Strategies and constructs that we build help us function as people in society.

Our Innate Programming as Humans

Many of us live our daily lives under the assumption that we are making our own decisions. Thoughtfully considering options and making choices using our free will. I discovered several years ago that this could not be farther from the truth.

There are a number of factors that get in the way of us truly making decisions with our eyes wide open.

From the time we start walking and talking, we also start to develop our unique approach to life. We start building our strategy on how we will plan to approach life in a way that preserves our safety and gives us a feeling of protection and security.

If we were to really be present to the fact that we are each living beings hurtling through space on a giant rock, it would cause so much deep fear, that we would never leave the house. So, these strategies and constructs that we build help us function as people in society.

Our unique approach to life

Our circumstances and early life experiences help us design our unique approach to life. For instance, if you had parents who praised you excessively when you performed an act that believed to be “good” and criticized you harshly when you did something they deemed to be unacceptable, then you will be likely to search for acceptance from others your whole life. You would be subconsciously programmed to fear and avoid any harsh criticism from those around you. You would show up to life with an “achiever” strategy. You’d believe that “if I perform well, and people like me, then I will be safe and valued.”

Such achievers search for value outside themselves and focus on achieving to feel valuable, wanted and accepted rather than finding value within – where it truly exists in all of us.

What I describe above is one of what I see to be 9 primary programming constructs that we each operate with daily. There are different flavors, but each of us falls into one of these 9 categories.

These programming constructs operate in our subconscious and are a primary selector of how we make decisions in life. So, what you believe to be free will is a deep programming guiding your decisions.

Good news and bad news

Now, I have good news and bad news… well, not really bad news, just “real” news. Let’s start with the real news. Truth is, you can never change your programming. Your brain will always default to this innate programming. But here’s the good news… with deepened awareness of how your programming operates, you can become present to how it is limiting you in your life. Over time, you will be able to catch your programming prior to deciding. In this way, you can “live above” your innate programming. You will still feel the “pull” of it, but with time, your decision making can live independently of this programming.

I like to think of it as the difference between sitting in the 5th row in a movie theater of your life, hearing all the loud noises, feeling deeply entwined in the story… vs. taking that movie outside to the park for a movie in the park night. You see the screen and are aware of the story, but you also hear a dog bark, and feel the cold grass under your toes, and see the stars above.

So with deepened self-awareness, you can live above your programming and life and truly inspired life of true choice and freedom.

Adam is a former Fortune 500 senior executive. He is a father, husband, student of life, and “self-awareness” transformational coaching leader.

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