This is the 2nd Blog in a 3-Part series featuring excerpts from my Certified High Performance Coaching™ Program, The Declaration Course, which is loosely based on Brendon Burchard's The Motivation Manifesto: 9 Declarations to Claim Your Personal Power. These are three of my favorite declarations because the first builds our foundation on a core virtue, the second acknowledges the obstacles we will encounter, and the third raises our ambition to be at our very best to serve.
Let's dive into this month's challenge. Let us ask ourselves: What are the obstacles -- the demons, if you will, -- that tend to hold us back? What are the tools in our tool box we can draw on to support us in driving through or leaping over the obstacles in our path? Here is a high level overview of the process to finding our answers and actions which make the most sense to us in our current situation.
The 1st step in the process is Awareness. What are our demons? In asking this question, we are challenged to go deep inside to become more aware of negative emotions, or longstanding habits, or limiting beliefs which no longer serve us. If we are missing a skill set to move us forward, the answers are typically much clearer. Awareness of our emotions can be more challenging. In the Chapter on "We Shall Defeat Our Demons", starting on page 19 in The Motivation Manifesto, Brendon Burchard gives us a great start in naming our demons:
We cannot change what we are not aware of -- right? So the 1st -- and necessary precondition to change -- is to name the most important negative emotions that are getting in the way of us moving forward and changing. Over time we may have experienced a range of negative emotions, including fear, powerlessness, anger, discouragement, blame, worry, doubt, disappointment, over-whelment, frustration, impatience, pessimism, boredom. However, this exercise in Awareness is not intended to be a replay of your entire life story. Rather, the focus is on the Present Moment -- and being aware of the most important obstacles -- the largest boulders -- that are currently getting in our way. Just start with the 3 or 4 emotions which are the major drivers underlying your current Doubts, Delays, or Divisions in your life right now.
Exercise Question: Are there any projects or dreams that you feel you are procrastinating on right now? What's causing your delay?
The 2nd step in the process is Acceptance. Be kind to ourselves -- put self-judgment aside. Congratulate ourselves for doing the work, for showing up! Accept ourselves -- and acknowledge we are doing the best we can, with what we know, in the Present Moment. As the great Carl Rogers has observed:
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am,
then I can change."
This is a profound paradox -- and very true! When we are giving all our energy to TRYING to change -- we are very likely giving our energy to RESISTING and CRITICIZING ourselves, rather than being in the Present Moment and accepting that we are doing the best we can right now. Can you hear the sound of your voice when you say, "I'm TRYING?"
Please be patient. Please be patient with yourself. And, please be patient with me....I am getting to the HOW we can change -- the tools we have which will support us in changing. However, many of us, myself included, are too often so impatient that we want to get to the To Do list, before we spend the time in going deeply within and acknowledging the limiting beliefs and fears that have held us back. We can be in a hurry to move forward -- before we have done the deep and challenging work of forgiving ourselves and accepting ourselves -- just as we are.
Exercise Question: Where are you (or others) being most critical of yourself -- in relationships, professionally, or personally? Are you open to letting go of or reframing those criticisms?
The 3rd step in the process is Choice. As the Chapter "We Shall Defeat Our Demons" unfolds, Brendon reveals his ideas on the antidotes -- the keys to transforming Doubt, Delay, and Division:
"Love completes our healing.
For we can have all the Faith and Action in the world, but without Love there is no strength.
It is Love that gives Faith its raw and divine power.
Love that causes us to be courageous, to take actions that we would never take for ourselves.
When Love springs unfiltered from our hearts, then the last impulse of Defiance is vanquished.
Love is always the final and most complete cure to our inner demons."
Indeed, Love transforms everything -- it is the greatest healing energy in the world. However, there is an important truth: you must love yourSelf, before you will ever really Know what it means to
give love to others and experience the mystery of the healing energy of Love.
Once again we ask -- how do we make this change? I do not pretend to have the answers to the big question. However, I do passionately believe it starts with each and everyone of us learning
what it means and feels like to love ourselves on a deeper level -- and to be more forgiving and less judgmental of ourselves.
In my journey to discover and start to comprehend unconditional love, I found this poem by Rumi very revealing:
"Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find all
the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it,
and embrace them all."
Here Rumi is revealing to us that we will have to become even more aware of the barriers we have built up to protect ourselves. We are called to accept ourselves and embrace our doubts and fears that we are not good enough.
And so, we come full circle -- revealing that to fully defeat our demons, we must learn to love ourSelves -- and continue the process of awareness, acceptance and choice over and over again.
Exercise Question: Something I could say to myself in the moment to be more humble, and more patient with others, is...
To sum-up the process -- Better Awareness and acceptance of ourselves in the present moment, leads to better choices. And better choices...lead to better results!
In conclusion, there are two powerful and FREE tools available to each of us. First is the power of practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing. Most of you know I have been consistent in promoting the 7x -7x -7 Breathing Formula -- 7 deep breathes, 7 times a days, 7 days a week. See I Am Breathing.
Second is the power of a consistent meditation practice. I have often shared meditations available on Insight Timer, a free meditation app with a incredible roster of world-class teachers and a range of meditation styles on a wide range of topics. There are also several other great mediation apps available.
Here are a few meditations which I recommend to complement our journey to believe in ourselves and to deepen into the mystery of loving ourselves.
Let us be patient with ourselves and with others. We are all a work in progress -- and our work is never done. In fact, as I post this new Blog, it is May 3rd, 13 years to the day when I made a conscious decision to work with a coach and start my personal journey to go deeply within. This work takes time, my friends -- and the rewards are more than we can even imagine. At least, that has been my personal experience.
As Tony Robbin's says:
“We usually overestimate what we think we can accomplish in one year -
but we grossly underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade.”
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