Spring Cleaning For Your Mind

Long winter?
Lots of slush, salt and grime splattering around too. Real and metaphorical. Enough to keep anyone’s windshield washers busy.

Now the spring urge for clean has arrived. Shining surfaces, clear windows, whether it’s your home or the vehicle you drive. Things just seem to run better after a good cleaning.

So what about your mind?
A quick couple of minutes checking out your mental vision could be time well spent. Are you clear and focused? Enjoying what you see?

A quick self-test
Grab a piece of paper and you can put it to the test. Jot down three things in your life that are important for you right now.

That done, you can easily check for sludge and slush that could be blurring your thinking, impacting your decisions. Do this by looking at your beliefs about the relationships you have with the important things/people in your life. 

Take your career.  You have a relationship with your company, with your coworkers and with your clients. You also have a relationship with the actual work you do. Which ones are most important for you?

What about family and personal relationships. Or your health? Again, jot down the most important – with your spouse, your children, your friends. 

What do you believe about those relationships? Are they getting better? Are you spending enough time with those people? What is true for you?

Once you see those beliefs in black and white, you can decide if they are useful or not. If they have a negative aspect, they are probably hindering your progress.  And if they are not moving you forward, challenge them!

Removing you own roadblocks
Now that you’ve identified the beliefs you’d like to challenge, can you take a minute and play? Run one of those beliefs through the following questions. (One belief at a time works best.) 

  • What are you focusing on when you believe that? What image comes to mind? Are you focusing on a task, a person, number or result?
  • Begin noticing what else is in that picture? Who else?
  • Now ask yourself, what is happening that you were not noticing? As you bring that ‘something else’ into focus how does it begin shifting that belief?
  • What about time? Are you focused on the short term? Then switch to the long term.
  • Ask yourself what you have learned from the feedback you’re getting – what will you do differently the next time? 
  • Now go ahead and imagine the future – one, three, even five years have passed – and you’ve been using what you learned.
  • How valuable has that feedback become over time? How much better off will you be now because of what you learned? Think about that for a minute.

Thanks for taking time to play.  Because a simple shift in perception is often enough to dissolve the sludge from our mental vision … so you can see clearly when opportunities call, and they will. 

 I’d love hearing about any ‘aha!’ discoveries you made, just don’t expect them immediately. It can take a day or two before you begin noticing you have more clarity around important issues.

And if you have a few stubborn smudge spots left, perhaps you’re ready for Performance Breakthrough Coaching, an investment in yourself!

If you have questions about the process, you can contact me at 416-492-3200,  or visit the Innergize website.

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The Gap Between Knowing And Doing

The previous post suggested that most people already have a wealth of knowledge that if applied, would make them more successful.  The real question becomes what prevents us from doing what we know? Using our knowledge consistently? While answers may seem as unique as each of us, there are some themes.

Take my friend Paul who faithfully followed techniques recommend in the current success literature (media really.)  This new and improved version of positive thinking adds emotions as a critical part of the mix.  

All well and good. But as time passed Paul failed to make any progress in his life.  Even though he was working harder, he said it felt like taking one step forward, two steps back.  Know the feeling? 

Insights from neuro-science 
Doctors Joseph le Doux and Antonio Damasio, are respected neuro scientists working to understand how the brain processess emotions.  They now estimate that up to 95% of our emotions, decisions and behaviours are the result of unconscious mental processing.  Think about that.  Emotions, decisions, behaviours, running automatically without our conscious rational thinking.  

One step forward, two steps back  
Back to Paul who was using his new positive thinking + feeling techniques to achieve a very specific goal.  Here’s what a couple of questions revealed:

  • Although Paul had the skills to achieve his goal and knew others less knowlegeable who were succeeding, he still wasn’t sure it was possible for him.
  • He wanted to believe it, wished it was possible, but just wasn’t sure.  
  • The more he effort he made to move forward, the more stumbling blocks he seemed to find. The harder it was.

The fix
Once we discovered his lack of conviction, a fear lurking behind a wish, we used NLP to make the change.  Paul was able to unplug the fear, neutralize it and reconnect to a strong inner belief in himself that fully supported his goal.

We didn’t waste any time trying to figure out what caused Paul’s lack of conviction.  We simply updated his belief using a technique for working with the unconscious mind.  Neuro linguistic programming (NLP) has been teaching people how to work with their own unconscious mind for over 30 years, long before many would even acknowledge the concept.

Today Paul is seeing the results of efforts, he’s working smarter, has more energy and says he’s having more fun too!

Tomorrow ….  another theme, one that can cause you to to spin your wheels between competing priorities.