We are shaped by the unseen

You see, the strangeness of my case is that now I no longer fear the invisible, I’m terrified by reality. Jean Lorrain

We assume our reality –

  1. Is reality
  2. Is right.

But we have access to only the tiniest amount of information that’s out there, whether in the electromagnetic spectrum or conscious brain.

This means that our reality –

  1. Is a reality (one of many)
  2. Is shaped by limited information.

Despite this, we are happy to stake a claim to being right and dismiss others’ experiences as inferior or wrong.

It does a lot of damage. People go to war over it.

Instead, being open to different realities enables us to pool information, articulate a view and consider other options without needing to narrow every discussion down to ‘a winner’.

(more…)

Why you should doubt yourself

Therefore certainty is not only something of no use but is also in fact damaging, if we value reliability. Carlo Rovelli

We seem so desperate to know things ‘for certain’.

I think there are many reasons why.

At the nice end, ‘knowing’ is an anchor that gives us a sense of ground, even if it’s illusory. We need that. It helps us navigate ambiguity and provided we’re open to reassessing ideas as more evidence emerges or as we’re impacted by experience that’s okay.

The problem is when we attach to being certain or confuse our sense of self with being right. That’s one of the more destructive sides of being human. We need to know, to be right and then: to assert that rightness.

You see it in relationships where people who loved each other wake up one day to find that they have dug trenches around that need and created a no-man’s land instead of a life between them.

Or on the contrary, when we cling to an earlier idea about the other, who or what they should be (our idea of them really) refusing to recognize that we, or they, or circumstances, have changed.

(more…)

Why deferring to ‘expertise’ can be dangerous

I was recently at a workshop where a participant introduced himself by listing his Ivy League credentials; while impressive, his doctorate was in a discipline unrelated to the discussion and the act was out of context.

Notwithstanding this, many people subsequently looked to him to lead or tacitly sought his approval when speaking.

What he had done was to anchor the group around his primacy as an intellect and limit challenges to his authority before they occurred.

These sorts of dynamics are damaging for everyone involved:

  1. People who resist questioning often need to appear right. In this way the need to be right is more important than the right information. Frequently a flag for insecurity, it keeps them stuck but also prevents the healthy debate needed to get measured outcomes.
  2. By automatically deferring to others we feel disempowered and inadvertently contribute to cultures of misinformation. However, more importantly from my perspective, we fail to exercise a faculty vital for development: critical thinking.

Understanding how people use anchoring as a form of control helps us better navigate discussions.

(more…)

Confidence? It’s a concept

Faith and doubt both are needed – not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve. Lillian Smith

I get so frustrated when I’m struggling with something (personal or professional) and I approach someone for input and they come back with something like: just be confident.

  • Have faith in yourself
  • Clout the doubt
  • Success is can, not can’t.

The variations are endless.

Ugh.

However well-meaning the advice (and it usually is) these platitudes don’t help.

(more…)

© 2017 A MarketPress.com Theme