Updated: Jan 5, 2019
Understanding how our programming and filters disempower us
Throughout our lives, our learning has come from our parents, teachers, religious leaders, the media, and other authority figures. They have educated us, given us advice, and told us ‘how things are’. Do we realize that these experiences are what program us? Have we taken the time to ask ourselves if what we have been taught is even right for us? As an example, our education system was created in the industrial era, where conformity was the desired outcome. Does that serve us now?
What do I mean by programming? Just like a computer, when you run a program, you get a defined reaction. If I type the letter ’T’ on the keyboard, a ’T’ shows up on the screen. In many cases, we are the same. We react, instead of choosing to respond. We are programmed with a myriad of experiences, and our reactions become ‘just what we do’.
A filter is something that makes us see things differently. Just like sunglasses can reduce the glare of the sun, our filters can limit our ability to see things in a perspective that serves.
Some examples of where filters and programs give away our power include: worrying about what other people think of us, attachment to our possessions, jobs, bodies, etc. our thoughts, feelings and emotions, fear, guilt, and shame.
Most of the time, these filters are automatic, and we accept them without questioning them. When we learn to question them, we can break free of their limitations.
You are the expert in your own experience.
In a world of conformity, your uniqueness is what sets you apart. By embracing your authenticity, you can add your unique fingerprint to the world like nobody else can. You are the expert in your own experience. By choosing to be authentic, you reclaim your power from any programming that doesn’t serve you.
The interesting thing is that authenticity also exposes vulnerability. You really don’t care what people think of you, so you become an open book. While some people may believe that vulnerability is a weakness, it actually is a place of power. It also provides a great sense of connection with others who may have similar experiences.
When we look around us, authentic people are the most memorable. They are the people that know what they stand for. They are willing to stand alone. People like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Gandhi are great examples of authenticity.
Tools for embracing authenticity
How do we become more authentic? By removing the filters and programming that no longer serve us. Here are a few tools that you can use:
Create awareness through meditation and being present- Many of our thoughts during the day are about the past or the future. For the most part, these do not serve us. You cannot change the past, so once the lesson is learned, there is no value in reliving the past. Also, it’s good to plan for the future, but we are not fortune tellers, and things change. Additionally, the only time we can do anything about the future is here and now, in the present. The more we are able to live in the present, the more we can create an awareness of our actions, and where we may be reacting instead of conscious acting.
Coming from a place of love and not fear - The primary motives behind what we do in life are out of love or out of fear. When we choose to come from a place of fear, we limit our power and possibility. As an example, if we are afraid to do something out of fear of what others will think of us, then we limit ourselves. Also, when coming from a place of love, there needs to be a balance of love for self and others. If we love others more than we love ourselves, we become victims. If we love ourselves more than others, we become narcissistic. Balance is key when coming from a place of love.
Becoming aware of the filters and programming that you are letting run your life - When we create an awareness that we have filters and programming, then we can evaluate them to determine if they serve us or not. Judgments, labels, comparison, expectations, authority, thoughts and emotions are all filters that we use. These things have been learned during our lives. When we choose to unlearn those things that don’t serve, we become more empowered.
As we embrace our authenticity by removing filters and programming that don’t serve us, and learn to come from a place of love instead of fear, we reclaim our power that we have given away. Since we have taken a lifetime to learn all this programming, we should be patient with ourselves as we create an awareness of this programming, unlearn it, and learn to respond in a new, powerful way.
Randall H. Scott is an author, speaker, coach, and the founder of Zenpowerment. With a degree in marketing, Randy spent a 25-year corporate career in international sales and marketing, while living in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. After nearly dying in a motorcycle accident at the age of 33, he realized that he had a second chance to live, so went in search of what really matters in life. His passion for the fusion of science and spirituality led him to compile the principles and tools of Zenpowerment. He's found a way to enjoy more peace, power, and purpose in life, as well as discover authenticity by uncovering who we are not in order to find out who we really are. You can read more of Randy's work at www.MyZenpowerment.com as well as find his book on Amazon.