Intuition Meets Paranoia
“Intuition offers you choices. Paranoia imposes choices upon you.” – Gary Zukav
This last week, one of my favorite coaching clients came to me with an” ah-ha” moment. He recognized that one of his immediate everyday reactions was condemnation for people he expected to be critical of him – for whatever reason – and avoidance of those people based upon wariness and the inability to be who he is in their presence. We spent considerable time exploring this insight, and the impact it has had on his life.
Because of this fear, he has been unable to build strong relationships with the people he interacts with on a regular basis. He has turned inward, rather than being the friendly and open person he is. This has impacted his career and his social life to the point where he has few friends, and the likelihood of that continuing is strong.
Paranoia is based on fear. Fear of harm, criticism, and loss. It is the past defining the present, and ultimately the future. Why? Because the choices we make today impact us for many days and years to come.
Where does paranoia come from? It comes from our beliefs based upon what we are told and experience from childhood throughout our adult lives. It is fed by people who prey upon our fears through doomsday predictions, and negative news. It teaches us to shy away from experiences that ask us to stretch; experiences that may result in failure. It teaches us to distrust anyone different from ourselves. It teaches us anger and resentment. It takes away our choice to explore and experience what life has to offer us.
It’s almost like a small child that is given the opportunity to swim. Unless they have been taught fear, they love it! They jump, splash and make you catch your breath with their antics in the water. They do what gives them pleasure as they play and explore all that they can do. It is intuitive for the most part, requiring an adult to spot them and offer help when it is needed. It is up to the adult to not frighten or discourage this active exploration of life.
Follow that same logic for adults: Sometimes we ask ourselves to take a risk and explore the world outside the confines of the limitations we have placed on ourselves. We may need help, whether it is further knowledge and skills, a mentor, or someone to hold us accountable to the goals we set. More importantly, it is recognizing what is true for you, and listening to what your heart says, and taking action. You are the adult now, as well as the child, and it is up to you to not let your internalized anxiety born out of your past frighten or discourage you from experiencing life to its fullest.
How you interpret words and non-verbal communication you receive from others, as well as that chatter inside your own head, is based upon what your heart is experiencing NOW grounded in which emotion those words/tone/body language triggers at that moment. The reaction may be fear, anger, or resentment; or, it may be joy, appreciation, and wonder. If your responses are fear based, paranoia results, and your choices are limited by those fears. You look no further for the possibilities because you have locked on an emotion that limits your ability to do so. If your responses are healthy and aligned with who you are, the possibilities are boundless, and limited only by your imagination.
I asked my client to pay attention to the times he experienced the judgment of others, or avoided an experience out of fear between now and the next time we meet. Our next coaching step will be to get to the truth behind the fear, explore the possibilities, and begin to take action by setting small goals to step forward into the power of who he .
What emotions or reaction do you experience when you know something is not true?
What is your intuition telling you about a decision you must make today?
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