Challenging your hidden stories

“I’m just not having a good day.”

Lacking the physical social contact, and missing the ‘busyness’ that can wholly consume us, I am finding much more time for reflection. Continuing my coaching practice online, I am experiencing how many leaders I work with are also becoming more aware; at times philosophical, positive and deeply caring. At others, inward looking, confused, angry and fearful.

We create inner dialogue; ‘what happens if…’ ‘… how do I make sure that…’ and our unconscious mind starts to process it as a truth. We start to see the world of our belief system as universal truisms. We carry two sacks of beliefs around with us at all times; one over each shoulder; those beliefs and stories that support us in bringing our full incredible self to the world, and in the other sack those beliefs and stories that stop us; that drag us back; that detract from our own strength as human beings.

We fall into patterns on a minute by minute basis that can determine from which sack we might draw at any one time. Mostly, we aren’t even aware of this; our unconscious mind goes about its’ business offering up our stories as these universal truths, on which we act.

Good coaching can help us to recognise and work with this. If you really want to get serious about paying attention to your stories, then reflective leadership is well researched as a way of rapidly moving forward. Simply put, by making a written journal, reflecting what’s going on for you; thoughts, feelings and actions, this develops the muscle of reflexivity; the ability to be aware of what’s going on for you both after the event, and then increasingly, contextualised in your world in a live environment. It makes for better connections and better decisions.

Right now, it’s clear that engaging with others on a day to day basis requires a higher level of emotional awareness of self and other like never before. All interaction is co-created. It’s completely okay to know that we’re having a bad day.

The game changer as a leader of self, is to take a short while to check in with what’s going on, and to patiently listen to the stories that we are telling ourselves. If we can do that with kindness and self-care, we are already becoming our own best coach in service of a rapidly changing world.

By Tim Hewitt, Coach and Facilitator
5th May 2020

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