Look at Me Look at Me (WT518)

Look at Me Look at Me (WT518)

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WT518 Look at Me Look at Me

Most days Ross and I enjoy a walk together, usually in the morning or middle of the day. Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and although the temperature was only 13 degrees Celsius, we felt warm with the heat of the sun. 

We came upon a bridge over the Lachlan River in New Norfolk, Tasmania. The bridge was just wide enough for two people to walk side by side. As we neared the bridge we saw a young man walking towards us. He was a large man. In fact, he took up most of the width of the bridge, leaving no room to pass. 

We waited politely for him to cross. Both Ross and I looked up and smiled at him. He stared at the sky to avoid eye contact as he walked past us.  

I find this sort of behavior both intriguing and annoying. I say annoying because I was brought up to “Be Sociable”; to always acknowledge people and smile and say “Hello”. For someone to walk past me without acknowledging me goes against my value set. I also find it intriguing for the same reason. Obviously, people have a different set of values and of course, they are entitled to do whatever they want. There is no law that says you must look at me and smile when you walk past me. 

So why am I sharing this story with you? It’s an opportunity to talk about Values and Values Collisions. A Values Collision occurs when we perceive someone’s behavior as unacceptable to us, yet there is no tangible concrete effect on us as a result of the behavior. Here’s another example: Let’s say you smoke cigarettes and I don’t. It’s your right to choose to smoke. I can’t force you to stop simply because I don’t like it and unless we are near each other, there is no tangible concrete effect on me. 

The next logical question then, is “How do you resolve a Values Collision”? 

Using the above smoking example, I’ll show you a couple of options: 

  1. I can change my value to be the same as yours. I might start smoking. 
  1. I can ask you to not smoke around me, whilst still respecting your decision to smoke. We call that “influencing the other’s behavior”. 
  1. I can attempt to influence your value by “modelling” the values I’d like you to adopt (ie not smoking) or “consulting” to you. I can provide you with information to see if that might influence you to change your value. 
  1. Finally, if we are not able to satisfactorily resolve our values differences, then we might need to alter the relationship. 

Values Collisions occur all the time. They are part of life. They occur in the family, in the workplace, almost anywhere you have people. We are not wrong because we have a different set of values.  

Following on from today’s message, what Values are important to you and how will you choose to resolve any Values Collisions?

Feedback – Giving and Receiving (WT515)

Feedback – Giving and Receiving (WT515)

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WT515 Feedback – Giving and Receiving

Firstly, a warm welcome to our new Weekly Thoughts readers. I’m so thrilled to write to you each week. I trust you’ll find the messages helpful, inspiring and educative. We’ve been going almost 10 years and I’m so grateful for all our readers. Thanks for showing up. 

This week, we’re talking about being open to both giving and receiving feedback.

I was coaching with a client this week, and we’d almost finished the call when he mentioned one last topic. I was looking at the time and knew that if mentioned the thoughts I had, we would definitely go over time and I also had a presentation to prepare for straight after the call.

I was also concerned about how he might take the feedback. I had some thoughts and opinions and some questions around the topic and I wondered to myself, “Well, do I say anything? We have to finish the call? Do I not say anything? Will I upset him with my feedback? If I say anything, will it be perceived as being negative?  

I chose not to say anything on the call.

I thought about it for a couple of hours and decided, if I don’t say anything, I’m doing this person a disservice. So I called them. I checked to see if he was open to the feedback. He was. I shared my thoughts and questions and was relieved to hear how much he appreciated the feedback.

He appreciated the fact that I had continued to think about him and his situation. He appreciated that I cared enough to call back and share my thoughts. He appreciated being able to see things from a different point of view.

It turned out to be a Win Win.

This week’s reminder is to be open to both giving and receiving feedback.

Is there someone who needs to hear your feedback? If so, go ahead. Check to see if they are open to it, and if so, share away.

If It Doesn’t Feel Good… (WT513)

If It Doesn’t Feel Good… (WT513)

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WT513 If It Doesn’t Feel Good

Firstly, a big shout out to John Lizzio for correcting my reference to Steven Covey’s story about sharpening the saw in last week’s thought. “In Covey’s story of the two lumberjacks, one worked through. The other sharpened his saw for 10 minutes each hour. And cut more.” Thank you, John.  

This week I’d like to look at your feelings. Your feelings or our emotional guidance system can signal to us that our thinking is off.

Here’s an example. I recently provided some online training for clients. At the end of the training, I collapsed back in my seat and started to criticize myself.

“Oh, that was hopeless.”

“There was no connection.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“No-one is interested in learning this stuff.”

“They were only there because they had to be.”

On and on and on went my inner critic. As I listened to myself, I felt worse and worse. I was disappointed with myself, frustrated with myself and feeling hopeless.

I was in the primal state. The state of fight or flight where I’m not able to come up with creative solutions.

I did my best to move myself out of this state into the creative, joyful powerful state, but it didn’t work. My critic was having a field day. I decided to go for a walk to clear my head.

When I got back to the office, I was so surprised to see some text messages and emails showing me the graphic summary that one of the team members had created after the training. 

“Wow! They had gotten something out of the training. Wow! They did understand the message. Wow! They enjoyed it and were grateful.”

What a classic case study for what we teach. According to David Bayer, if it doesn’t feel good, it’s not true. This was certainly the case for me. It didn’t feel good and when I examined my thinking, and the positive feedback I received, I could see that what I was thinking was absolutely not true. I moved back into the powerful state.

With all that’s going on at the moment with COVID-19, please remember that if you’re not feeling good, whatever you are thinking is not true. Life is always working for you, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment. If you’re not feeling good, look to your thinking and look for the evidence of the opposite. If it doesn’t feel good, what you’re thinking is not true.

Are You Getting What You Wanted? (WT511)

Are You Getting What You Wanted? (WT511)

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WT511 Are You Getting What You Wanted?

With all the doom and gloom, and fear and stress around COVID-19 at the moment, I’ve been fascinated to see that many of my clients are actually manifesting what they want.

Have a look back over the past year or so and recall the things that you said you wanted to be, do, have or feel and see if some of them haven’t actually manifested through COVID-19.

Here are some examples to show you what I mean:

  1. 12 months ago, I said I wanted an online business. Boom! Overnight a few weeks ago that’s what I got. All of my face to face consultations and training events were cancelled. Online business manifested.
  1. One of my clients wanted to be a stay at home Dad for (wait for it) 4 months. Boom! His wife has just gone back to work in the health industry and he gets to stay at home and look after the baby. 
  1. Another client wanted to have at least a 2 week holiday with his entire family where they all stayed together and enjoyed breakfasts and evening meals, etc. Boom! The lockdown meant his kids came home and they will be together for at least 2 weeks. 
  1. Another wanted to present her new program on Mindfulness. She missed out on a scholarship and ended up presenting for the very people who funded the scholarship. 
  1. Finally, another had been saying for 12 months, I’d like to just shut the doors. Boom! Guess what she had to do recently? 

If you look closely, it’s not all gloom and doom. 

Recalibrate your Reticular Activating System (RAS) and change your perception. You might be surprised to see that on some level, you are actually getting what you wanted.

It’s all about perception. Start seeing what you haven’t been seeing and start focusing more on the things you want, because even though we don’t know the how, Life is Always Working for Us and we eventually get what we really desire.

Stay safe.

What is Everyone Else Doing (WT509)

What is Everyone Else Doing (WT509)

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WT509 What Is Everyone Else Doing

This week, I want to talk to you about a concept called “Social Proof”. It’s a psychological construct. In his book, “Influence”, Robert Cialdini describes it in great detail but I’ll give you the brief version here.

Stick with me, it’s very relevant to what’s going on in the world today.

“Social Proof” in this context refers to people checking to see what other people are doing before they take action. We’re not talking about “Social Proof” in marketing where you get a third party to endorse you and give you a testimonial, although I can see where that came from when you look at the psychology.

Cialdini references some shocking events like the “Jonestown Suicides” in South America where 909 individuals died, all but two from apparent cyanide poisoning, in an event termed “revolutionary suicide” by leader Jim Jones. The disturbing thing about this is that the majority of the people voluntarily took the poison, reportedly in a peaceful and ordered way.

This event led to psychologists asking how this could happen, which leads us to the construct of “Social Proof”. We look to others to see what they are doing, so that we know what to do. The odd thing here is that we believe/expect that the other people actually know what the right thing to do is.

I found this fascinating when I became aware that I too was looking for social proof at a caravan park. I wasn’t sure whether the garbage bins were divided for recycling so I looked inside to see “what everyone else had done”, assuming of course, that they were correct and they knew the right thing to do.

This type of behavior was further researched when in 1964, a 28-year-old woman known as Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death across the road from where she lived in New York and although lots of people saw and heard what was happening, not one person even called the police, let alone went to her aid.

How could this be?

It was “Social Proof”. We look to see what everyone else is doing as a reference point for our behavior. Since the research we now know that you are better off if there is just one other person available if you get into trouble rather than a group, because in all probability the group will stand back waiting to see what everyone else does (it’s known as the By Stander Effect).

So, why am I writing about what seem to be such morbid stories?  It’s because we’re in a time of crisis with the current situation and I want you to be aware that if you follow everyone else and look to others for “Social Proof”, be mindful that “everyone else” may not know the right thing to do either and they may just be waiting for you to step up and be the leader and show them what to do.

Don’t assume that everyone else knows what to do.

She Who Adapts Succeeds (WT508)

She Who Adapts Succeeds (WT508)

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WT508 She Who Adapts Succeeds

In these challenging times, I want to take the opportunity to remind you that he or she who adapts succeeds.

No-one knows what’s going to happen as a result of the Corona Virus and this uncertainty causes many people to go into what David Bayer refers to as the Primal State of Being.

The Primal State matches to our Sympathetic Nervous System – the fight or flight system. In times of real danger, you need this to either stand and fight or run, but let’s be clear, there is a huge difference between being in danger and being in fear.

Emotions such as stress, overwhelm, fear and anger trigger your Sympathetic Nervous System and cause you to go into the Primal State. The Primal State cuts you off from all your creative resources and intuition and inspiration because it’s only focused on survival.

What’s needed now, more than ever, is to get yourself into the opposite state, known as the Powerful State. The Powerful State matches to your Parasympathetic Nervous System, also known as rest, relaxation and digestion. 

One way to do this is to understand that the thoughts you are thinking that are putting you in the Primal State are NOT TRUE and so if they are not true, then what is true? Usually it’s the opposite.  

What we need to do is to become aware of our thoughts and change them, then look for the evidence to support what is true. In other words, become aware of what we call your Unintelligent Thinking. Unintelligent in the sense that it is stopping you from accessing your own and the infinite intelligence to find creative solutions. 

Here’s an example of what many people are thinking at the moment: “My hours have been cut. I’m not going to get paid. I’m not going to have enough money. I’m going to go broke. I’ll never get out of this.”  If you truly look at the thinking you’ll see it’s not true. It’s simply the meaning you are giving to an experience and we know there is no suffering in any experience, only the meaning we give it. 

On the same example, look at your finances and know that you’ve always had enough, you’ve got enough now and you’ll have enough in the future. You may want more, however you’ve always found a way to survive.  Go through and look for the evidence for where you have survived in the past. Write it down. Focus on it every day. Get yourself into a Powerful State. 

It’s the only way you’ll be able to adapt and succeed.

Remember, he or she who adapts succeeds. Now is the time to adapt and look for other opportunities. You can’t be creative unless you get yourself in to the Powerful State.

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