I have a great coaching partner. Her name is Jinx – she’s a 3 year old border collie. She is really well trained and well behaved and loves playing with the children. We taught her well not to just run out of the front door and she is very obedient. Perhaps we taught her too well, because even if the front door is open, she will just sit there. She’s ready to go and even if we prompt her she is hesitant to go outside  and play with the kids. Nothing is stopping her, except her own (OK ours) conditioning. And this I think is the problem with human beings….

We are “taught well and very obedient”. It is our own conditioning that keeps us back. Some people would say, Oh just get over it – but it is not always that easy. That conditioning has become part of our cells, or our physiology, it has become automatic, almost like a reflex. We don’t have to think about it. And some conditioning/automation is good – like breathing for example. We don’t have to think about it. We just do it. It frees up our brain to focus on other areas, like freeing up space on your computer.

I just wonder if we have not become so conditioned that we’ve put ourselves to sleep. We’re going through life not seeing and not living. We are merely existing. I’ve often wondered in which areas of my life I am asleep or have been conditioned too much.

I’ve found some things that don’t make sense to me any longer, like not going out in the evening on weekdays. Why, it’s a “school night”. I’m no longer in school…I could go out on a weeknight, and have been doing so for the last couple of years. And surprisingly the world has not come to an end and I’m still able to work the next day.

Some other conditioning that came to light was this: Oh, I could never do that, it must be expensive. And then someone asked me, well how much is it. Hmmm, I don’t really know, but it must be expensive. Not true. Once I took the trouble of finding out exactly what things cost, I realised that there were actually a whole bunch of things I could actually afford to to.

It was the years of conditioning ( from parents, teachers, uncles, aunts, other authority figures) that kept me thinking small and once I started asking the right questions, my world changed. And so one of my favourite questions to ask is: Is that the truth?

So perhaps this week you’ll look at your own conditioning and determine to what extent it is still serving you and perhaps identify other areas that you can let go off.

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