If I have not received a response (email, text, call) from a colleague or friend, I’m tempted to think they must be upset with me. This is a practiced behavior from when I was a kid—when I was bullied, I would tell myself that I wasn’t enough, based on very little concrete evidence for it (not every kid was bullying me).
Emotional, frontal cortex, responses to stimulus create thought-loops of pain, often caused by our need for social connection.
This thought-loop is what happens when we tell ourselves stories about reality that are not our reality. Pain without reason is a misperception, a story, an estimate of something—not its nature.
In his book Principles, Ray Dalio explains that true power over ourselves, essentially, means surrendering to the fact that we don’t know ourselves. The stories we tell, boomeranging around the front of our brains, are not our reality. But we make them our reality.
Accepting that we aren’t happy isn’t accepting reality, it’s a cry for help.
Therefore, being lost is a gift. And with that gift, we iterate new ideas, new concepts, which we will need to process in the deeper part of our brain.
Recognizing that we don’t know ourselves is a tremendous gift along the way to finding ourselves.