seeing the world

The World As It Is

This sub-section involves assessing and comparing the automatic perceptions with seeing the world as it is in its context and what aligns with your values, priorities, and present capabilities. Here are the tools for when there are issues related to beliefs or misperceptions about current reality that you can implement while going through the template:

Tools For Seeing The World

Compare Views

Sometimes we can get so caught up in what others think that we forget to consider our perspective, and even when we try it sometimes does not register in us.

TOOL: Compare Views

  1. Become aware of what they think and their perspective, wait a moment or two until you feel ready.
  2. Bring your attention to what you actually think. Really take a moment to consider it from the ground up – not solely what you may be in the habit of thinking.

Capabilities

The difference between this tool and the one in the differentiation of self category with the same name is that the former compares the capabilities with the “other person or people” to differentiate yourself from the power dynamic causing enmeshment, whereas the tool in this section is solely an assessment of what your capabilities are irregardless of the other person to clarify any distortion of seeing the world as is from the tendency to generalize and not see the context within a situation when there is a high level of anxiety.

TOOL: Capabilities

Become aware of what your capabilities actually are in the present regarding this worry, the persons, or situation.

Options

The difference between this tool and the one in the differentiation of self category with the same name is that the former compares the options with the “other person or people” to differentiate yourself from the other as a result of the internalized power dynamic causing enmeshment, whereas the tool in this section is solely an assessment of what your options are irregardless of the other person to clarify any distortion of seeing the world as is from the tendency to generalize and not see the context within a situation.

TOOL: Options

Become aware of what your options actually are in the present regarding this worry, the persons, or situation?

Resources 

The difference between this tool and the one in the differentiation of self category with the same name is that the former compares the resources within the power dynamic of the “other person or people” to differentiate yourself from the other as a result of the internalized power dynamic causing enmeshment, whereas the tool in this section is solely an assessment of what your resources are irregardless of the other person to clarify any distortion of reality from the tendency to generalize and not see the context within a situation.

TOOL: Resources

Become aware of what your resources actually are in the present regarding this worry, the persons, or situation?

Big Picture Of Seeing The World

Having the ability to foster visceral awareness of the big picture when facing daily stressors can provide valuable perspective, reduce chronic anxiety, and check our anger. When in situations that are overwhelming we tend to lose sight of our big picture values and goals. Identifying and embodying these in a manner that sticks in implicit memory can help with realigning with our values and goals so that we more accurately interpret the current situation with this big picture perspective. This helps to respond in a way that reflects what is important to us, and reduces anxiety because we viscerally have sorted out what is significant and not.

For this tool, it is necessary to complete a self-discovery exercise in a previous chapter. The exercise is given below for convenience, followed by the tool. If you have already done the exercise and established what is of value to you and what your goals are then you can skip to the Big Picture tool to embody this for when you are exploring and changing implicit memory.

Exercise: Self-Discovery

  1. Who or what is important to you in your life? Begin to reflect on what actually resonates with you at a feeling level. There will likely be automatic counter thoughts that arise, such as: it’s not practical, that’s silly, that’s a waste of time.
    1. When you find something that seems important, don’t stop there. Try to assess what the core need of what is important is under the specific example.
    2. When you have contemplated this, see if there is an even deeper core need below the layer you just peeled away. Continue exploring and peeling the layers away to find the core needs until you cannot find any more for that specific example.
    3. Move on to the exploring the next value when you have sufficiently analyzed the previous one.
  2. If you had enough money to never need to work again, how would you spend your time?
  3. Who did you want to be as a kid? What gives you joy or interest even if it seems silly.
  4. If you could wave a magic wand and do or have anything, what would that look like? Keep investigating ‘why’ for every reason that you have and contemplate the core need at the extent you can ask ‘why’.
  5. What is your happiest memory or memories? Also contemplate why this is and look for the foundational reason why it made you happy, such as core needs of safety, satisfaction, connection with others, or meaning. Be specific.
  6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
  7. What feels worthy to you if you were to imagine looking back on your life and you had made the most of life? What would making the most of life look like? Be specific in describing this. For example, what making the most out of life looks like for me if I were to look back at the end of life, it would be to guide my son to thrive in life, be a nurturing and loving husband, be a strong yet strategic advocate for what I feel is right and for those I love, provide the world with a guide on how to help them truly achieve happiness, peace of mind, and harmony with others to make a lasting impact on humanity, and explore and enjoy the many delicacies, leisure, and beautiful aspects of the different cultures – seeing and exploring the good in people and places. So, now start to explore:
  8. What do you want your life to look like in 5 years?
  9. What do you want your life to look like in 10 years?
  10. What do you want your life to look like in 25 years?
  11. What do you want your life to look like in 50 years?

 

TOOL:  Big Picture

  1. Become aware of your body. 1-2-3-4-5 secs.
  2. Notice your breathing and follow your breath with your attention. Lightly become aware of your immediate situation. 1-2-3-4-5 secs.
  3. Think about what is important, what you like, and what you value in the long-term at the same time you are aware of this immediate situation.
  4. For each value you identify, focus on it for 1-2-3-4-5 secs at the same time you are aware of the immediate situation.
  5. Allow your attention to oscillate back and forth between the value and the immediate situation.
  6. Be aware of your body and the feeling of the value at the same time you are aware of the immediate situation.
  7. Stay with and linger on the value and be aware of how the longer you linger with this felt sense as you are present in your body, the more it feels like this value is a part of your body.
  8. Next become aware in your mind’s eye the larger building or space you are in as you solely turn your attention to the value.
  9. Become aware of yourself within this larger space as well while you are aware of the value. Think about and identify what is important in this larger space – whether this value still holds true or if other values come into awareness.
  10. Next, in your mind’s eye or imagining the felt sense of it, become aware of yourself in the city, now the country, now the world, and the solar system, and the universe.
  11. What is important to you as you are of yourself in the vastness of the universe. As you do this, imagine looking down at yourself and seeing what is important in the past to you, and what is important in the present right now, and what might be important to you in the future.
  12. For anything you notice as valuable or important, become aware of your body and any enjoyable feelings or sensations. Experience this in the moment and be present with these enjoyable feelings or sensations.

Priorities

The mind’s tendency to generalize can result in a lack of prioritization of what is significant and meaningful during our interactions (past of present). This can be crucial for gaining perspective during difficult situations. If not taken into account it can also lead to self-blame if we do not evaluate what our priorities actually are based on our values and goals.

TOOL: Priorities

What are your priorities based on what is of most value and importance to you in your life?

Current Needs

The difference between this tool and the one in the differentiation of self category with the same name is that the former assesses your needs to differentiate yourself from the other as a result of the internalized power dynamic causing enmeshment, whereas the tool in this section is solely an assessment of what your needs are in the present irregardless of the other person so as to clarify any distortion of seeing the world as is from the tendency to generalize and not see context within a situation.

TOOL: Current Needs

  1. What are your current needs in this situation? Look at the core needs you have to help with this.
  2. When looking at the needs try to delve down into what those core needs are.
  3. Are you needing safety, stability, satisfaction, connection, meaning/purpose?

Evidence Of Seeing The World

What is the actual evidence for what you are perceiving from seeing the world. This can be a bit difficult to do because desire for how we want something to be can trick us into believing something is true because it feels ‘right’ or ‘good’.

TOOL: Evidence

  1. What is the actual evidence for what you are perceiving? Go slow as you assess this and look at each discrete aspect of the evidence.
  2. Be prepared for the answer to potentially not be what you are wanting or hoping for.
  3. Reducing stress levels can aid in this because when we are stressed our capacity for willpower and coping resources are low and make us more susceptible to this thinking trap.

Stakes/Consequences

Our mind tends to generalize and bias toward the negative causing us to automatically perceive threats when these may not be proportionate to the situation. Contextualizing what the stakes and consequences are in the specific situation to avoid overgeneralizing can be a very useful practice to reduce worry and anxiety for many situations.

TOOL: Stakes/Consequences

Become aware of what the stakes and consequences actually are as you attempt to be the way you are wanting to be regarding this worry, the persons, or situation.

Highest Unspoken Awareness

Chronic stress seems to contribute to a habit of mind where we do not use our fuller capacity for assessing a more complete picture of the situation at hand. This may be due to energy conservation during chronic stress, which could result in reacting to a situation based on a limited perspective of seeing the world even below our accessible capacity.

TOOL: Highest Unspoken Awareness

  1. What is your highest unspoken awareness of what is important to remember in this situation?
  2. What is your highest unspoken awareness of what you are needing?
  3. What is your highest unspoken awareness of what is actually going on?
  4. What is your highest unspoken awareness of what the meaning is.

Seeing The World In A Balanced View

The tendency for our mind to generalize also leads our perceptions to be all or nothing, or 1’s and 0’s, with nothing in between. The challenge in successfully accomplishing a more balanced way of thinking and seeing the world in shades of grey is that the enticement of a feeling of certainty and a feeling of stability can impede clear thinking. From an empathic perspective, this is understandable especially if we are under stressful conditions. And, this tendency seems to be automatic in which people might not even be aware of this illusion.

The first step to counter this difficulty is to first regulate your stress levels as much as possible. The second is to become aware of whether it is adaptive now to think and see the world in a more balanced view. The third step is to become aware of what the stakes and consequences are for having a more balanced view. The fourth step is to consider what are the benefits of having a more balanced view and linger on these benefits for 10 seconds while savouring the emotionally rewarding experience of this awareness of the benefits having?

TOOL: Balanced View

  1. Gently become aware of your body and stay with this embodied awareness throughout the exercise. Move or shift your body to get comfortable. Slow your breathing down. Breathe in a little deeper than usual making sure it’s comfortable for you. Breathe out a bit longer than you normally do in a way that feels pleasant for you. Make your breathing smooth, even, and rhythmic.
  2. What might a more balanced view of the situation or concern be? Are you taking into account all the variables you can or is the comfort of the viewpoint you are having clouding your viewpoint?
  3. Become aware of whether it is adaptive now to think in a more balanced view.
  4. Become aware of what the stakes and consequences are for having a more balanced view.
  5. What are the benefits of having a more balanced view and linger on these benefits for 10 seconds while savouring the emotionally rewarding experience of this awareness of the benefits.