Our Conditioning Runs Deep

I had a big insight this morning. I was reviewing the latest (and close to final) chapter in my new novel.

As the story unfolds, the heroine Sheryl Simmons, who you may remember if you read my novel Ascending Ladders, was in a meeting with several of her peers and colleagues. There’s a lot of tension in the room because new information about a few members of the executive team is being exposed.

The situation was an opportunity for Sheryl to take a more assertive role, and for some reason, I didn’t let her. She came across much more passive than I intended. More like the way I was brought up to behave. Playing it safe. Too safe.

Ouch! (Trust me, she won’t be playing it safe when the book comes out because both she and I are done with playing it safe.)

I didn’t even realize I had done it until my writing mentors, Bridget and Hannah, pointed it out.

That’s how deep our unconscious conditioning can run.

And that’s why it’s so important to have people in our lives who can call us out when we slip back into that unconscious conditioning, what I called the “Survivor Mode”.

AWARENESS is one of the three pillars of my Transcendence Methodology, and situations like this are exactly why. If we’re not aware of our conditioning, or our inner beliefs, we act on them.

Like responding with fear when we’re in a situation that reminds us of a past experience.

Or procrastinating when we’re uncomfortable with taking a specific action.

Or feeling judged when someone treats us poorly, even when their behavior had nothing to do with us.

. . . I’m sure you get the gist.

We learned most, if not all, of these behaviors when we were children when we needed these responses literally to survive. We’ve been taught them by well-meaning parents and adults who are trying to protect us. And we’ve had them reinforced by experiences in our adult lives where we may have felt unsafe.

However, as much as conditioning is designed to keep us safe, it also often perceives danger where there is none.

We may not need to play it safe in certain situations anymore.

Today, I was reminded just how deep that conditioning can be.

I’ve learned to be AWARE of it, RECOGNIZE it, PAUSE, and respond differently. But every once in a while, that old conditioning creeps back in.

My question for you today: Do you have someone in your life to help you develop your awareness?

It might be something to consider as we wind down 2022 and head into a new year. Because you never know where deep conditioning is keeping you “safe” from a danger that doesn’t exist.


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