“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking.
It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
Some of the things I say about myself are true. I’m a mother, a wife, a daughter and a sister. I’m 5’4”, right-handed, and have naturally curly hair. I’m a yogi and gardener and cook, and a consultant and thought leader in public accounting. These roles and narratives are grounded in relationships, facts and truth and can easily be verified by me or others.
I also say things about myself that aren’t true. For instance, a few years ago I was convinced that I wasn’t intuitive. My personality type is Sensing rather than Intuitive, and I felt handicapped by my preference to collect lots of data before making decisions. To coach accounting firm leaders, or facilitate strategic planning sessions, I need intuition to quickly sort through what’s happening in the moment and provide my instinctive insights, and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to serve in those roles.
Over the last few years I’ve been exercising my intuition by listening to my gut and paying attention to my instinctive ideas, thoughts that before I might have disregarded. I’ve treated my intuition like a weak muscle instead of a real “missing” and as a result, today it’s stronger. Through this process, I’ve discovered that I AM intuitive, so what I said about myself was a STORY, not the truth. There were no facts to back that story up, nothing grounded in reality. Instead it was a “tall tale” that was holding me back from doing the things required to achieve my full potential.
I’m starting to see other places in my life where my stories hold me back from changing or growing or being what others need of me. So lately, I’m paying closer attention to what I’m saying about myself to separate truth from fiction.
Here are some of my “stories” I’m working to break out of. Notice the negative pattern (and how much of this comes from the internal little voice) and the focus on what I CAN’T do.
- I’m more serious than funny
- I’m not a salesperson
- I’m not creative
- I don’t do well in “big room” networking events
- I’m more logical and less concerned with how people feel
In addition to attending yoga classes or TRX at the gym to train my muscles, I’m taking on these five stories and building the mental strength the meet the challenges implicit there. I believe that I WILL overcome my resistance and CAN do these things. I MUST, because my colleagues and clients need them from me.
What amazes me most about this journey is my capacity for change. I just celebrated my fourth anniversary with ConvergenceCoaching, and over the last four years I’ve grown in ways I never expected. I used to tell people I wasn’t a good writer, and today I’m publishing at least four blogs a year. Previously I was sure that I would never be a skilled public speaker, and since then I’ve become comfortable facilitating sessions with over 100 participants.
You’re changing all the time, too, based on the demands of your team, or the needs of your clients, or to take on the development required for your career progression. I challenge you to look at where you’re NOT changing when you should and start to uncover what it will take to make those shifts, too.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”