Personal Breakthrough: Checking Habit

I just got off the phone with a good buddy of mine. I was telling him about how lately I’ve been working with presence and awareness in my interactions.

I told him that when I was out in public and really being present to the moment, I noticed a tension in my solar plexus, followed by and sort of sinking feeling behind my eyes then a tightening of my throat.

He has a good knowledge of mind-body stuff and knows me pretty well. He said, “Well first, that feeling in your solar plexus is anxiety. You know you’ve got what you need, you know what you need to know. When you’re out in the instances where you feel this, stop doubting yourself and just GO.”

Truth is, I didn’t even feel this tightness a feel weeks ago. It was always there to a degree in unfamiliar or uncomfortable circumstances, but my attention wasn’t on it. All of a sudden, I realized what was causing it:

Checking myself. Or checking my environment.

Essentially, I have had a habit of being in a social situation or a performance situation and “checking” myself to make sure I’m “doing it right”. Ultimately, the second that I check myself in this arena, I’m fucking myself. I’m going into my head.

Much, if not all, of confidence is a lack of doing unhelpful things (as opposed to doing helpful things). Confidence is having no resistance keeping you from what you would naturally do without inhibition.

He said, “You’re perfect, just the way you are. And you’ll act perfectly every time, in exactly the way you need to at that time in your life.” He closed with, “When you’re in action keep going. You can evaluate the results later.”

And he’s really hitting on the heart of it. It’s about checking and evaluation. I’m checking something and evaluating it in a fleeting, microscopic way, over and over and over again. I’m making the decision to form the habit of just GOING without self-evaluation in the moment. Evaluating results can and should come later, never in the moment.

I guess this is the active experience of being “self-conscious”.