If you’ve seen the movie, ‘The Matrix’ you’ll recognise the picture here. It’s the scene where Neo finally sees the Matrix for what it is and realises that it doesn’t hold any power over him – rather he has power over it. It’s a moment of realisation, of freedom. And despite a hail of bullets hurtling towards him, he calmly says, “No”, puts up his hand and stops them. With childlike innocence and curiosity, he plucks one bullet from mid-air and all the rest just fall to the floor. He then looks up and sees the Matrix for what it really is. After you’ve read this article, watch the scene here. The movie has some wonderful parallels to our own lives and a heap of philosophy and psychology is embedded into the film.
Ok, nice review Alan but what’s the point?
Well, from the perspective of living a meaningful, happy and fulfilling life, the film has many direct parallels to Self-Actualisation psychology – from which Neuro-Semantics gives us the practical tools for living a better life. And you don’t even need to be a martial arts expert, fly helicopters or shoot anyone! So, from a Neuro-Semantics perspective we pose the question: Do you see the world as it really is, or are you trapped inside the Matrix – the Matrix of your mind?
Ok, I’ll stop being all abstract now and get to the point. The point is when you learn to see the world as it is – without all of our conditioning, fears, taboos, and the countless other non-existent restrictions that we put upon ourselves – we experience a lot (and I mean a lot) more freedom, opportunity and happiness.
To paraphrase Abraham Maslow;
“The self-actualising person is not the average person with something added, but the average person with nothing taken away”.
Basically what this quote means is that we all naturally have enormous potential… but fears, error-ridden thinking, shoddy beliefs, poorly interpreted experiences, unconsciously learned restrictions, disappointments… and countless other things add rubbish to our minds, weighs us down and strips us of our potential. You only have to look at young children playing; they’re fearless, they love just being alive! Why? Because they haven’t yet been beaten down by life and had their dreams shattered. For them, anything is possible. And it’s possible to keep this creativity and energy for life as an adult through reality testing and fearless planning.
One of the main culprits that stops us living the best life possible (which comes in many forms) is ‘fear’. Maslow noted that self-actualising people are “…relatively free of fear”.
So there’s a twofold approach to setting yourself free from the negatives in the Matrix of your mind. And each of these things reinforce the other.
- Learning to control your emotions, especially the fear response. The trainings I provide pretty much all have an element of this in them. Why? Because it’s so essential to controlling the rest of your thinking, perceiving and responding.
- Critical thinking skills. Trainings also provide you with these skills because knowing them lets you be in charge of your own mind. ‘’Reality testing’ is another term we can use here. As a coach, I help people reality test situations and see the world with fearless eyes.
By being able to see the reality of situations (conflicts, aggressive or threatening people, risks and opportunities) for what they really are and without undue fear, is like seeing the Matrix – and those ‘Agents’ of fear – for what they really are. And freeing you to have power over them. Just like Neo did in the movie.
So what ‘fears, can’t’s, taboos and restrictions’ run in your mind? They’re devious little suckers that often operate out of consciousness. Ask yourself the question, “Am I fully living the life I truly want to live?” If the answer is ‘no’ then there’s high chance that the Matrix has you. Leave a comment below or drop me a line, email@example.com to find out more about taking control of your Matrix and unleashing your incredible potential.