You create your own reality. You are the driver of your world.
Each of us is unique, and we all have our own unique views and experiences. How we interpret and filter the information that comes to us through our senses means that we create our own particular understanding of the world. Our beliefs, values and attitudes, our personal history, and our tendency to interpret things in certain ways act as filters on our experiences. It is these interpretations that lead us to behave in the ways that we do, which in turn reinforces our view of the world.
Ultimately, this means that we may become stuck in our world view until some situation or event shakes it up. This shaking up often comes in the form of a crisis. And when faced with a crisis, you generally have a choice.
You can choose to ignore the situation and do nothing. However, this may lead to further crises, and so the situation can deteriorate further.
The other option you have is to do something about the situation by taking action and solving it. In this scenario, you may find yourself forced to respond or act differently to the ways in which you might normally. However, this may lead to a positive outcome, one in which you find that your world view has changed in some way. In fact, through this process you may well find that you change within yourself.
Such a moment — when a crisis occurs and you realise that you have different courses of action open to you — is called a bifurcation point.
Here is an example. If you are generally introverted and shy, then you may see a social gathering as a scary prospect. You will tend to avoid such situations, or at least keep your engagements to a minimum. However, this means that you won’t have opportunities to practise being with others and relating to people in a confident manner. You can therefore choose to continue being timid and shying away from social contact, or you can take steps to counter this.
As a way of taking action, you could find a role model within your circle of friends (or outside of it) and model their behaviour. This means adopting the same attitude, behaviours and strategies that your role model uses in similar situations. Each time you practise doing this, you will get better at understanding your role model’s actions and behaviours, and will be able to adopt them with more confidence.
In order to do this, you will need to observe and analyse your role model’s behaviour in detail. Then it is a matter of practising these newly learned behaviours whenever an appropriate situation arises. Once you are feeling more confident in relating to other people in social settings, then you can address what you need to do next.
If you are unassertive and find it difficult to say No, for instance, then you can adopt a similar approach and take action to become more assertive.
You might find that you have reached a crisis point by having said Yes to too many things, and then finding that you cannot do them all. Again, you can model your preferred behaviour on someone you know and simply start saying No in situations where you feel it will not be too difficult for you to do this.
This practice will change how you see the world, how you see yourself, and how you experience your world. You will begin to see that you can look after yourself and say No when you don’t want to do something, and that the world — your world — is not going to fall down around you.