idea based on your false interpretation.
This week, before you “jump to conclusions” and believe the first story that comes to mind, consider other possibilities that could lead you to new, empowering choices and actions.
Oh, and in the picture above, did you see the people with their heads leaning in toward each other, or did you see the columns? Can you see them both?
Next week we’ll talk about those gremlin voices we listen to, the last of the Big 4 blocks.