What Tripping Over the Truth Looks Like in Real Life- Ker splatIf you are on this journey with me moving towards Loving Your LIFE – as in really being in LOVE with your life – then you understand that part of getting there is personal growth and development, a subject that I LOVE! I want to give you a glimpse of what that personal growth and development looks like in real life with an example of how last week I “Tripped Over the Truth” and what that means. I will start with the phrase ‘tripping over the truth’.
Tripping Over the TruthI first heard of the phrase ‘tripping over the truth’ from a book titled “The Power of Moments” by New York Times Best-selling authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath, also the authors of “Switch” and “Made to Stick”. Tripping over the truth has 3 components to it: (1) it is a clear insight, (2) that is compressed in time, and (3) the insight is discovered by the audience themselves. It is something that you didn’t see coming, yet at the same time you know is viscerally correct. Another word for tripping over the truth is epiphany, although personally I feel that there is some distinction between the two concepts. There’s a great YouTube video of Dan Heath explaining this concept: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ_N77OquQA Sidebar – I have to mention that I LOVE the book “The Power of Moments” for so many reasons. It is about celebrating milestones and making magic moments and so much more. It is about how to cause them and really make a difference based on solid research. Since I love celebrating people, connecting with people, and having delicious moments with people, of course I would LOVE this book. Great audio book for driving in my opinion. If you want to be the cause for more joy in your life AND your work, also a great book. That is also where I became familiar with the phrase “level up”. It’s my kind of book.
Tripping Over the Truth – In real life: Ker splatI woke up crying in my tripping over the truth moment completely stunned because this truth was the verything that people had been trying to get me to see about myself for my entire life. Flashes of conversations with people spanning decades were right there in that exact moment. Shock and awe does not cover it. How could I have missed the very point that people, as in lots of people, had been trying to get me to see? As I popped out of bed still crying to get ready for my day since I still had work to do I began to process my emotions something that thankfully I have a good amount of practice with. I was a raw bundle of emotions sadness, shock, a touch of oh no, maybe a little anger, and a ton of gratitude and love – all swirling around in the same mass of tears. And throughout the day as I kept to my schedule the tears came and went and I got more grounded in the fact that this was the undisputable truth. Part of the shock was in the fact that this truth had been spoken to me by countless people over the years. How could I have not seen it especially in light of all of the work I had done on myself? What was my moment of truth? What did I finally see for myself? I am reluctant to say, and I will be brave and do it anyway. What I saw for myself was my level of innocence, naivete, and goodness in a way that shook me to my core. Why? What’s so bad about that? Well, tripping over this truth leads me to understand my point of vulnerability – my Achilles’ heel so to speak. And while I tend to be more vulnerable in life than many, even I don’t love being vulnerable. Let me tell you as a fiercely independent woman, actually getting my point of vulnerability made me really unhappy. And as someone who has spent decades purposefully working on my own personal growth and development, I also knew in that moment that this was a very good thing. True power comes in knowing and understanding yourself. Yet, seeing my own level of goodness, innocence and naivete as those close to me had been trying to get me to see meant that on some level I would need some level of protection. That meant that my tough girl, “I can do it on my own” story was just all baloney. So, I cried periodically throughout the day as I let it all sink in noting how many people had actually said that directly to me over the years. Yes, when we actually trip over the truth about ourselves, even when we know conclusively that it is a good thing and FOR our benefit, there could be a few tears at least for someone like me. Part of the tears were quite simply gratitude because I could see in my tripping over the truth moment how God had protected me from so many bad things in the people that HE sent into my life. I mean I cannot tell you the gratitude I feel even now writing this. God has provided me with so many Angels on Earth as I like to call them to help protect me. With all of the really, really BAD things that have come my way, I remain unjaded, with a heart that is not hardened, with LOVE for people and humanity. That in and of itself is pretty miraculous and would not have happened without the LOVE of some very special people. It’s actually a little funny, I’m out in the world pretending to be a tough girl, when everyone who knows me can see my heart (gee, since I wear it on my sleeve, it’s pretty easy to see) and I’m the only one who can’t see my blind spot. Okay, maybe you don’t see any humor in that, but I do! All of this leads into the topic of self-awareness.
Your Self-AwarenessThe Greek phrase for self-awareness is “know thyself”, and this concept has been studied by philosophers dating back to Socrates (469-399 B.C.). The psychologist and author, Daniel Goleman, who wrote “Emotional Intelligence” defines self-awareness as “knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources and intuitions.” Please note that self-awareness is distinct and different from self-focused attention or just thinking about ourselves. Self-awareness is the cornerstone to emotional intelligence and one of the most fundamental issues in psychology. Self-awareness runs contrary to the culture we live in. According to psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert, we run on automatic pilot about 50% of the time meaning we are unconscious of what we are doing or how we feel. To live a life that you truly LOVE as I stated in a previous post, you have to bring some intentionality to your life. You have to become conscious of what you LOVE for example, conscious about what you don’t like, conscious about where you want to be in a year or two or five, conscious about how you feel, awake to life. To have a life that you LOVE, it will take many things and self-awareness is one of them. Tripping over the truth may come in very handy along the journey. And in all my years of doing the personal growth and development work as I have, I have never found anyone person who did “the work” so to speak that found out something really horrible about themselves. Doing work on yourself in my opinion will result in a happier, more peaceful and more joyous life. Almost a week after I tripped over the truth and I am more content and still chuckling about it. And fully empowered by what I now see and know about myself. It’s all good. Where are you in your self-awareness? We will get further into emotional intelligence (a.k.a. emotional quotient) in a future post. Wherever you are is perfect. Just come along for the ride!