Reading Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6 is useful to understand the overall idea
For a Scottish person, the idea of looking inwards, of self reliance and mastery has a strong Oriental association, and given that the Tao Te Ching by the legendary Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is 2000+ years old there’s good reason for it.
Asian philosophy and thinking seems to have been far ahead of future European countries in terms of relating psychology into recorded formats. There are few if any equivalents of compiled wisdom in the UK that I’m aware of until much more recent history. Druids for example, would only pass on their wisdom verbally, so it was difficult for information to be passed on over many generations.
While the various bible’s, common texts at certain points in history, certainly contained some advisory tales and directives, much of it was pilfered versions of Greek myths and other religious texts with little if any direct application of something akin to positive psychology, the general thematic being control rather than empowering the individual.
Of course, we cannot forget the Ancient Greeks and Romans who certainly added volumes of incalculably valuable thoughts, ideas, and inventions, laying the groundwork for future generations from Aristotle to Epictetus, from Aurelius to Seneca.
But there was a dark era for hundreds of years prior to the Enlightenment that provided meagre inspiration for any one to improve their mindset through written texts or recorded knowledge of any kind. Even Guttenberg’s printing press invented circa 1440 didn’t do much to change that in the following centuries.
Beyond Descartes, Kant and Voltaire, Hume, it wasn’t until Nietzsche, Freud and Jung really spearheaded the very foundation of psychology in terms of externalising the internal, in trying to find a way to tame our thoughts and make sense of them without being labelled a heretic, witch, traitor or suffering some awful outcome.
It is a truly monstrous tragedy that ways of thinking from other civilisations have been wilfully ignored, suppressed, forgotten, or simply not been passed on. But it is great that forgotten concepts and ways of thought are now emerging once more in the mainstream, from stoicism to mediation.
Manage Your Castle
The idea of self mastery relating to you:
Within your castle, you may feel that you need to be rescued, either from attacks by others or because you feel incapable of operating independently.
Alongside independence, but not incompatible: forging alliances is an essential part of forming a well run castle, and never be too proud, or too arrogant to ask for help when it is needed. We also need support from time to time until we reach a point where we can live in certainty that no matter what we will survive.
That is reached when we are on some level self-actualised, heading towards the peak of Maslow’s much referenced hierarchy of needs.
A castle is not a place to cut off social elements. Rather, from your strengthening base, you can form stronger alliances and form better friendships with people, and learn which people to maintain links with and which to cut off. Kingdoms thrive on good links and sharing resources.
If the idea of running your own sovereign state seems daunting, you’re not alone. It’s a matter of maturing towards that state of confidence and competence, and every one develops at a different pace. However, any trepidation you feel at being totally responsible for your actions gives an indication of where you are in terms of self perception, of how capable you feel at this moment in time.
The most important concept here is that nobody is going to save you – really. I hope this really hits home. And hard.
Sadly the idea of a saviour is an oft repeated wish fulfilment bounced from one story, movie or cartoon to another from religious texts to fiction. You are not going to be rescued from your self. That is your job. People can assist you on your path but your mind is yours to control and give direction to.
It is impossible to have any semblance of self mastery, of feeling ready to take on challenges if you are in any way caught up in the notion of being rescued because consciously or subconsciously you are waiting for a saviour that is not going to arrive. You’ll be waiting until your last breath.
Yes, that can be a scary concept to think on until you realise that that is the challenge, a beautiful part of your life story is to be independent and capable of surviving by your own means.
I think the most easy exemplar to illustrate the rescue fantasy, is that of the person who’s walking down the street and the next thing they know, someone approaches and says they’d be perfect for a movie…and they go on to fame and glory. It has happened. But it’s fluffy bullshit.
Regardless of your gender, don’t be the Disney version of Rapunzel, sitting all sorrowful in your castle tower wishing to be saved. Family, friends, strangers – none of them are going to do it, and they shouldn’t have to, and beyond some naïve fantasies of youth you shouldn’t want to be. It is on you to take charge of your life.
Own it. Relish it. Take action.
It may seem paradoxical after what I mention above, but life coaching is about helping you to discover your superpowers and inner strength, and seeking guidance is not weak despite some threads in society that suggest otherwise.
Many people – there’s probably some you can think of right now – go through life too egotistical to seek guidance and they are severely flawed individuals who could have tried to improve themselves but didn’t (and it’s never too late).
I sure as hell wish I had more guidance through many steps of my life. I would be further ahead in many areas of my life now if I had.
At certain points I’ve been too proud to ask for help. And regretted it. At some stages I’ve given up on people and tried to do it all myself. And regretted it. Part of me had been so conditioned not to seek help from those with more knowledge and perspective, that I didn’t even think help was a possibility. Think of it in this way; every high performing athlete has multiple coaches, and it is never framed as a weakness, only a prerequisite.
Life coaching is about revealing your ability of self mastery. If you want high performance try personal development coaching. It certainly doesn’t have to be me, it does need to be one that is best suited to your personal requirements.