When I began teaching psychological skills for being able to create in your life with full awareness of what you were acting to produce in others, I came across a srprising realization. When I used examples of typical behavior that produced negative results, and refocused them on what results they actually wanted to produce in an intentional manner, then explored the type of behavior that would actually produce the desired response, that (some) people felt that if they acted in an intentional manner with awareness of what they were doing, that they’d be manipulative. Not to mention, the surprising realization, even for them, that they actually wanted to produce the negative response, because it was necessary for them to continue telling their story about people and the way things are. We’re all living out of a story we tell ourselves about things that we act to initiate as well as perceive being done to us by others.
The most fundamental problem you find around empowerment and skillfully employing psychological skills in creating is that many people don’t know “how” to be empowered, and can’t logically incorporate being empowered into their story-line that they live out of and produce naturally through automatic and largely unconscious behaviors. Of course, the most basic law we’re dealing with all the time, in everything we do, is “cause and effect”. Action that produces a like reaction; opposites of the same idea that act to compliment each other by playing complementary roles that act out the same dramas as a joint experience. When they remain unconscious and continue to produce negative responses that are ultimately destructive in nature, they feel as if they’re being “honest and authentic” (normal and natural) in their behaviors.
Yet, just the act of looking at the same situation objectively as how we act towards another to produce a reaction, while removing how they justify the negative reaction as revealing the truth about the other person, while not having anything to do with them, and simply asking how they could change their behavior to produce a different (positive) response (in their mind indicating that they’re doing something wrong), they initially become defensive and argue the point by saying that if they changed their behavior intentionally in order to produce a different response, that they’d be manipulating the other person, and would be dishonest somehow. They think this way without ever seeming to realize that the same law is involved, and the only difference is whether or not we’re conscious and acting in the situation with awareness of what we’re doing, or if we remain unconscious and take no responsibility for our part in the interaction.
To be an actual creator in your own life requires you to not only become more aware of what you’re doing to create your experience of life, but also how you directly act on other people to influence their behavior through the experience you create by how you interact and how you treat them. To be creative means to be able to change your own behavior in order to change other people’s behavior in response to you. It means being able to recognize what types of behaviors produce specific effects, and employing in an intentional and deliberate manner the behavior that’ll produce the desired response. The attitude we take, and the story it naturally produces is expressed in everything we do, and becomes the common denominator in all our experiences.
Either way, whether we choose to remain unconscious in our own life, and therefore unaware of our own creative ability, or if we become conscious and begin acting in our own life with full awareness of how we’re being, and how that produces a distinct and equivalent response in everyone around us, we are still creating according to law. To be empowered at any time and in any situation comes through self-awareness, and our ability to first realize what response we want from others and life in general, and what attitude and behavior we need to employ and act out to produce it as a natural interaction. While we don’t have the ability to change other people, we very much have the ability to change ourselves and develop the ability to be flexible in our behavior, adapting it to whatever we need to in order to produce the response we want in others. It’s not being manipulative in the negative sense, but rather in the positive and creative sense. Either way, haphazardly through negative behavior, or consciously through positive behavior, we’re still acting to manipulate the situation by influencing and modifying it through the nature of our own behavior that serves to initiate and provoke a “like reaction”.
When we also realize the law of the mind that moves away from pain and discomfort, while moving towards pleasure and reward, we can use this knowledge to further develop our method of creating by realizing that if we make “dealing with us” a bad experience somehow, that it creates resistance and causes people to avoid us, stay away from us, or ignore us. Likewise, if we create a pleasant experience that’s fulfilling somehow, people cooperate fully, love being around us, and seek us out. If you want to build a sense of connection, openness, comfort, trust, safety, and a sense of happiness as the “experience” you create with others by how you act and interact, then you need to form a clear idea in your mind of the type of experience you want to create, and what type of behaviors you want to produce in others, and what behaviors you need to employ to “cause” it. Whatever attitude and behaviors we employ creates that same attitude and behavior in others. Through simple observation that’s objective in nature, we can identify this basic cause and effect relationship, and cultivate the flexibility that’s required to embody different states and the different types of behavior that naturally come out of them. In any system, whoever employs the greatest flexibility has the greatest influence over the system, and acts naturally to lead it.
Dr. Linda Gadbois
Professional Development Consultant