I want to introduce a very powerful exercise that Mark Divine refers to as BOO. I have mentioned this exercise many times in the past and you may recall that BOO is an acronym for background of obviousness. In general, the exercise is a deep introspection of our beliefs. The way I am presenting it can be done in four steps over the period of a week.
Step 1: Find a quiet place where you can think without interruption. Begin by doing some box breathing for five minutes as you set the intention of examining your beliefs without judging the beliefs as good or bad. You are simply taking inventory of what is. You can do this exercise by examining your broad beliefs about yourself and life in general or you can pick a specific area or goal and focus on your beliefs about that. You can take one to two days to perform this exercise.
Step 2: After you have your list of beliefs, go back after a day or two and revisit the list. As you examine the list identify which of these beliefs is empowering and which of these beliefs is disempowering.
Step 3: Of those beliefs you have identified as disempowering take a look at them and examine to see if they are actually true. What you may find is that you have been operating on beliefs that are not only disempowering you but are actually not even a true. For instance, we may have been told we are a certain way by someone who we held as an authority at some point in our life that upon looking back was totally false. We could have been told that we were fat, ugly, stupid, unathletic, etc. when we 10 years old by a 12 year old. If we bought in it to that and it became part of your identity, you have been operating under the authority of a 12 year old. You assumed it was true but now looking back you realize that belief was planted there not by someone who new the truth but simply by a 12 year old kid. This is known as operating under a Background Of Obviousness.
Step 4: Once we have examined our background of obviousness we can either eliminate those disempowering and untrue beliefs are we can alter them to be more empowering. For instance, when being coached in this exercise in the past I identified one of my beliefs as “Hard work pays off”. I admittedly was taken back when my coach suggested I alter that belief which I thought had served me well. She suggested maybe I reframe that belief as “Smart hard work pays off”. That was and AHA moment for me.
I hope you have some AHA moments doing this exercise as well.