Have you ever offered a friend a new idea and the person shot it down quickly? Perhaps, you started with “Have you tried…?”
And your friend said, “No. I tried that” or “That won’t work.”
Here’s something worse: You likely carry an inner critic/cynic that shoots down ideas that could uplift your life.
How can we deal with such an inner critic who strangles possibilities and even prevents you from thinking in new empowering ways? As an Executive Coach, one of the major processes I offer a client is to ask a well-formed question to open new possibilities for the person.
Here are two questions that often lead to clients’ enjoying transformation. [I say, “I’m in the business of transformation; I’m not in the business of Band-Aids.”]
- What do you think is real that may not be true?
- How can you make it a game you can win?
1) What do you think is real that may not be true?
“Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.” – Richard Bach
How do you know something is real? Many of us base our perceptions on past experiences. I have even seen this pattern in so-called “experts.” Many experts talk while they look at a “rearview mirror of history.”
Think about it. People who create innovations are not stuck in “rearview-mirror thinking”! There was a time before iTunes, and then Steve Jobs, with his vision, moved through the resistance of many in the music industry. Then, after Steve Jobs’ persistence, we could have a song instantly available for just 99 cents.
How do you react when you hear a new idea?
Do you often react with “Oh, that won’t work”?
Consider using these questions:
- Is this true?
- How do I know this is true?
- Is it possible for something else to occur?
- Does someone on this planet have a different perception of this thing?
Years ago, I had a particular friend “George” who would shoot down any new idea. His whole approach was rigid.
I once asked, “Don’t you think it’s helpful to hear ideas from someone who doesn’t think in your pattern of thinking?”
Ultimately, George drifted away and out of my life. What a relief!
Just before he removed himself from my life, he said, “Where did my energy go? I had more energy in the ‘80s.”
In a conversation with him, I noted, “You were dedicated to something beyond yourself.” I added, “Have you found someone new to serve?”
Now it’s your turn. Do you have anyone in your circle who can offer you new ideas? Does anyone in your circle challenge you to think in new ways? What do you read or watch on TV? Do you only look for agreement instead of looking to explore new possibilities?
2) How can you make it a game you can win?
Several years ago, I was part of the team that set up the first bank with online banking. We did well. The management team said “Good work” and “Goodbye” to 30 team members. All of us were laid off.
I learned a number of things from that experience. One lesson related to my role as an operations analyst. You can do your best, succeed with the project and be dropped by a corporation.
I prefer to build my own company because I make choices and learn—and build new skills and new possibilities.
My point is: Many of us have fallen into a pattern by default. Recently, I read part of a memoir of a CEO. He said that he had fallen into being a CEO. Then, at one point, he allowed inspiration and intuition inform his transformation.
It happened on a plane. He was reading an article on his way to an interview toward being the CEO of yet another company. While reading the article, he realized that he wanted new and different for his life. Just taking another position as a CEO would have become “same old, same old.” Worse—he would feel dead inside.
Right there, on the plane, he made the decision to take his life into a whole new direction. He decided to become a coach to help others live their dreams and not by default. Yes—he sold the mansion and moved into an apartment with his wife (their children had already grown and moved out).
Here’s my point: You can’t “win the game” while you feel dead inside!
The late Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “You can NOT get enough of what you do not really want.” He said that when he had difficulty with drinking alcohol, he could never drink enough to make himself really feel better. He did not want more alcohol. He wanted a life of purpose, inner peace and joy.
Now it’s your turn. How are you living this chapter of your life? Are you devoting too much time and effort to what you do NOT really want? How can you make some small changes? How can you “make it a game you can win?” [Perhaps, you might feel better with this phrase: How can you change the pattern of your actions so you can enjoy each day?—the challenges and the fun parts of each day.]
* * *
When I speak on the topic, “Get Real or Get Hurt: Get False Stuff Out of Your Way and Succeed,” I identify these three details:
Myth: It’s okay to let any automatic cynicism shut down whether you consider new ideas or new possibilities.
A Way You Can Get Hurt: You can miss out on rising to a new level of success and happiness.
Get Real Principle: Consciously, double-check if how you’re living is a source of positive challenge, accomplishment and even time to just breathe and enjoy happy moments. And if you feel unsettled, use that as fuel to explore new ideas, new possibilities and new actions.
I have another note about “What do you think is real that may not be true?” Today, I worked with a client on her speech about overcoming fear. I asked, “If fear should not be in control of your life, what is better to control your life?”
“My heart,” she replied.
[That’s how I often work with someone on his or her speech. I help the person express something from the heart—when I ask helpful questions.]
In conclusion, if fear is shutting down possibilities, ask yourself, “What could I make happen that is new—when I sidestep fear and move forward, listening to my heart?”
P.S. For more inspiration, see my new book The Hidden Power of the AND-Universe: Abundance, Happiness, Prosperity – Along Your Spiritual Path. (Look inside the book when you CLICK HERE).
CEO (leading teams in United Kingdom, India and USA)
Speaker-author of 33 books (with free chapters
Spoken Word Strategist
Author of Emotion-Motion Life Hacks: How You Can Enjoy Transforming Your Work and Life for More Success and Happiness
when you CLICK HERE