My one time brother-in-law was in the insurance industry. He said they had a saying about experience. When some people tell you they have 25 years of insurance experience, it may mean they’ve been in the business for 25 years, but have repeated their first year over and over again. They don’t grow.
Do you experience the same results all the time?
That can be a wonderful experience when baking your award winning, clamored for lemon meringue pie. Yet an experience may not be so glorious if you’re pulling the plaster out of your hair after beating your head against the wall about something that continually crashes and burns.
What is your experience?
Your continued experience is a result of your behavior, conscious or otherwise.
Many people divorce their experience from their behavior by removing the “I.” They treat their recurring misfortune as though it’s pure circumstance that they had nothing to do with. There is always some form of the question, “Why does this always happen to me?”
A more incisive question would be, “What am I doing to cause this repeated experience?”
There’s a trail of breadcrumbs to follow if you’re willing to look and they all lead back to you.
This self inspection strategy is rarely taken because it is often painful to open your eyes to the light after living in darkness for so long. Your eyes will adjust but they first have to be pointed in the direction of the light.
It’s not a pleasant experience when someone else shines a light on our behavior. That’s rarely rewarding because we shade our eyes and engage in argument and denial. It’s a lot tougher to ignore your own spotlight because you know you’re only BS-ing yourself – sort of like cheating at Solitaire.
A strategy to use is to pretend that your continuing, undesirable experience has nothing to do with something or someone “out there.” (Hint: You won’t be pretending). Then put the “I” back into the equation. Muse on the question, “What am I doing to cause this repeated experience?” The answer will lead you to some patterned behavior that may have been living underground for a long time.
When you make the unconscious conscious, get ready for a burst of light that will lead you out of your cave.
I’ll leave you with a question a Jimi Hendrix album posed over 40 years ago: “Are you experienced?”
All the best,
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