Cause and Effect
Yes, granted, this subject has been discussed to death everywhere. Still it is one of my pet peeves, because most people have only a sketchy understanding of it. So what does it mean to Step Up?
We are typically pretty cool with this idea as long as the effect is something that is desirable to us. Imagine you worked hard on a challenging project your boss gave you, and you aced it. Who did it? You, of course. And you are proud of our achievement. You are the cause that yielded the desired effect. Nothing wrong with that.
Now imagine a different scenario. That same boss, a week later, treats you unfairly. He berates you in front of your colleagues for a minor mistake you made. He has been in a foul mood all day for some reason, and he is clearly taking it out on you. As you feel your face flush with both anger and embarrassment, you leave the office after the work day just to come home to an unsuspecting spouse.
He or she is happy to see you, has prepared a nice dinner and generally is just looking forward to connect with you. Your answers are short and snappy. You criticize the food, and after dinner you switch on the TV and can’t be spoken to for the rest of the evening. You are hoping that with this strategy you can take your mind off what happened at work. But what you find to your surprise is that the feeling of someone has wronged you is actually getting worse.
Saying goodbye to the victim mentality – Step Up!
I think it’s clear what happened in these two examples. In the first one, we are eager to put ourselves on the cause side of things, because we created an outcome (= effect) that we liked a lot. In the second one, no such thing. We didn’t do anything. Our boss made us feel this way because he treated us unfairly. How can this possibly be caused by us?
Don’t get me wrong here; your boss’s foul mood was certainly not caused by you. It was the result of his own conditioning, his own unique mind patterns and limiting beliefs he might have entertained on that day. This has nothing to do with you as a human being. However, how you reacted to it, and how you treated your spouse over it, and how you dwelled on it and pretty much ruined your evening, is all your responsibility.
To Step Up means to be flexible
Our behavior creates our results (= effects). Behavior is created by our internal state, which is the sum total of our thoughts. All of which run through our conditioned filters and belief systems – and our resulting feelings. To respond properly in a given situation, it is very beneficial to have a wide range of behaviors to choose from.
If your range of behaviors is very narrow, you will never have any other choice but to assign cause for your effects to people and things outside of you. You have effectively become a beggar, forever at the mercy of events and other people’s personal realities.
To Step Up means taking a good hard look at your own crap
It is crucial to understand that we pretty much create all results in our life ourselves. Yes, I can hear you right now…I do know this is not 100% true. No child is responsible for acquiring, say, cancer, at the age of 4. It is, however, true often enough to adopt it as a paradigm to live by. The reason it is so hard to do for most people is because we all have a hard time to see through our own bullshit. We are simply blind to it, courtesy of our ego, the little thing we call our “Self”. This “Self” does NOT enjoy being wrong (or wronged, for that matter) and it has a tendency to put itself in a, well, very favorable light.
Seeing through your own conditioning can be painful. But it is also an eye-opener if you are willing to endure a little discomfort. Accepting this side of you is only the beginning. Over time you will gain access to much better internal states. Once the conditioned ego is exposed, once you become aware of it – it will still be there, but it stops taking on this huge significance. And doors to behaviors will open that lead to entirely new outcomes.
Want to learn more about Cause and Effect? Step Up today.