Episode 88: Geocentric vs Heliocentric and Confidence
I’ve had this topic on my mind for a bit and as I was mulling it over I had this experience that just really hit it home for me and I wanted to share because I think it’s so highly applicable to each and every one of us especially when it comes to our confidence and being able to increase and cultivate true confidence.
We speak in terms of measurements often without even classifying it a measurement or reference I should say. You’ll recognize these in your conversations or just in your mind when we say or think things like:
That was crazy. She was super weird. That’s so abnormal. Can you believe they said that? That’s not normal. That’s odd. He’s a bit unusual.
We all use these terms in some way, shape, or form and what we don’t think about or realize is what is the reference point? Where’s the starting point? From what or who’s standards are we measuring these things or these people off of? And…what does this have to do with confidence?
I’ll tell you. In short, confidence is certainty, right? The confidence I teach and value above all other definitions is quiet confidence. It’s certainty that no matter what you’re going to be okay. It’s knowing and embracing all the parts of you and being able to trust in yourself and in your abilities.
When you have that, there isn’t anything you can’t do. There isn’t anyone you couldn’t talk to. There isn’t any conversation that you couldn’t handle. There isn’t anything you can’t try because no matter what you know, deep, deep down that you’re worthy, of value, and more than enough. And from that point you don’t have to prove, be loud, be showy, convince others, people please – you get to show up authentic and just know in your soul that you’re enough. This certainty is essential to confidence because it’s synonymous with it – it’s another definition of confidence.
I’m bringing this up because if we’re finding certainty then we need to know the reference point to which we base everything else off of. This is so important to think about you guys. So important. If you’re thinking and labeling other people or things as weird, odd, abnormal, wrong, unusual then you have some kind of reference point where something else isn’t weird, it isn’t odd. Something or someone else is right. They or it is normal.
And what is that? And more importantly, why is that the reference point? Why is that the norm?
We are constantly making these assumptions about other people – about what they think about us, what we’re thinking of them and what they say or how they’re showing up. And I say assumptions because we’re assuming that what we think is the right way or that we have the standard or proper reference point and I want to invite you that maybe you want to question that.
Maybe what’s normal to you isn’t what’s normal to them. Maybe what’s acceptable to you isn’t acceptable to someone else. I was just telling my good friend about this – I told her my husband is very much an “on-time” kind of guy – actually he’s more of a get there at least 20 minutes early or more or you’re late kind of guy and I love that about him. I didn’t always love that about him over the last 20 years because I’m more of a, “it starts at 10? I could get 5 more things done before we leave” kind of gal which as you’re probably already guessing means that sometimes we’re late. Like late, late.
And over the last 20 years, we’ve had many discussions about this. He makes it mean that if you’re late you’re being disrespectful of the person you’re meeting. He says that you just “don’t care” about them at all. And I was so surprised by that because that’s not what I made it mean at all because I did care deeply. It wasn’t even on my radar to have it seen as being uncaring or disrespectful. To me, because you care about the meeting, the people, whatever it is – you showing up and being there is a sign that you care and of course, I never aim to be late and most of the time we’re on time. It’s just not the 20 minutes early timing that he’d prefer.
So who is right? Because for a long time I thought he was just being crazy and for a long time he thought I was being disrespectful. We both made assumptions about each other and about our actions and we weren’t even on the same page. So how can you create confidence and certainty if you’re not even playing the same game as everyone else?
Do you see why this is a problem?
When we think and believe and operate from our own assumptions we’re setting ourselves up for a manual malfunction. Your manual – this term, manual is basically a set of thoughts and beliefs – like a list of how you would like things to operate. These are all your shoulds. He shouldn’t rush me when clearly we have 20 more minutes – you know what I could get done in 20 minutes? To me that’s like, I bet a lot – let’s try it out, and of course, I always make it a fun competition even with myself to see if I can prove myself wrong and get even more done – that’s usually what makes us late – late. And his should’s are: she shouldn’t be doing things that can be done later. She should be ready by now and we should be on our way or already there.
These should’s that we both hold and operate from aren’t “right” or “wrong” – they’re just not really applicable and what I mean by that is that holding on to them especially for other people isn’t serving you and for sure it’s creating a lot of thought drama.
It’s the assumption that your way is the right way, that your way is better and that other people should just know that and operate from that place. But why? Why do we think that?
I remember in astronomy learning about the geocentric model which was an old model and belief that the earth was the center of the universe. That all things revolved around the earth. And in our own personal universe, we tend to adopt this same concept for ourselves.
We believe that our views are THE views and that if others don’t conform to our views that they’re the weird ones, the wrong ones, the abnormal ones. You’ve all heard the term, “You are not the center of the universe” and I don’t really believe that we believe that – like no one really thinks they are because if they were they’d have everything they wanted and life would be much easier but subconsciously we think this way.
It’s understandable because your brain is trying to make sense of things and especially your lower primitive brain that is filtering things through a survival lens. It needs first and foremost to know that you’re going to be okay – like there’s no danger or hint of danger and secondly to operate efficiently – it needs to conserve energy and like a computer make coding – let’s label this and put it in this box so that when we see that trigger next time we already have a story about them or it.
Okay, the problem with this then is that it limits us. It limits our perspective, understanding, and ability to connect with others or to comprehend greater things. You know what it’s like trying to convince someone that their view isn’t quite accurate.
Do you remember that scene from the show, The Office where Michael and Dwight are in this rental car and the GSP is telling Michael to turn right only the first right is like into a lake and Dwight is screaming at him saying it doesn’t mean here – this is a lake! Obviously, this is a lake and of course, they plow straight into the lake because Michael believes he’s following the GPS.
It’s can feel maddening because they’re just closed off to something that you can see so clearly. When we’re stuck in our own limitations which really means our own story and we’re closed off to any other notion we’re boxing ourselves into a label and a limitation. When we’re closed off to any other perspective about a human being, their personality, or way of doing things – we limit our capacity to connect with them and miss an opportunity for our own growth.
Again, we can’t create confidence from a limited place. Certainty comes in when we’re open to understanding and learning what else is true.
We have to venture away from the idea and notion that our way is the best or right way because we don’t really know that. We are not the reference point. We are not the center of the universe. Our way might be working for us currently but what it’s there’s a more productive way?
We used to ride horses to deliver mail and it was effective. It did the job until the train came along and cut that time in half. Then planes, cars, and now texting and email which allows us to receive information in seconds.
Your way might work for you, but what if you were open to the idea that your way isn’t THE way? Wouldn’t you want tt know that? Explore that? Be open to that?
I have to constantly remind my lower brain that I don’t really know – I’m not the reference point. When I say I don’t know that isn’t an invitation to be indecisive – that’s me being open to question my way, my thinking to broaden my perspective because it’s only then that I can see more. That I can see the bigger picture and from there I’m open to an infinite possibility.
That’s exciting to me.
So after many years, another man came around that questioned the idea that everything revolved around the earth and discovered that no, we in fact, revolve around the sun. That all planets orbit the sun. It’s the heliocentric model and what we believe to be true today.
I’m not the reference point but I know who is and I know what he’s asking me to do. I’m a Christian so I believe that God is my center and when I change my focus from my narrow, finite mind and open myself to His endless, infinite view it changes me. It allows me to see others, to see my circumstances in an entirely different light.
In the Scriptures, we read that God is love which makes sense because the first and second great commandments are centered on loving. Love feels the best, it’s the most open emotion and allows you to bring in way more insight and understanding.
It’s from this perspective that I can create confidence from – find certainty in and see others as.
We know and read that his ways are not our ways. He even goes as far as giving us a visual that his ways are higher than the Heavens – that’s how far off our perspective is. It’s like you’re not a little bit off – you’re waaaay off and this isn’t from a lowlier or better standpoint – it’s just knowing that I don’t know to the full extent most everything but the good news is that I don’t need to know.
Like a young child that only knows to her extent of her life. She only has a certain perspective because of her life’s experiences and what she’s been taught or exposed to. As an adult I don’t believe I’m better than the child – I just have more experience, more insight, more knowledge, and understanding. I believe this is in part what He was teaching us here.
You’re not the center of the universe, everything doesn’t revolve around you however, you are important, valued, and loved beyond measure.
The Savior was so good about teaching us about the on, reaching out to the one, going and finding the lost sheep – the 1 in the 99 and in His efforts to reach out and find the one he sometimes has to leave the 99.
Sometimes things aren’t going to make sense to us. They’re not going to fit our perspective. It might seem odd, weird, abnormal, different but be careful to box or make a swift judgment because you might not and most likely don’t know the whole story.
When we’re so wrapped up in our own story it leaves no room for anything else and that keeps us stuck and limited. It also doesn’t feel good and has us showing up less than stellar or ideal.
Let me give you an example, this past week we were finally able to sing in church. Because of covid restrictions we’ve been able to listen to the music in church with masks on but no singing and so this last week it was really exciting to be able to sing together and the first song was one that I don’t know if I had ever sung it before. It was really unknown and unfamiliar to me.
Now if you know me, you know that I’m very involved with music. I currently am the stake music chairman, the ward choir director, and the primary pianist. I don’t think I’ve ever not had a music calling and I went to school and studied music. So for me I believe that I have a pretty extensive background in music and if there’s a song that I don’t think I’ve ever sung before it’s most like also unfamiliar to most others too.
And I was sitting in my seat and kind of grumbling to myself because this isn’t the first time we had sung unfamiliar hymns and I had this belief that we should sing more familiar hymns, that more familiar they are the more meaningful they are. And as I was formulating this plan to talk to her and suggest more well-known hymns this gentleman got up to bear his testimony and he read the lyrics of that hymn.
He was brought to tears thinking and sharing his love and experience with that song and afterward, he went up to her and said, “how did know you know? How did you know on this first Sunday back that we could sing that I needed this piece?”
Now, knowing that – hearing that do you think I would have wanted any other song? If I knew that that song was specifically for that one person and that it was so meaningful and touching to him, would I have chosen a more well-known hymn? Of course not. I would have wanted him to have that deep and special experience.
I am not the reference point. Clearly what is familiar to me isn’t the standard for everyone else. In fact, there was another person who complained after the meeting about that same song and I say this because you will always be able to find someone with your point of view that shares your same reference point in certain areas.
We could have gotten to gather and complained about singing weird, odd, unfamiliar songs and we would have felt justified and validated in our own views but even then it wouldn’t have made either of us right. Because we’re not the reference point. We’re not the center.
One of my favorite scriptures is in 1 Nephi where Nephi says, I don’t know the meaning of all things, nevertheless, I know that God loves His children”
I don’t need to know all things – the only thing I need to know for me is who is my center and operate from that place – which is love.
Love is always going to be open, it will always invite you to dig deeper. There is always going to be another side of the story. There’s always another insight, perspective, understanding. The more you understand this one truth, the more you can stop taking things so personally because it’s not about you. It’s not for you. And I believe if you really knew the whole thing you wouldn’t change a single thing.
Operating from love enables us to stop judging and be open to infinite possibilities. That’s a really exciting place to be in and to be from.
Find your center. Know what your reference point is. And I’ll talk to you next week!