4 Way Stop – Awareness Exercise

Here is a simple exercise you can try for yourself while you are on the road. Whether you are the driver, or a passenger.

Become aware of what kind of person you are during a 4 way stop?

If you don’t get what I’m referring to still, you probably don’t drive a car or have been in one much. If you do drive a car, you would have surely by now come to experience the 4 way stop. So, the next time you are in this situation, don’t just do it automatically, but go through it with awareness.

Notice how you handle this situation internally and externally.

This is not about judging which way is right or wrong, but just to be the witness of how you handle this experience. For many, a 4 way stop is a competition, and the way they take it on is with the attitude that they are first, and it’s their right to go always. Others, might feel more intimidated with all that is going on and let people go until it’s safe. Some, don’t even choose to stop, as following the rules seems to be of no fun to them or their just in a rush. Perhaps you are the type that just tries to do their best of being fair to all people involved.

The key here is to notice as much as possible about yourself. Do you get uncomfortable? Annoyed? or reactive?

A 4 way stop is a great place to get tested and perhaps even loose your cool because it’s a sort of moment of possible conflict. It’s also a good place to practice to be a little more tough, if you have the good person syndrome (always needing to feel like you are good).

Whatever you observe in your investigation, notice if that’s always the same case and if it’s possible for you to do something different? Not saying to go around running stop signs now, just in a safe fashion be a little more dangerous if you are perhaps the goody goody type, or the opposite, if you are always in the need to win and be first. Be aware of your internal conflict as you are doing this external exercise because your mind will create all sorts of self made stories about the drivers you come to face in this 4 way stand off.

This type of exercise can help you build compassion for others, because if you get out of your own head for one second, you will be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes, and sometimes something so small can have a huge impact on other areas of your life as well.

If you are interested in other exercises such as this, check out my practice section

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