I have had a fabulous couple of weeks, working with some amazing clients, and learning some incredible lessons as I put myself front and centre back into a business environment that includes more people that just me.
The Practice (yoga centre) has 15 staff, so again I get to experience the joys and sometimes challenges of there being 15 different human beings with different needs, beliefs, histories, values (though these are pretty well aligned through conscious selection), family situations, money situations, fears, worries, etc. etc. So I have much to learn, and therefore share with you.
So today I am going to share a handful of lessons that have been very relevant for the clients and staff I have worked with over the last couple of weeks.
Let the learning (and reminders) begin… 😉
Lesson 1: doing the choosing thing
I was recently with an amazing client, doing some amazing things. But he was a wee bit stuck.
He had a big, highly public event coming up in a few months in the US, and he could not decide on how he was going to deliver his artistic performance. Would it be enormous, with lots of bells and whistles and completely wow people through that sort of stimulation, or would it be more peeled back, heart-based, with less props, but more raw emotion and authentic connection?
These were two opposing views shared by two different colleagues he respected and who knew his work.
So I did a funky NLP technique where you bring the both of them together. What would it look like if you actually merged the two. And that is when tears came to his eyes as he saw the vision of something combined that was much greater than the individual parts.
Too often we get brought up believing we only have a choice of A or B. Now that is appropriate for a number of situations, but not all. What if you asked your magnificent mind – “How could I have both A AND B?”
Your brain is only limited by the questions you ask it. If you feel ‘trapped’ or ‘locked in’ to thinking you only have a set number of choices, or a fixed choice, maybe you are not asking the right questions.
Keep asking ‘and what else?’ when you feel yourself stuck. See the possibility of another option.
See what would happen when you bring two parts of yourself, which you believe are opposite, together. What magic will that allow you to create?
Maybe you don’t have to choose A OR B. Maybe A + B = M (magnificence!!) 😉
Lesson 2: two sides of the same coin
There was a situation happening recently where I sent out an email, with one intention for the content and it was completely received in a 180 degree different direction to the one I had intended.
As one of my coaches rightly pointed out from her PR background. The most important message is not the one we think we have sent out, it is the one that people receive. And in this case, the message received was vastly different from the message I thought I sent.
I sent out a message saying I would do some training on, “How to become (at least) 200% more productive.” I figured, who wouldn’t want to know specific strategies and systems for improving productivity so they would get twice as much done. This would mean less overwhelm as well. Part of my happiness offerings. 😉
This is how it was received:
…You expect me to be twice as productive as I am. I cannot believe the amount of stress you are putting me under by putting this expectation on me. Plus where will I find the time to do the training, since I am overwhelmed… Words to that effect.
Isn’t it amazing how two views of the same thing can be SO different?
What to do?
- Don’t take it personal (the hard part).
- Reframe or revise how you are communicating, taking into consideration their perspective and current experience.
This is a reminder to us all – especially with email, SMS, messengers, Whatsapp, etc. – that it SO easy for our messages to be misinterpreted. We don’t what the other person is going through, or thinking, or basing their experience on.
So rather than reacting and flying off at someone for misinterpreting your message and intention, it is time to step into their shoes. Try to see it from their perspective and then communicate with them without the emotion and explain what you had intended them to hear.
Lesson 3: the projection thing
I see this a lot.
It is where someone is projecting an image of themselves, which they think others want to see. They are trying to ‘fit in’ so they say and do things which may not be in alignment with their core beliefs and values.
This is a recipe for not feeling so good about yourself. You are likely to feel more disconnected, because you are disconnected from your true self. You are likely to have a bit of phoney-phobia going on (aka: imposter syndrome). You are likely to feel more anxious too.
The solution is not so easy. Damn it!!
The path goes through that perceived scary place called ‘vulnerability’ and acceptance. Also known as showing your TRUE colours. Who you really are. Your imperfect and not always together self.
A colleague of mine was surprised (and then relieved ;-)) to hear me say the other day that when I get an email that is somewhat of a criticism or pointing out something they believe I have done wrong, I might experience a sensation of feeling like I just got sucker punched in the stomach. I may also have a surge of adrenaline and feel a little ‘shakey’ and completely out of harmony.
This is me being vulnerable. Admitting I am not cool, calm and collected in all situations. 😉
This is the antidote to a false projection of yourself. Being vulnerable enough to show up as your authentic self. And as Brene Brown will attest to in her research on shame and vulnerability it is definitely not weakness; but the birthplace of courage.
So where are you projecting and not showing up as your authentic and best self?
What front are you trying to maintain that is costing you energy and perhaps self-esteem?
Where do you need to be more vulnerable, so you can deepen your relationships?
Just asking? 😉
I believe that all of life’s experiences are an opportunity to learn and grow.
Many of them are not pleasant, but if I tell myself I get the potential benefit of wisdom from the experience, it allows me to be more optimistic through the experience.
I think even though I am feeling like crap, at least I have the chance of knowledge and wisdom as a by-product. (Plus a good story to tell others ;-)) This helps me move through an experience with more ease and grace.
What are you going through now that is an opportunity for learning and growth?
What are the lessons? Get curious.
And finally. Know that you are never alone.
As always, please ask questions of me, or share your thoughts in a response email or by putting a post on Facebook.