Have you ever wondered why what you say you want in life doesn't quite match up with what's really happening?
Like saying you want a relationship, but you've been single for two years. Or talking about wanting to have savings, yet somehow not managing to save any money for years.
It's kind of strange, right?
I've realized that this gap between what I say I want and what I actually experience is a pretty common thing in many areas of my life. It made me curious about why this occurs, and the most insightful explanation I came across was during an ontology workshop.
It’s because of hidden intentions
The thing is, when there's a mismatch between what you say you want and what you do, it's because you hold hidden intentions. And by hidden intentions, I don't mean anything sneaky, but rather things that operate on a subconscious level. It's as if you're operating based on an unconscious belief that influences your actions without your full awareness.
What are hidden intentions?
A great explanation of this came from Gabor Mate on “the Diary of CEO” podcast, where Steven Bartlett asked Dr. Gabor how to live what he wants.
The answer he’s got from Dr. Mate is that he needs to understand what it is that he really wants and see if there is a mismatch between what he says he wants and what he actually lives.
Psychologists have them to
In this situation, Gabor shared a personal story to illustrate his point. When he was a young parent, if you had asked him what he wished for concerning his kids, he would've probably said, "I want them to be happy." But the truth of his daily life told a different story. He was always busy with work, constantly helping others, and didn't have much time to spend with his own children.
So, what he verbalized didn't align with his actions, not because he didn't care about his kids, but because deep down he was feeling that he is worthless, and being most of his time around those patients who needed him constantly was a way to alleviate that pain of not being enough. And all of this was occurring without him consciously realizing it.
We all have it
And just like Gabor Mate, we all have mismatches between what we say and what we do and the below framework is designed to uncover that source-cause of it.
To make it more effectively to you, you'll need:
1 - A piece of paper and a pen;
2 - Be radical honest with yourself;
3 - And follow each step.
The steps to uncover your hidden intention:
Step #1 - Write down the outcome you say you want in your life.
It can be from your personal or professional life. What matters is that you pick an outcome that you really want.
Example 1 - a desired outcome from personal life:
- “I want to be in a relationship.”
Example 2 - a desired outcome from professional life:
- “I want my ideas to be taken seriously by my team members.”
Step #2 - Write down what you actually experience.
If you're not consistently living what you desire, you're living something different. The goal is to articulate what you are actually experiencing.
When applied to the examples mentioned earlier, their actual experiences unfolded as follows:
Example 1 - from personal life
- The desired outcome - “I want to be in a relationship.”
- The actual experience - "I have been single for 2 years now."
Example 2 - from professional life
- The desired outcome - “I want my ideas to be taken seriously by my team members."
- The actual experience - "In any project we undertake, when someone introduces an idea, I prioritize their idea over my own."
Step #3 - Write down at least 3 actions you're avoiding to take in order to achieve the desired outcome.
Here, it’s very important to write down observable actions that took you to what you are actually experiencing, meaning something that I would see you doing or not doing if I were watching you. Be very specific.
Example 1 - from personal life - actions you have been avoiding to take
- I stay away from creating any online dating profiles.
- I often hold back from truly taking the time to open up in conversations with men who approach me.
- I skip planning and organizing my schedule and activities to make room for dating.
Example 2 - from professional life - actions you have been avoiding to take
- I avoid prioritizing my ideas when working with someone in the team, I tend to put their ideas ahead of mine.
- I don't say anything if something bothers me when working in a team.
- I avoid to share my ideas with my team members.
Step #4 - Identify the source-cause of these actions - the unconscious belief.
At this step you uncover your deep-seated self-perception or the unconscious belief that is the source cause of your actions.
From my experience, most people struggle with this step, myself included, because it is not obvious. That's why is important to have someone guiding you through it at the beginning.
Step #5 - Discover when and where you created this belief.
The goal of this step is for you to understand when you created this belief, to find that initial moment when you started to think about yourself in this specific way and process that event.
Join the workshop on rewriting your mental script
When I first adopted this framework, I had someone guiding me through it. Delving into your unconscious beliefs isn't always straightforward, even if you're familiar with the steps. That's why we initiated an interactive workshop to both explain and practice this framework. By the end of 2023, we'll conduct three workshops:
- November 16th
- November 30th
- December 7th
Here is the link to the events -The Psychology of Performance: Rewriting Your Mental Script
As a token of gratitude for reading this far, use the code FREE to attend any of the workshops at no cost.