Excuse Me, Did You Know There Is A Shark In Your Swimming Pool?

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There’s been a shark in my swimming pool for a long time and I did not even know it. But instead of eating me, this shark has been eating my joy, vitality, excitement, enthusiasm, and belief in myself.

 

(Now you might not have this same shark in your pool but I guarantee that you have a shark in your pool too. So, I’m sharing my story to 1) demonstrate how important it is to explore consciousness 2) inspire you to do the same and in the process set yourself free to achieve unprecedented results.

 

Allow me to introduce you to the shark. His name is Smart-Means-That-I-Am-Entitled-Great-White-Shark, Smart=Entitled for short.

 

Growing up I was the smart one. (Were you the one? – the smart one, the funny one, the cute one, etc.)

 

I was praised so many times for being smart. But as Mattison Grey and I talk about in our book, The Motivation Myth, praise seldom does what we think it does. It usually backfires. (Wow, I can feel the emotion coming up as I type this.)

 

Praise often leads to risk aversion – because you don’t want to risk failing because you’d lose that praise and then you wouldn’t be the smart one and then you wouldn’t know who you are. So, don’t stretch yourself, don’t set lofty goals (or any goals for that matter), don’t really give it your all and really go for it. Then you’ll be safe because you’ll still be the smart one (albeit with a lot of untapped potential).

 

Praise also leads to a weird sense of entitlement. I am the smart one so my life should be amazing without me having to do anything to make it amazing – because if I have to do something to make it amazing then I must not be as smart as I think I am (there’s a double bind for you). I should be happy, successful, fulfilled, wealthy, physically fit, in a passionate fulfilling relationship, living an exciting adventurous life without really having to break a sweat to make any of that happen because after all I AM THE SMART ONE! ~ and am therefore entitled to all of that. So having to work for any of that creates an existential crisis – if I’m not the smart one, which having to work proves that I’m not, then who am I?

 

And as soon as that “should” word shows up, we know that we are not loving, accepting, and approving of ourselves exactly as we are. Instead we are beating up on ourselves ~ I’m bad and wrong because of where I am at. Things should be different.

 

Welcome to my morning. I’d done a little work on this in the past and thought I’d taken care of it. Ha! I’d barely scratched the surface of something that is HUGE for me.

 

Again, the reason I’m sharing this is to show what exploring consciousness looks like and why it is so important. This dynamic has been kicking my butt my whole life. Now I am in a position to do something about it and in the process set myself free.

 

What’s your shark’s name? And (more importantly) what are you going to do about it?

Much love,

 

Jonathan
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