It is early morning at a seashore. The wind starts slowly rising and the first windsurfers start sailing the glittery surface of the water. Some of them struggle to find the balance and others just follow the wind. It fills up the sails and joyfully brings the boards forward. The success factor seems to be the focus on the direction of the wind, on the power of what fuels the movement. Where does the wind come from? Instead of thinking of all the other directions, you focus only on one. You put your focus and the energy on what is nurturing and energizing. These windsurfers focus on what brings wished results. The source of strength and empowerment is where your attention should be most of the time. This focus is what will bring you closer to the goals you set. The question you should be answering is not how you cannot make it. The question is rather how you can make it.
As a consultant and coach, I am trained to dig deeper to find the true cause of dysfunction and problem. Also as a human being, I’m wired by the evolution to focus on what could be dangerous. I am created to look for the signs of judgment and non-acceptance from others. Once upon a time, our survival depended on our social connections. Therefore the mind is easily attracted by the negations in the sentences, negative feedback, dysfunctional relationships, and problematic situations. Our brain frantically searches for risks embedded in these social signals: “Does this mean I won’t get promoted? “, “She certainly does not like me” and so on. This type of focus requires energy. What you feed with your focus, becomes stronger in you.
It is important to realize and feel what is causing discomfort, but it is equally important not to get stuck in this. The realisation will bring awareness and from this point on, the problem will become workable, meaning that you can work with it in any direction you like. From now on you have a choice to continue thinking and feeling as you used to or start challenging yourself. The real work can only start when you have wholeheartedly, without the fear and judgment accepted the situation. It is already there. However, to grow beyond the obstacle and overcome it, you (individually, as a couple or a team) need to find different perspectives. You need to focus on what you can gain and learn from the situation. You should also ask yourself if it is true that the challenge is limiting and holding you back. Identify the strength that you possess, identify things to be grateful for. It is about finding these glittery shiny pieces in ourselves and others. This is something that you could always go back to, like the wind in the sails.
You also need to plan for your success, meaning you need to think through your strategy of overcoming a challenge. Some of the windsurfers tried to catch the wind a couple of times while figuring out the principles, but once they have done it, they were ready for success. Focusing on a single technique or aspect at a time worked. So pick your strength, focus on leveraging it and keep going.
Some questions that can help you to coach yourself and/or your team:
- What is your goal? What is your direction?
- What is nurturing and energizing you?
- What do you usually focus on? Do these thoughts give or take energy?
- If they take energy, what would you like to focus on instead?
- How would it be for you, if you could choose how you feel about the challenge? Just try. Imagine the situation and how you would do if you chose freely your response.