And here’s why: The Wizard of Oz has probably been seen by every adult in the western world. It was produced in 1939, has shown on TV since the 1980’s, and everyone remembers “the yellow brick road”. It was made to be a comedy, but it also is one of the most hypnotic movies of the 20th century.
How do you know when you have done a good job ? How do you know you are intelligent? If you first noticed it was from an external source (your boss, your loved ones, friends, your clients), you are a person who has given up control of your life and are at the mercy of the external world. If your mind first goes to, “I just know I did a good job” or “ I just know I am an intelligent person”, you are internally referencing. Maybe we can all seek to experience internal dialogue first and then seek external sources for balanced feedback. If you are externally referenced, you are at the mercy of other’s opinion for your self esteem and your self concept (self esteem is how you feel about your self concept).
On the other hand, extremely internally referenced individuals will not accept feedback from others, because of their weak self concept that they hid from others. Narcissistic people are excellent examples of people with the inability to accept advice or feedback from others and if they are leadership positions, they can be dangerous to their followers.
How did we become externally referenced? If you were raised in a house that had a strong dominating patriarchal family structure you are even as an adult looking for a strong leader to follow. This movie also created the way we gather evidence of our most positive attributes that we try to live up to in the western world (love, intelligence, & bravery).
Most of us have watched “The Wizard of Oz” at least once. I had watched this movie many times, but one day thirty years ago I walked into our den while my son was watching the last fifteen minutes of film on TV. I was able to watch the last minutes of the movie with new eyes, because I was not in the hypnotic trance (spaced out) that this movie creates after thirty minutes of watching. I had also recently learned about these terms of internal and external referencing.
I was very surprised that all of the positive attributes the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow were seeking were external sources for their self concepts. Notice below not one of the sought after attributes were self-evident.
The Tin Man was given a heart and was told by the Wizard, “Remember what’s important, is not how much you love others, rather, how much others love you”.
The Cowardly Lion was given a medal and was told , “now that you have a medal others will know you are brave”.
The Scarecrow without a brain was given a diploma. The Wizard told the Scarecrow , “ I have conferred upon you an honorary degree – a Pht”.
So a heart means people love you, a medal mean you are brave, and with a degree it means you are smart.
As you know this is all BS! What a terrible movie to indoctrinate many generations to be externally referenced. To let anyone or anything else be the author of your life is to default on your own life!
A three (3) minute video: