This question generally confuses people the first time I ask it.
“Uhh… what do you mean, how am I being?” is a typical response to this simple and often puzzling question.
The concept of “being” as it relates to the fields of ontology and coaching is the foundation of the work we do with human beings, to support them in their
transformation into the magnificent creative forces they are meant to become.
We all have ways of “being,” most of which are automatic and operating beneath the radar of our conscious awareness. We “be” certain ways in regards to friends, partners, spouses, co-workers, and all the various circumstances we find ourselves presented with.
Very often these ways of “being” are automatic, driving us on auto-pilot. For instance, if you were driving down the highway and got pulled over by a police officer, how do you know already how you would be in that situation?
You might say, “I would pull out my license immediately and have it ready for him when he got to my car.” This is a typical answer for someone new to ontology, but it is describing what you would do, not who or how you would be. Make sense?
If this is the thing you would do – frantically grab what you need in a semi-panicked mode – then there is an accommodating way of “being” running the show subconsciously, which leads to you behave in certain ways. In other words, you have a default way of “being” that you are unaware of, making decisions for you without even realizing it.
If you are accommodating towards police officers, then who else are you accommodating towards? Your co-workers? Your spouse? If you are being one way in one area of life, then you are probably being that way in other areas as well.
The police example is extreme, because many people automatically become
accommodating in the face of law enforcement. But imagine the way a criminal could “be” in regards to being pulled over. Perhaps the criminal would be conniving and calculated, leading to different actions and outcomes.
Different ways of being lead to different corresponding actions, and therefore
have different results.
The good news
Here’s the good news: Although it is difficult to control our psychology, (which often relates to what happened to us that led to our current ways of thinking, acting, feeling, and being,) we DO have the power to access different ways of being in the face of whatever circumstances are presented to us.
For instance, if you are continually being bullied by your spouse, you have a way of being which you probably adopted a very long time ago. (See PDF on the internalization of your environment and subconscious beliefs.) Although there may be some healing work to do to get to the deeper issues at play here, you can still practice something new whenever you choose.
This is why we say that transformation is available in an instant. A breakthrough happens when you take on a way of “being” that your default way of being cannot coexist with.
What if, instead of giving in to your spouse every time by being docile and submissive, you stood up for yourself and decided to be powerful, authentic, assertive, and confident? What would this make possible for you and your relationship? Furthermore, are you willing to be with the consequences that will result from you choosing a new way to “be”?
Perhaps not, and this is why people will often avoid transformation at all costs because taking on new ways of being will generally have unforeseen repercussions.
But remember – the choice to “be” a different way than you normally “be” is always available.
How are you currently being in regard to your current circumstances? (Think money time, relationships, etc.)
What would a new way of being look like in each of these areas if the current way is not empowering or leading to the experience of life that you want?
Choose a new way of being if there is room for growth, and make a list of actions you can take that align with your new way of being.