It was Einstein who said that you can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that caused it. This is one of the reasons why people stay stuck. Not for the want of trying. But it can feel like a constant internal battle which drains your energy and your confidence. Not only that but it can take you in the opposite direction to where you want to be. Maybe a millimetre at a time so you hardly notice at first, but before long you are way off track, and finding your way back can seem like wading up a treacle-draped mountain in ill-fitting slippers and with your eyes closed.
Many people are guided by poor role models, past experiences, habits or fear. And efforts can be limited by not having the right experiences or the right insights to develop the results you are looking for. But what to do about it?
To move beyond this stuck state I teach some of my clients a useful technique called ‘Your Board of Directors’. This is similar to a board you would get in a business – each member providing different skills and insights which, hopefully, create a balanced perspective. However, the difference is that your board will be hand-picked by you and live in the privacy of your own mind.
Sounding a little crazy? It isn’t. Let me give you an example. I had one client who’s only way of dealing with conflict was to withdraw into herself and subordinate all her needs to those whose voices were louder or more insistent. It got to the point where nobody heard her even when she did speak up. She didn’t want an argument, or to be arrogant, but she didn’t want to have her needs ignored either. She was stuck.
So I asked her to think of people she knew from her life or pubic figures she admired who might have the kind of approach which would have yielded better results. She chose The Dalai Lama for his quiet strength and dignity, Oprah Winfrey for her wisdom and warmth and a friend who just said it how it was without causing many waves. And when there were waves, she had a pragmatic view about it. I asked what beliefs that friend might have which helped her. “I have rights too” was one which she would have benefited from. Her friend was also unconcerned about whether other people liked her which had the converse effect of people warming to her much more because it meant she was a lot easier to be around. The need to be liked can be hard work to others.
So, the next time she felt the need to speak up, she asked herself what would The Dalai Lama do in this situation? How would Oprah handle it? What approach would her friend take? This opened up new options for her and gave her the courage to step up to the challenge of speaking out. Of course, this all really came from her own unconscious but this technique opened those doors which had been closed to her before. She was developing her skills from the inside out.
So, my invitation to you is to think about something which is limiting you or blocking you. What skill might be useful to help you with that? Given that, who would you like on your Board of Directors to guide you? Have fun!
Of course, if you would like 1:1 help with this or any other situation which you find challenging, I can be reached for a no-obligation chat on 0345 130 0854. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Remember, if you don’t change direction, you may end up where you’re heading (Lao Tsu).