Overcoming experience, turning off autopilot
Imagine a life unfettered by previous experience. How would that feel? To come at every challenge, every opportunity afresh, without a trawl through the mental back catalogue and the barriers that can often throw up.
Experience has a value of course when it’s drawn upon wisely, when it helps us deal with the mundane and routine efficiently. The thing is, though, it often gets in the way, becoming a stumbling block to us and those around us.
For example, there’s the simple issue that recurs and that we fix the same way each time it crops up. Yet would a different approach and solution fix it for good? There’s the enthusiastic member of our team who shares their new idea with some passion and an evident commitment to get things underway and deliver.
The thing is we’ve tried the idea before and it didn’t work. Our ‘ah-but’ kicks in and flattens the idea and, much worse, the passion and enthusiasm of our colleague. Wouldn’t a different response…‘great, let’s adjust it slightly and try it this way’…be worth a try?
What we’re talking about here is our autopilot. It makes us quick, efficient, and somewhat mindless. So we need to switch it off and start really connecting with ourselves and our inner power so that we can connect with others and the situation in more positive and expansive ways.
That means being more mindful, more attentive in the present moment, so we notice and catch our own experience-driven reactions, assumptions and judgements. And it means listening in an entirely different way; not just through the ears and the rational mind but through our heart and to our intuition and knowing too – the open mind, open heart and open will described in Scharmer’s Theory U framework.
Connecting in this way helps us tap into our creative capability, bring people with us and discern where experience might just enhance the outcome.