By George Helou, best-selling author and founder of the empowerment program, EP7.
What does reinvention mean? And how do assumptions relate to reinvention?
Everything is environment. Your mind, your body and your surroundings are all environment.
When you are automatically interpreting the environment of yourself and your surroundings with a set of learned assumptions, you are experiencing a version of reality that appears as the only reality, thanks to those learned assumptions.
Those assumptions contribute to a series of labels, designed to help us form an identity and through that identity we can identify what to belong to, and what to separate from.
What to belong to is meant to keep us safe and what to separate from is meant to be a threat to our wellbeing. Hence, race, religion, culture and gender can create division. For example, racism and sexism can thrive when we are conditioned to subscribe unconditionally to assumptions that our identity is based on a colour of skin, personality traits, where we are born or how we make sense of the unseen forces that created this existence.
“This video expands our sense of self and our constant labelling”
Reinvention happens when you change any one of your assumptions, such as believing you are inferior, weak or unworthy because of the colour of your skin or gender. Each time you remove an assumption based on a ‘mistruth’ and replace it with one aligned with your wisdom and the truth of your mental and biological capability, you have in effect, reinvented yourself.
This is profound because it changes the way you think, feel and act across virtually all areas of your life. Your reality changes and hence what you experience changes. Changing just one assumption filters how you look at almost everything in your life.
For example, say you doubt you can handle confronting people who are disrespecting you, that filter will control your emotions, thoughts and actions. You will assume that if you confront you will be attacked. This makes you feel anxious and compels you to avoid confronting at all costs. Anxiety through this filter is justified because you are convinced you need to protect yourself from all threatening situations. The ‘confrontation is dangerous’ filter will affect how you relate to all if not most of your relationships with family, friends and colleagues and beyond.
What if that assumption was blatantly wrong and was limiting your success in relationships? What if you can confront without creating conflict? Here is a video where George Helou shares how to confront in an empowering way.
As you can see, when you remove a filter that forces you to assume that confronting is dangerous and to be avoided every time, you begin to act in a way leading to desirable results. This is a profound reinvention stemming from removal of just one assumption!
You versus the world
Many of these assumption filters interfere with our sense of worth, capability and abundance. When we have hurtful experiences, we can tend to form assumptions that life is more threatening and dangerous than we previously anticipated and protection becomes a higher priority. ‘People can’t be trusted’, ‘love hurts’, ‘I’m jinxed’, ‘It’s a dog-eat-dog-world’ and hundreds of similar filters manipulate the environment we perceive and experience. These filters create an unbalanced and unhealthy skew towards overprotection creating a ‘me versus the world’ mentality.
‘Racism and sexism can thrive when we are conditioned to subscribe unconditionally to assumptions…’
Through traumatic events, the brain can cause us to draw conclusions that anything that remotely looks like the environment which existed around that trauma needs to serve as a warning that the event will repeat. So, we form assumptions with intense emotion which translate into habits.
As this trauma rewires our brain to protect us, we end up trapped through our perception and behaviour, caught in an overprotection mode without realising the consequences. Overprotective thinking and decision-making compounds into being overly defensive, distant and avoiding risks, no matter how calculated they might be.
When we are in the habit of avoiding our environment, this isolation stagnates our growth. The ability to live a purposeful life filled with meaningful connections and adventure is taken away.
‘Our wisdom… can be clarified and the contrast between the self-sabotage and the empowering state becomes clear’
Eventually, through stagnation, we experience boredom and loss of direction. Not consciously knowing how we got there, we feel lost and disillusioned. That means, without being conscious, we are only aware of the options that are ultra-safe and the ideas that would excite us are undetected because they are held outside the blinkered range. This means the imagination is not being ignited and cannot serve the heart because the brain is wired to believe that entertaining new ideas is a liability. Hence, imagination is shut down, depriving our ability to re-imagine a world that can excite, expand and fulfil us.
In this highly stressed state, we imagine the world as an uninspiring, adventure-starved playground. The focus here should be on deconstructing the ideas that formed this way of imagining our environment; seeing ourselves as being unworthy and incapable and our surroundings as being scarce on resources and cruel.
By deconstructing how we are imagining, we can expose and assess the assumptions that were formed during traumatic events. Our wisdom from there can be clarified and the contrast between the self-sabotage and the empowering state becomes clear. This gives reason and motivation to move out of the stagnant state and into one that delivers the balance, which restores adventure.
This shift into a different state of mind is a reinvention and something nature does constantly through adaptation. A caterpillar reinvents itself into a flying creature: a butterfly. Nature shows what we are designed and meant to do.
This mind-shift inspired me to retell the fairy-tale of Cinderella because I accidently discovered that it was encoded with a hidden, empowering story of Ella reinventing herself. This is how Ella managed to attend the ball, meet the prince, and end her enslavement. (I recently released the audiobook version on iTunes and Audible, narrated by Gogglebox’s Jo Van Es.)
Begin your reinvention
To dedicate yourself to a personal development journey of ongoing reinvention out of a disempowering conditioning, here are ways you can begin:
- Read self-help books;
- Surround yourself with like-minded people who value personal development;
- Commit to meditating daily;
- Spend quality time in nature every week;
- Create opportunities for creative play;
- See a life or EP7-personal development coach-practitioner who is trained to help you reinvent yourself. (see www.EP7.com.au); and
- Attend personal development seminars, webinars, courses and workshops.
It’s worth examining your assumptions, deciding whether they are working in your favour, and taking steps to change those that aren’t.
The founder of Empowered for Purpose in 7 Steps, EP7, George Helou, is based in Subiaco, Western Australia, and has dedicated his life to helping people build their confidence.