What you do differently in a moment can reshape your destiny.
When I was in media over a decade ago, I recall a staff meeting where everyone was talking over me. That’s how it felt. I remember feeling angry, frustrated, devalued and disrespected. As a result I withdrew my energy from the meeting and just closed down. As I sat there feeling sorry for myself because my ideas were not worthy of being heard, it dawned on me that what I was doing did not serve me at all.
I then questioned why they were choosing to disrespect me. It made no sense to me. That confusion created the space to open my mind to the reasons. As I became the observer, curious to the reasons, I began to notice much more than I did previously. One glaring realisation was the fact they were talking over each other. The moment I could see this I recognised that this was not about me.
This was a profound shift. It was no longer personal. Now I wanted to understand why they were talking over each other and as I sat with it and allowed myself to feel their energy, the insight came clear and strong; they were anxious and driven to assert their value through making sure they offered ideas that would be valued. They were desperate to feel valued and their input became the primary means in which they would feel worthy.
As this insight became clear, my anger and feeling devalued dissolved and was replaced by compassion and a desire to reach out to them. As a result, I found myself listening to their ideas and genuinely praising the ones I really liked and began to reinforce reasons why I thought their ideas were valuable and how they could work well.
This changed the energy in the room. People were now being praised and supported by me and they began to feel at ease. The competitiveness was replaced with people synergising. Something else happened too; they began to turn to me for my input. My new way of being transformed the experience; my ideas had a receptive, supportive and respectful audience.
I realised at the end of that meeting that there were two versions of George. The one that could have stayed stuck and self deceived into feeling sorry for himself, blaming others and coming across as shy, unconfident and not much of a contributor in a team environment. Or the version that I shifted into, that was open minded, compassionate, respectful, confident and a great team player that offered a lot to a team and brought out the best from his colleagues.
The process I went through to shift from the old to the new was literally within a couple of minutes. Nobody on the table was aware of the personal transformation I went through, literally reinventing myself.
Let me share with you the 4 Steps that can also help you seize your moments by shifting into more empowering versions of you.
Step 1 – Get clear about the principles you choose to identify yourself with and shape your worldview. Take the time to create this grid reference through becoming principle literate. List and learn the principles you want to live your life by.
Step 2 – Make negative emotions your trigger to arouse suspicion that you need a reinvention. It does not matter who is wrong, it matters what you put yourself through on the inside and how your reactions can change your circumstances very quickly.
Step 3 – Identify typical moments that can trigger you into struggling and imagine / rehearse how you are going to detach, become an observer and compare what you are thinking, feeling and acting to the way your principles are guiding you to think, feel and act.
Step 4 – Commit to seeing each moment as a test. The test is whether you are living a value rich experience that helps you feel connected, belonging and expanded or feeling disconnected, heavy or depressed. If you’re enjoying the moment you’re passing the test and if you’re failing, you’re due for a reinvention that aligns you to your principles in that context.
By following these 4 steps, you are well on your way to being able to reinvent yourself at every opportunity where you’re being disempowered and kept from living a meaningful life.
Can you think of times where you found yourself slipping out of the negative emotional state and contemplating your situation from an expanded perspective? Please share moments where you found yourself instinctively following these steps and shifting into a new way of being that reshaped your destiny.