You may have heard this question before:
Are you living above or below the line?
When we are above the line, we are in responsibility and empowerment. When we are below the line, we are in blame and reaction.
A great thing I learned recently was to check in and locate myself in the moment.
Locating Yourself in the Moment
The process begins with a simple question:
Where am I?
- If you are above the line, you are open, curious, committed to learning.
- If you are below the line, you are closed, defensive, and committed to being right.
Ask yourself in this now moment, are you above or below the line?
If you are below the line, what can you do right now to shift above the line?
Those below the line...
Typically, those who spend a lot of time below the line, live in world of lack where there is limited resources, love, attention, etc. They also think that someone or something is threatening their desire for approval, control or security. They also see things as serious, and the deeper below the line they are, the more serious things look to them.
They also behave in certain ways. They lay fault and blame, like to gossip, and cling to their opinions. They rationalize and justify themselves and their opinions.
(I have said often in my writing and social media posts, that I ask my children and myself - Do you want to be happy or do you want to be right? Clinging to being right doesn't help you feel good!)
Those above the line...
People who spend much of their time above the line, believe that learning and growing are more important than being right, that people and circumstances are their allies (I think of this as the universe conspiring for my success), and that things happen to help them grow. They live in curiosity, question their beliefs, and live a life of play.
Yes, We Are Hardwired to be Below the Line
We are hardwired to live below the line because we are programmed to identify threats. Unfortunately, our brains can't tell the difference between a physical threat or a threat to our ego. However, when we are below the line it limits our capacity for fun, creativity, collaboration, innovation and connection with others.
No one can thrive if they are in survival moment. So as conscious leaders, we can ask ourselves, "Where am I right now?"
Watch the Video Below
This short 3-minute video from Conscious Leadership has a great little animation of these concepts.
Thank you to the amazing Carissa Hill for bringing this video to my attention!