Jessica Soroky’s Guest Post #46: Ignorance May Be Bliss, But Awareness Is Freedom

awareness is freedomA question came up in our community recently that gave me the realization that even when I feel “stuck,” I am free. Free to choose to continue to be stuck or free to choose not to.

To give a little more context, I was on The Leadership Gift™ Application Mastery call with Bill when one of the accredited Practitioners brought up the concept of being aware of which mental state one is in and also being aware that one may not be ready to move out of it.

For example, while processing a problem I may start to make excuses for it.

  • “He is just having a bad day.”
  • “That department just took a heavy hit last quarter and they are just scrambling to get back on track.”
  • “My friends are just in a different place with different priorities right now.”

The Responsibility Process™ posterHere’s the kicker – my leadership studies have helped me become so highly aware of my own vocabulary that I hear myself justifying (Justify, in red on the chart at right, means telling a story about why something is the way it is).

There are moments when I become aware of my mental state and hear myself talking that I get a slight desire for the bliss that used to accompany ignorance.

It is in these moments that I start to feel stuck. I know where I am mentally and don’t know how to get out of it.

Oops, just caught myself again. It isn’t that “I don’t know how” — even that makes for a great justification. I know how to, I simply choose to stop making excuses. So the more accurate statement is, I don’t want to get off the cloudy island of Justify.

When I realized I was choosing this, I had a breakthrough: when I have felt “stuck,” I was never actually stuck. It was a choice I was making to stand still.

Wow – I felt so free all of a sudden. My reality is exactly what I have chosen; I am not the victim of circumstances.

Ignorance may be bliss, but awareness is freedom.

Bill said something that got my brain moving even faster: “Can we allow ourselves not to move? Instead can we ask ourselves what it is that we are holding on to, whether it is an idea, assumption, or expectation.”

I had always just accepted that being stuck below the line (any state below the state of Responsibility) was something “normal.” I even found myself being okay with being stuck below the line, justifying it with “I am human after all.”

Then Bill asked a question that caught me off guard and stung a little bit: “How are you doing being a victim today?”

“Well, s**t.”

I’m playing the victim when I choose to stay below the line. No one is holding me there or sentencing me to a lifetime of Shame. Only I have that power.

I sat there almost in a state of shock – I do this to myself.

I have had this same realization before about problems – becoming aware that I attract and cause all of my problems. Now I am aware I choose my mental states and I choose to be “stuck.”

This rang in my head for days, and I began to feel more and more free and powerful. The control freak in me got excited that I control all aspects of myself.

The ignorance I had before I joined The Leadership Gift Program may have been a form of bliss, but the awareness I have today is the power and freedom I never knew I had been searching for my entire life.

IMG_3285Jessica Soroky, CSM

Only 21 years old, Jessica is already a Certified Scrum Master with two years of practice in agile delivery and team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.

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Posted in Leadership on 07/23/2014 12:31 pm
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