Last November I had the great good fortune of attending TEDxRainier here in Seattle. I’ve just launched a very cool 30 day project inspired by Patti Dobrowolski’s talk. First, I created the drawing you see above that depicts my current reality and my desired new reality. Next, I committed to 30 days of 3 bold steps per day creatively inspired by both the left and right side of my brain. (The drawings are what make this possible.) I’m in my second week and all I can say is WOW!!! Below is a video of the talk that started it all AND links to FREE blank printable template maps. Check it out only if you are really, no kidding, in the mood to dream up a Desired New Reality! Thank You Patti!
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. -Aristotle
I’ve been fascinated lately with the power of our habits. We all have them. The subconscious rituals we perform routinely without thinking. Transformational change hinges on our ability to recognize and shift our habits. Here’s the key linkage. Habits can’t shift without belief. Belief is only built co-actively, with others. I’ve been reading a just released book: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg Here are some thought-provoking excerpts:
How do habits change? We know that a habit cannot be eradicated–it must, instead be replaced. And we know that habits are most malleable when the Golden Rule of habit change is applied: If we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted. But that’s not enough. For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.
Belief is essential, and it grows out of a communal experience, even if that community is only as large as two people.
from Chapter 3: The Golden Rule of Habit Change-Why Transformation Occurs
Another reason, of many, why investing in private coaching yields such strong return. You can’t create sustainable change simply by reading a book. You can’t create sustainable change by knowing what you need to do. There is transformative power in the accountability and connection orchestrated by a well-trained coach. The coaching relationship builds belief. This shifts your habits. Don’t waste another day circling around in your own head hoping you will figure things out. Time’s a wastin’!
I wonder, what will have you leap? Not just meander along, but really, no kidding, jump with full certainty and ALL your power toward what you know is waiting for you. In yoga class this morning, Jorge talked about the importance of honoring the past. He taught that the lessons learned in the past are the strength behind us. Awareness of this strength allows us to have the courage to leap into our future.
When it’s time to leap, it is so important to remember who we have become, where we have been and what we have come to know to be true along the way. Yes, the past is the past. That said, it is profoundly important to celebrate the wins, process the disappointments and articulate the lessons we have gathered. This storehouse of wisdom, gives us the strength and certainty needed to LEAP toward our vision.
I’m not going to go on about the importance of vision here. Simply said, we must get clear (and stoked) about what we want. The clues to a fresh vision of what’s next, emerge naturally from reflection on what we have been up to while listening to the deep, quiet yearnings within.
If you crave the exhilaration of starting this new year with a courageous LEAP, registration for An Opening to 2012 is open through January 31. (Sessions can be scheduled through February but you have to be registered by January 31.) Are you going to leap or stay stuck? You choose.
Ann Betz, a friend and colleague on the faculty of the Coaches Training Institute, wrote this poem that beautifully describes the experience I aspire to create for my private Executive Coaching clients.
There is a door I want to pass through and you’ve offered to hold it open for me so I can stand and look at a distant land.
It’s bright there and fun and terrifying and as you gaze at me with steady eyes you never stop saying “I see you here”
And this statement of belonging which you speak so matter-of-factly buoys me, calms my heart and carries me over the threshold to where I want to be
Wow, everyone is so different! Try this viewpoint when you are tempted to judge or when you are rocked by unexpected reactions to your leadership. This perspective generates curiosity and openness, which are guaranteed to get you a better outcome than defensiveness or intense convincing that your thinking is the BEST. Even if you are convinced you have the best solution, chances of it being accepted (and implemented) are WAY better if you at least acknowledge the other’s perspective first, right?
I’ve been revisiting the 5 Top Strengthfinder Strengths with my private executive coaching clients. Not one person has the same Strengths. If we celebrate our unique strengths and co-create our contributions from there, we’ve got a huge probability of success.
Wow, Everyone is so different! Remember this, especially with those close to you. Our differences are indeed what create the spark of attraction between us.
First of all, I acknowledge that I dropped the “regular blog posting” ball for the whole month of August. Yipes! I was completely immersed in my work with my private coaching clients, my mid-year private mini retreats and yes, the lovely days of summer. When the sun did peak out, I was oh so ready to spend time on the beach, which I did, without apology… until this moment of truth.
One of the themes of the last month has been personifying and empowering the voice of the True leader within and surrounding that voice with a wise integrated support team of clearly identified inner allies. In this way, we can more easily recognize their wise voices and our True Leader can confidently move forward with resonant choices. All this is for the sake of minimizing frustrating time spent stuck in fear and indecision. This transformative work has led me back to my favorite poet, David Whyte, who styles for us a valuable inner ally.
Click here for a 3 minute audio I recorded of his poem, which I have recited to many beautiful people in many beautiful places over the past month. Sit back and enjoy…and then ask yourself:
What bridge have you come upon, that has you paralyzed by fear and indecision?
How might you follow your Old Interior Angel across it in one movement?
I’ve been easing into greater tenderness and compassion within myself. In order for this to unfold the texture of my striving has become much softer.
These days I am unwilling to muster the driving, relentless internal energy that was often my style in my corporate business career. Although there was success in that approach, it definitely was not sustainable for my team, the organization or myself.
What I am focusing on now with my executive coaching clients and myself is disciplined, gentle, self-effort. In order for gentleness to take hold, we must have faith that there is a benevolent energy greater than our minds that is unfolding our destiny. We must cultivate faith in our ability to align with that energy. This energy operates silently and powerfully in the projects that we lead if we simply notice it and flow with where it wants to go. This energy speaks, with creative spark through our heart and not our heads. In order to recognize its voice we must become soft and flexible. Silence helps too.
Great faith provides the foundation for striving with gentleness. The greatest leaders have strength yes…and they have absolute confidence that all will indeed turn out in the end. They have faith in themselves and faith and in the goodness of others. This faith allows them easy access to the discernment that comes from aligning with the still, voice within. This voice gets clearer when one’s heart is soft.
May you have faith and the wisdom to balance strength and gentleness in all your striving.
The complimentary energies of resolution and acceptance have often felt paradoxical to me. Here’s why. I am a confident, maker of resolutions and achiever of goals. For most of my business career, this led to what I perceived to be success. The unexpected challenge of all this is, due to the linear predictability of my focused step-by-step planning strengths; it’s easy for me to get emotionally thrown when, things are flung wildly off kilter. In these moments, the powerful antidote of acceptance seems impossible.
Here is the bridge. I take refuge in my resolution to show up as a leader and to learn and evolve as a human being. This vantage point allows me to embrace unanticipated twists and turns as opportunity. Actually, opportunity doesn’t seem to be a big enough word. It’s more like miraculous transformation. The unexpected surprises that have me so intensely resistant or sad hold the exact right ingredients needed to transform me into my highest destiny.
The resolution to grow and evolve is a way bigger platform on which to stand. It supports us in celebrating our unfolding destiny, no matter how it looks to our achiever egos.
Cool, huh? So the challenge I have for all my like-minded achievers is, when things go off kilter and acceptance seems impossible, dig deep and resolve to evolve.