Who’s running this show?


Grant Gallicano

Have you ever had one of those moments where something happened, and you made the decision to never do that again (or maybe to always do that again)?  The thing about decisions, conclusions and expectations is that we make them under a unique set of circumstances, some of which we are completely unaware of. For example, that time when I was 10 and I decided to use a bike jump that some friends of mine had set up … using my ten-speed bike. I made the jump and the landing was not fun for me.  At that point I concluded that jumping bikes was not meant for me and I decided never to do that again – falling into the expectation that the landing would hurt just as much the next time. What if I would have asked a few more questions? Like: Is this the best bike for this type of activity? Is there a different bike I could be using? Was this bike jump set up correctly? Could I have landed differently? Is my Mom going to be upset to find out I was flying through the air with my ten speed? My point here is that if I had asked a few questions rather than deciding never to do that again, I might have been the next Evel Knievel!  OK, perhaps a question isn’t that powerful … and truth be told, I am pretty happy being this Grant Gallicano! 

On the topic of decisions, conclusions and expectations – I am reminded of a story where a client was experiencing anxiety whenever driving alone in the car.  For the sake of this story, let’s call him Ben. Through awareness and a few choice questions, a memory came forward of Ben being alone in the car at age 6, accidentally knocking the car into neutral, and being terrified as the car rolled down the driveway and into the street. Now, the street was empty and the Ben was unhurt – no harm no foul. Once his upset appeared to have passed and he was calm, the incident was forgotten about.  Or was it? Through this experience, Ben appeared to have decided that being alone in a moving car was a traumatic event.  When 6 year old Ben’s memory was brought to the surface and the decisions, conclusions and expectations that were made as a result of that event were uncovered – Ben realized that the 6 year old within was running the show and creating the anxiety whenever he was driving alone. With this realization, a few more questions were asked and 6-year-old Ben agreed that the unique set of circumstances he experienced were no longer applicable and stopped running the show while driving alone. 

How many past memories are you holding onto which are a result of a unique set of circumstances that are no longer applicable, yet the resulting decisions, conclusions and expectations are running your life? And is it time to ask a few questions to see what might shift?