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Self Management And Rational Thinking

By Dr. Yehia A. Ibrahim

Recently, there have been great advancements in the field of self-management. Rational and authentic living is certainly the ultimate goal of self-management. Fortunately, we have all the endowments to live up to this goal, if we just discover ourselves, and seek to recover from the self-limiting beliefs and self-defeating behavior.

The Author (2005)

Suppose you were given a white ring when you were born. You grew up believing that the ring was silver.

Now how would you treat this ring-as silver or as gold? If you want to sell it; would you ask for the price of silver or the price of gold?

If you had already sold it for the price of silver, and you discovered afterwards that the ring was in fact a golden one. How would you feel? Do you feel betrayed? I think you would.

If you go back to this story, what would you do with something you only assume, but you are not sure if it is true?

I think the best way is go and ask, go to a jeweler for example. You go and check. You check to discover. You discover to know. You know to acknowledge. Finally you acknowledge to manage. No one can manage anything he or she does not acknowledge.

This rationale applies perfectly to your assumption or belief about yourself. If you are raised to believe in a fictional self, rather than an authentic one, this will be your self-fulfilling prophecy unless you change your self-limiting beliefs. Eleanor Roosevelt has wonderfully put it when she said, "Somehow we learn who we really are and then live with that decision." For example, if you were rejected in your early life (external event), and became hard on yourself, blaming yourself (internal reaction) for not being good enough to be accepted. You are then disconnecting from your authentic self and connecting with a fiction that may not have anything to do with you and a whole lot to do with the one who rejected you. Unfortunately, you will live with the self-belief you created and by the decision of not approaching new people to protect yourself from any further or future rejection.

Researchers have demonstrated the self-fulfilling prophecy of people's limiting beliefs with experimental insects. They put a bunch of fleas in a glass jar, with a lid on it. Not surprisingly, the fleas jumped so high that they hit the lid, time after time. Then they started to jump about half an inch short of the lid. Based on the history, and in conformance with the environment, the fleas limit what they allowed themselves to do. When the lid was removed, the fleas were not aware of the new choice, and did not jump any higher to escape. Self-conditioning on some limiting or defeating beliefs is the bad news. However, the good news is that: "so long as we have the power to script our beliefs, we have the power to change the script." Our authentic self is only buried under our own self-concept; it is never lost. We only need to recover it, and free its willpower from the prison of our self-defeating beliefs. Self-recovery means rising above our raising, but this cannot be achieved without honest self-discovery.

Your belief that the ring was silver, or that your self is fictional is your personal truth. You live by this truth, even though it is not based on accurate information. If you believe that you cannot, you will not. Your self-belief dictates your self-concept, draws your self-image, and then advances your attitude and behavior to live by it. Even though your personal truth is not a fact, it is certainly real to you; and you could very easily betray yourself by living up to an image that is not you or yours. Although we expend more energy to live by a fictional self than to live by an authentic self, the return is not favorable, especially in the long run. Some very important lessons we need to learn here:

  1. The truth does not have to be always true.

  2. We have to check our personal truth for accuracy.

  3. When we find that our personal truth is inaccurate, we must seek to change it.

  4. Examining our own self-concept could be the best gift we ever give ourselves.

The journey of self-discovery may be hard and/or long, but it is certainly the most important journey you can ever make in your life. We all have to begin this journey and "now" is the best time for our take-off. In the following, I will give you some guidelines that you can carry with you in your self discovery and recovery trip.

  1. What you see always depends on you.

  2. What you see can only be real to you.

  3. What you believe in is not always true.

  4. A lie unchallenged becomes the truth.

  5. The truth is not always accurate or true.

  6. Your self-concept is your personal truth.

  7. Your self-concept presents the image you choose to show it to the world.

  8. So long as you have the power to choose, you have the power to change.

  9. Make sure that the authentic self is your final destination in the journey of self discovery.

  10. Breaking away from your fictional self can be compared to the space shuttle leaving the atmosphere; the more you become close to your authentic self, the less energy you need to reach your final destination, and live comfortably and contentedly by and for the "true you."

By: Dr. Yehia A. Ibrahim, Ph.D.

University Professor and Expert in

Human Resources and Organizational Development

Tel: +2088-2333894 & +2088-2411531

Email Address:

About The Author

Dr. Yehia Abdel-Hamid Ibrahim is currently a full professor and a department head at Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt. Following obtaining his Ph.D. degree, he was certified Harvard IEM Diploma in Organizational Management. Professor Ibrahim worked with many U.S. universities (Cornell University, UC-Davis, Ohio Wesleyn University, North Carolina State University, Harvard University and Louisiana State University) as a Visiting, Adjunct or Distinguished Professor. He published more than 200 articles in scientific journals, reputable newspapers and newsletters. He also published several books in management, leadership, education, emotional intelligence, etc. Dr. Ibrahim is a two-time winner of the National Academy of Science and Technology Prize, a receiver of many medals and a subject of national and international records. He is a biographee of Who's Who in California Historical Society. In addition to postgraduate degrees in self and organization management, and a widespread research in Arab organizations, Dr. Ibrahim is internationally accredited in several scientific and psychological approaches. Through his work as a Director of Assiut University Center for Futuristic Studies, as a Director of Assiut Governorate Center for Managing Development, as an Advisor to Assiut University President and to Assiut Governor, and as a Department Head in one of the largest and most reputable universities in Egypt, he has strengthened his managerial and leadership skills. Professor Ibrahim is one of the most famous Arab experts in Human Resource Development, Leadership, Management, Team Dynamics, Personality Types, School Counseling and Corporate Culture. He has been a well-known trainer for a multitude of organizational disciplines.


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