There are two really different ways to look at our life, on the one side you can focus all your attention on the outside world and on the other you may have your attention directed towards your inner world.
The outside world is where we feel influenced by other people, what they say and do. When we believe that the outside world is where things happen and where our future is decided we may say things as: ‘he is bothering me, I cannot do anything about it’ or ‘if she doesn’t stop doing that how can I possibly have my space’.
The inside world is where we feel we have choices, where we realize how things affect us and we consider how we want to react to that. When we are more focused on our inner world we could more easily say things like: ’The way he is behaving bothers me, it doesn’t work for me, I feel unease. I have to seriously feel what I want to do about it. Maybe I can enter a dialogue with him and suggest a different way to collaborate, if this doesn’t work I have to consider what I want to do, how am I going to solve this for myself’. Another example ‘I need my space, at the moment is difficult and I need to do something, I don’t feel comfortable’.
The approach based on the outer world has a great disadvantage: the power to change things is with other people or situation ('because of the crisis I am unemployed'), while with a more inner world focus approach the power is with you ('The crisis gave me the kick I needed to leave a job I didn’t like and now I’m choosing a new adventure for my future' or 'because of the crisis I will have to use my creativity to keep doing the job I love in a different way/place/situation').
Simon Sinek talks about finite mindset versus infinite mindset. The first is a mindset where everything is already defined and impossible to change (looks a lot like the outside world focus) the second is a mindset that wants to open up to the infinite possibilities that your creative and sensitive mind is capable of shaping (inner-world focus).
When you consider a problem you are faced with in life, what is your instinctive approach, focus on the outside world or on the inner world?
Do you blame everything on the circumstances, the people involved and other things that you cannot change? Do you feel powerless?
Or do you look inside of yourself, notice how you feel, what you want and choose to initiate a conscious response to the situation you are facing?
The automatic pilot in the western culture is more often than not the outer world approach, so if you know you choose it often however you already realize you may want to try the inner approach from now on, don’t be hard on yourself, we have all been there.
It feels easy to blame it on the circumstances, because that means we don’t need to do anything about it. The problem is that by doing that we allow the circumstances to keep dictating our situation for us. If we, for instance, blame the crisis for our being unemployed that lead us to being poor, not being able to do many things, being depressed and much more, we are unconsciously saying: ‘the crisis has now all the power in my life, the crisis will decide when I am less poor and less depressed'.
When you approach the crisis (read also ex-spouse, nasty neighbor, friend that betrayed me) focusing on our inner world, using our own power ourselves, our thread of thoughts may sounds more like: ‘I really don’t like the crisis, I feel useless and I want to be useful, I feel still and I want to move towards my future.’
You are still not happy, however you are not waiting for the situation to change, you are activated to take things in your own hands.
It can be really complex to start applying the inner world approach to the solution of your current situation, it is a complete paradigm shift. If what you are reading so far has intrigued you,
I invite you to try this new approach using this practice below that is both simple and effective. It is most than anything else a self-reflection journey inside of yourself to look at things from a different perspective.
Just consider your situation and answer the following questions: