Interrupting our limiting patterns
When ‘FAIL” flashed at the end of the mark sheet on the cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor, I went blank. It felt like something hit me hard. Felt like a black cloud had moved into my head. This black cloud began dripping into my body the way sand drips in a time machine. The sound level in the browsing centre went to mute only to be replaced by a humming commotion between my ears. My throat went dry. The result of my examination (FAIL) and the 30 marks against Cost Accounting paper were the only two things I saw. The font was bold, black and large. It was as if the rest of the mark-sheet did not exist. Am I going to be another also-ran in the quest to conquer Chartered Accountancy?
I moved from the browsing centre to my home, about 50 metres, like a carcass being dragged along the ground by a rope tied to a horse carriage. The unconscious conspicuousness meant I meekly knocked on the door instead of ringing the bell. To my surprise, my mom answered the knock quicker than she would have had I rung the bell. She looked jubilant. I tactfully avoided eye contact, planted the lifeless body on the couch that had my back facing my mom and stared outside the window. My eyes stopped at the leaves of the neem tree. The sharp, zoomed focus on the neem leaves gave way to blur, wide image. That included the brown of the branches. The gentle shaking of the branches and the neem leaves in response to the breeze moved me into a state of unresourceful trance. My mom’s continual inquiry faded in the background as I went on a mental sojourn. The narrative consisted of many, many parts. Had I recorded the sound waves, it would have been an audio compilation of limiting beliefs! It went from how the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India was conspiring to fail me to not qualifying as an accountant until 40 as predicted by a “wise” relative.
In hindsight, that was my first, vivid experience of me vs world belief structure playing out loud. The salient features of this belief:
1. There is a conspiracy out there to fail and get me.
2. All odds are against me.
3. Poor little, old me is under attack for being nice.
And a bonus, anyone with the same mentality gets attracted like an iron filing to a magnet. Bitching ensues. Non-stop.
After almost a week of unresourcefulness, I ran into a wise man. He noticed I was being unusual and inquired about my wellness. I had by then attained mastery of narrating my thumb sucking story. I was flowing at the speed and smoothness of a German sedan on an autobahn. His loud, firm question involuntarily made me screech off the familiar drive.
Wise man: How old are you?
Wise Man: The rest of your life is going to be about how you failed?
Me: What…no…of course not!
Wise Man: Then, what are you doing about it?
Me: Hmmm…..nothing. (after a brief pause) I have to prepare for the next exam.
Wise Man: Ok, when are you starting the preparation?
Did I fail after that? Yes. Many times. Did I succeed after that? Yes. Many times. Each time I go on my mental sojourn of me vs the world, I use the wise man’s voice to interrupt me. His voice always goes with me.
If I may invite you to reflect, what is the primary limiting belief/pattern you display?
What is it like being in it? (Describe what you see, hear, feel, taste and smell)
In what way do you interrupt your pattern (pre-supposing you have an interrupter)?