As we are traveling through the kaleidoscope that is our lives we are boosted along the journey by happenstances that make us feel great about who we are, who we associate with and what we do. Often, the roads we travel are bumpy, filled with detours and missed turns. When the we get derailed and feel that life is getting away from our control, we have two options: 1) We can pick ourselves up and get back on track; or 2) We can linger in the melancholy of our situation which tends to put us into a downward cycle, a cycle of continuing doubt which causes us to question our own abilities and worth.
Picking ourselves up, albeit not always an easy task, is our goal. When things are going right for us for a long period of time our ability to rebound quickly comes almost naturally. However, when we are stacking up our own missteps or relying on others to provide support and pick us up, it can be a painstaking task to redirect our course.
When we are in a downward cycle, we often begin to try to take shortcuts, generalize, and integrate all of the best advice that we can to right ourselves. What we do not do is trust our own thinking and tap into the power of our Self.
“Believe nothing no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and common sense.” ~Buddha
We are at times overly-obsessed with collecting the advice of others. There are things in life that we need the experts advice on–a doctor when we are sick, an accountant when we need to do our taxes, a mechanic when our car wont run. What we tend to do is ignore the expert in the room. There is no one that knows you better than you. When the decisions we make has adverse affects, we then lose trust in our Self. When I engage in a coaching relationship with a client it is not a one-way device, that is, I do not prescribe any solutions. I work to enable my client the ability to build the outcomes based on their goals and objectives. We will often be in discussion and I will make recommendations, however they have to be comfortable moving forward and I work with them to make it all a reality. If it were the other way around, their commitment may waiver, and they will be stuck in the same place as they are in now.
I do keep my clients on track. I do hold them to deadlines. I do ensure that the outcomes remain how the envisioned it. My job is to coach and guide my client through the processes that they will use to realize their ideal final results. I am also here to answer questions, review concerns and rewrite the path based on their needs, not mine.
I believe that when it comes to the decisions we need to make for ourselves, experts can easily become a crutch.
When engaging with a friend, colleague, business associate or coaching client I always try to have them answer the following questions when the path they were traveling has unraveled:
- What do you really want? That is, what is the ideal final result they are looking to achieve. I do not accept goals that are light on substance such as “to make money” or “be rich.” I am looking for deeper meaning that can create substance for our discussions. When we are able to define what we want our results to be on that deeper level, we can actually create our own paths to getting there. When we are precise with our thinking, our Self becomes the creator of the solution to the problems that we are experiencing.
- Why do you want this? Asking Why is always more important than asking the What or How questions. If we can cascade to four or five levels of why in our conversations we will illuminate our true purposes and actually understand our Self more and give greater power to our Self to be the solution and create the answer that gets us moving forward ahead.
- How are you going to achieve what you want? When you embark on making a shift or change in your life, we normally focus in on How we are going to get out of our rut. When we start here the Self takes over and we have many instances of trial and error, which becomes mostly error. If we ask the How first, sometimes there isn’t an answer, and there won’t be until we act and then learn the consequences of our choices. When we start with the What and the Why questions and answer them honestly, the Self will have the ability to create the How with purpose.
We need to know when we know all we can, and then we need to act and own that choice.