3 LEVELS OF RECEPTIVITY
I’ve observed that receptivity levels tend to show up in three common forms most consistently. Please keep in mind that we all “do” each of them at different times and I’m not rating one as “good” or “bad” or “better or worse” than the others. You can make that determination on your own. However, your receptivity level will dictate how quickly you take- in and/or apply any new insights or information you read, hear or learn. Look at the following and see if any of them fit your current level of receptivity. The three most common forms are:
- “Been There, Done That”
“What are you going to tell me I don’t already know?” is the mantra of this mindset.
Learning anything new for this person is usually more difficult because they tend to dismiss what they hear. They enter situations with a closed mind and they seek to “discredit” something by being overly skeptical–making it unimportant, uninteresting or of no value to them. They don’t ask questions to learn more–instead they offer their opinions and create more resistance by being skeptical or cynical. The prevailing attitude is, “prove it to me” or “already been there and done that”. “What are you going to tell me I don’t already know?” is the question this mindset focuses on. If that’s the question; the answer is probably “not that much”! How can this person learn anything new? They’ve cut off most of the possible options for learning and change to take place. Even when a person with this mindset does hear something new they can dismiss it too easily because the new information has a difficult time getting past the mental block they’ve set up. Do you know anyone like this?
- “The Editor”
“Hmmm. Let’s see if this fits my preconceived notion about things” is the mantra of the Editor.
This person tends to automatically/unconsciously “edit” what they hear or read by putting it through a set of filters to see if it “fits”. Whatever information they hear goes through a rather discerning filtering process. If it fits their preconceived idea then they might consider it. If it does not fit they tend to dismiss it. They too don’t ask questions to learn more–instead they offer their opinions and create more resistance by saying they are skeptical or cynical. We all do this at different times.The problem with this approach is the “Editor” is always using their past as the measuring stick. Remember, the past generates a very limited view of things because the measuring stick is based ONLY on what they already know! It doesn’t leave any space for what could be different now or in the future. If we do this we remain stuck in the past because we’re constantly reinforcing the past by repeating it over and over again. In other words; this mindset doesn’t remain receptive enough to accept something new or different than what it already knows!
The Editor may seem more open but is usually only open to what it already perceives as “acceptable”. How can anything be new, different or change with this approach? It can’t. I know the “Editor” quite well from personal experience because I have used it many times. Unfortunately, all it did was keep me stuck in the same circle of experiences and I allowed important insights to slip through the cracks. Now, I make a conscious effort to “bypass” it because doing so leads to greater awareness and the ability to gather important insights by adopting…the third mindset..
- “Beginner’s Mind”
“How can I best use or benefit from this?” is the mantra of the Beginner’s Mind.
“Beginner’s Mind” is a term I first learned during my study of Acupuncture, Eastern medicine and Eastern philosophy. A Beginners Mind is a mind that remains open and receptive yet it still questions and doubts what it sees or hears. It doesn’t just take things on face value but it is open to receive new information and insights as it seeks to see how it can benefit them; even if new. The greatest difference between this mindset and the other two is that it questions things to see how they CAN fit rather than how they CAN’T fit. This person will ask questions—to learn more—to see how something may be true for them rather than just respond with their point of view as a way to “compete” or resist, Beginner’s Mind will help you remain open, absorb new insights and even see old insights in a fresh way.
Which mindset are you in right now? I can tell you from personal experience and my experience with clients that the Beginners Mindset helps people learn and grow faster because there is less resistance and fewer filters to work through. It doesn’t matter what you’ve always done (“I’ve always been this way”). Right here and right now you get to choose something different!