Intentional self-examination is the path you need when you’re deeply disappointed with yourself or with life, when your actual experience isn’t lining up with your expected experience.
Expectations are consequences of core beliefs. We believe X about life and X about ourselves and therefore we anticipate that things will go a certain way. When life doesn’t cooperate with our math there is loss and internal conflict.
Through objectivity, The Counselor Stance helps you transition from loss to meaning by getting to the root of the pain. Above all, The Counselor is a purveyor of hope. Look for your inner Wise Older Woman who insists on patience, always has your best in mind and never harms you (or allows others to), but who also sees through all your crappy excuses, avoidance, and rationalizations and calls you out for it.
You're looking to embody shrewd benevolence that sees beyond the moment.
The Counselor Stance Virtue Summary. These are the character traits and virtues that you need to use and develop for successful self-examination.
Balance. For every painful emotion a corresponding question.
Patient Commitment to a singular purpose.
Self-Compassion. Stubborn mercy that gets to the source of pain to relieve it.
Objectivity. Less opinion, more rational justification. Don't regurgitate what you've "always believed." Defend it.
The Humility of Hope. Yeah, sometimes hope is a radical thing that requires a big chunk of humility.
Courageous Radical Honesty (with yourself).
Incisive Perception. The ability to call yourself out for your own drivel, lazy-thinking, and shiftiness.
This stance is NOT about belly-button dwelling or basting in emotions to feel all the feels. Quite the opposite. It’s a powerful-yet-humble, no-nonsense, and take-no-prisoners stance.
It’s composed, detached from emotions, and wide open to hope, possibility, reason, and meaning. On the other side, it’s decidedly closed to skepticism, distraction, intuition-as-certainty, unjustified beliefs, superstition, and experimentation.
This stance is fiercely intent on reason, thought, beliefs and freedom from the oppression of disappointment. No assumptions are off limits or excused from examination when necessary.
Whether the underlying beliefs are shattered and reformed or supported and strengthened, the interpretation they led to is certain to shift and carry you to a better place.