I have been busy of late doing coaching sessions and regardless of how many sessions I do, with how many different people – from completely diverse backgrounds – I am forever reminded about how the little things can have so much impact on how we experience life.
A few little things can make the difference between ease and grace or pain and frustration.
Let me share a profound revelation with one of the amazing people I had the pleasure of working with recently. This person is very successful in their chosen profession, but probably suffers more than they need to (or would like to) in their professional and personal life.
When I started asking questions, listening intently and exploring more deeply some of my suspicions, I saw a combination of three factors that individually are probably not a big deal, but mixed together in the right combination, they become a major pain in the butt and a source of way too much stress.
A little stress is ok. And maybe sometimes a big bit of stress is ok. But it is not ok if we have a high level of stress for an extended period of time. That leads to unhappiness, a sense of powerlessness and inevitably, health issues.
Little Big Thing Number 1: A limiting belief
This is definitely where my attention first goes when I start working with someone. I want to know if the beliefs and stories they tell themselves are actually creating obstacles from thin air, or whether there are ‘real’ obstacles between where they are and what they most desire to be in life.
Want to know the good news and the bad news? They are essentially the same thing.
Pretty much 95% of our obstacles are constructs of our minds. It is pretty annoying that our minds are high-jacking our results and awesomeness. But it is also great to realise that our obstacles are not the size of the Great Wall of China, but the size of a bucket’s worth of air.
So this persons limiting belief was (drum roll please)…
“It doesn’t matter.”
Were you expecting something worse? I probably was too. But very soon you will see how this very harmless sounding belief gets in the way of some major progress in life (and avoiding some major pain as well).
You will have to read to the end, to see how this all fits together.
Little Big Thing Number 2: An apparent strength
I want you to try this on for size. Let me know if you think the following character trait is a good thing or …??
It is: ADAPTABILITY
You are perhaps thinking ‘yes’, or maybe even ‘of course it is’. Though you might also be hesitant to lay your cards on the table as you figure I might have a different take on what is a normal perspective. I am not paid to notice the normal. I am paid to see what appears normal, but is in actually not self-serving.
So again, shortly, you will see how some of our greatest strengths – such as adaptability – can become a major weakness if they are mixed in with some other ingredients.
And now to the third ingredient…
Little Big Thing Number 3: Avoidance of Confrontation
Hands up if you like confrontation?
If you don’t, you are probably quite normal. And if you do, make sure to remind me never to invite you to any social gatherings. Especially the ones where alcohol may be involved.
As with most things, there is usually a spectrum that spans between extremes. For example at the very far end of the spectrum there are ‘people who really like confrontation’ and at the other end of the spectrum there are ‘people who really dislike confrontation and avoid it like the plague’.
If you are in the middle, no worries. You are considered ‘normal’ and the confrontation thing is not likely to be a life affecting issue. But if you had a major aversion to confrontation (or even the thought of it) and you mix it with a couple of other factors, you are likely to have some significant challenges in your life.
So let’s put the three together…
An unpleasant combination
“It doesn’t matter” + adaptability + confrontational avoidance
1. A situation arises where someone is discontent with a person or situation.
2. They go to do something about it, but bump into the discomfort of (or perceived discomfort of) potential confrontation.
3. To avoid the discomfort of the confrontation they tell themselves “It doesn’t matter”.
4. Because they are highly adaptable, they adapt to a really crappy situation. For instance, they might end up staying in a relationship for a couple of years longer than is healthy, or staying in a toxic workplace for a few years longer than is healthy for them. They adapt to unhealthy circumstances, rather than getting the hell out of there!!
The Good News
The goods news is that once you become aware of these patterns and behaviours, you can do something about it.
For starters you can change your limiting belief to ‘It all matters’. You can bring reverence into your life and increase your decision making skills (and results) by a factor of about 1000%!! Just by caring more.
You can become aware of where ‘adaptability’ is serving you and when it is keeping you stuck in a survival situation (versus a THRIVING situation).
And finally you can process this ‘confrontational avoidance’ thing. I used an NLP technique to reframe (and emotionally anchor) what confrontation means. I reframed it so that it is now felt as an access point to stepping up to the next level and entering the field of infinite possibilities. So instead of an obstacle, it just becomes a stepping-stone on the way to their evolution.
This has all the makings of a life-changing experience. It is a course correction. Ensuring that the past does not equal the future. That a new future is guaranteed.
Just as the new belief is ‘It all matters’, I want you to realise that the little stuff matters. Pay attention. Get curious. Investigate the areas that are not in harmony in your life and see what might be the probable causes.
Is it a limiting belief?
Is there behavioural trait?
Is there a bad (and potentially unconscious) habit?
Is there something you are avoiding that is holding you back from your fullest expression?
Get curious and then get to work. And if you need a hand get some help. From me or a similar clone to me. Someone on the outside (who has the right experience and knowledge) is likely to see things that you are completely missing.
Awesome!! So advance and prosper.