The author was describing a lot of our “learned” behaviors look instinctive, since we all do the same things.
But in reality, we all have the same structure as children, so we learn the same behaviors.
The example given was shaking our heads back and forth to say “no.”
When we’re very, very young, we can’t move our neck muscles very much. Only slightly to the side.
When we want something, we open our mouths and make a noise. Hopefully we’ll get some milk. But then when we’re full, the idea of “no” pops into our head. And the only thing we can do when we think that thought, is turn our heads slightly to the side.
This is the same reasoning Joseph Campbell gave for explaining why most mythology shares the same structure. Young boy or girl in a safe but boring place. Something pulls them into some wild “hero’s journey,” where they learn new skills make new friends.
He explained (in one of his books) this is precisely what we go through when we are born. Womb to birth canal to the world.
Our lives start out as a hero’s journey. And if you’re honest with yourself, every new experience, every new situation, every new phase of life is yet another hero’s journey.
We also have a lot of the same shortcomings and fears. Public speaking, walking across the room to talk to an interesting person, suddenly being the focus of social attention.
All these were “learned” in childhood.
If we keep stumbling through life on auto pilot, we’ll never know. We’ll just think “we” are broken, or something’s wrong with us.
But when you realize that we are ALL in the same boat, we ALL have the same fears, it’s not so bad.
Especially when you consider that person you want to talk to is scared of the same things you are.
Those people in that social scenario who are all staring at you are GLAD it’s you and not them.
When you stand up to give a speech, people are imagining it’s them and are nervous.
The EASIEST way to blast through all those irrational fears is to simply go first. Set an example. Show everybody it’s not so bad.
This isn’t so difficult when you remember that everybody around you has the same fears, uncertainties and anxieties as you.
Show them how easy it is.
These tools will help: