Two Types of Self Image
March 22, 2011
The conclusionistic thinker and the evolutionistic thinker see the world from two completely different types of self-images. The conclusionistic thinker operates from a self-image that is based on a strong sense of personal inadequacy. Conclusionistic thinkers draw most of their identity, their power, and much of their meaning for living from other people, careers, personal appearance, size of their bank account, their social standing, and so on. They measure their identities and their capabilities using an inventory of external assets.
Evolutionistic thinkers, on the other hand, live more centered lives, drawing their identity, power, and meaning for living from within themselves. They know they are eternally connected to their unlimited Source, and they measure their identities and their capabilities not by what they have, but by who they are spiritually.
The eleven spies were conclusionistic thinkers. Caleb was an evolutionistic thinker. The eleven, who were operating from a strong sense of personal inadequacy, a “grasshopper” self-image, evaluated the problem from the basis of their inventory of external assets. Since their inventory appeared to be lacking—they were physically smaller and were probably outnumbered—they assumed they would be unable to defeat these inhabitants.
Caleb probably took these obvious facts into account, but they did not deter his recommendation to move forward. The evolutionistic thinker does not have to have all the answers to apparent problems before he or she makes a decision. Evolutionistic thinkers’ decisions are not based on appearances. They are based on their unlimited spiritual capacity. They know that solutions to each problem which arises will evolve as they are needed. The important point of the story is this: Had the Israelites made their decision based on Caleb’s opinion they would not have had to wander in the wilderness. But since they made their decision based on the opinion of the eleven, their circumstances unfolded in quite a different way. The difference can be traced back to the quality of a particular type of self-image.
The better you understand this fact, the less likely you are to call yourself a victim of circumstance and the more likely you are to take charge of your own destiny. If you measure what you can do in life by what you have in your personal inventory of external assets, you may never experience the life of your dreams. Either you will spend your most productive years building up your inventory, or your inventory will never be quite big enough to instill in you the confidence to launch your campaign.
You can, of course, blame circumstances for your failure, and you’ll probably get plenty of sympathy. Remember, Caleb was the only one of the twelve who voted to go forward. The eleven, I’m sure, felt perfectly comfortable with their decision, just out of sheer numbers. If eleven out of twelve people figure it can’t be done, then it probably can’t be done. But aren’t we glad there have been at least a few evolutionistic thinkers through the ages who disagree with this type of conclusionistic logic!
Changing your circumstantial tendencies begins with the awareness of the type of self-image from which you are living, whether it is conclusionistic or evolutionistic in nature. Once you see how you are identifying yourself, you will see how your self-image influences the beliefs you maintain in relation to the particular issues with which you are currently dealing. You will then understand how these beliefs affect the decisions you make and you will see how these decisions affect your interactions with your external world. It is the combination of these four elements—self-image, belief, decision making and actions—that are responsible for setting in motion your particular brand of circumstantial tendencies.
Above all, once you know what it is about yourself that you need to change, you are then in a position to take the necessary steps to change it. Nothing about your circumstantial tendencies will change until you change the way you see yourself. If you can accept that this is true, then you can begin now to take the necessary steps to create the life you intuitively know you can and should have.