21 dec The less we talk about the weather, the better!
In our fast-paced world, we educate and train on technical skills, but neglect to understand ourselves at a deeper level. We rush by the patterns from our past that still have a negative hold on us in the present. Yesterday I finished my 27th book: ‘Past Present’, written by Scott Vaudrey, and as usual I would like to take you on a short two to three minute journey, depending on how fast you read.
Greater emotional freedom,
Is what seems to be Scott’s mission. He is on a path toward a healthier today. “No matter where we are in life, our greatest joys and our deepest heartaches are linked to people. Family, friends, coworkers and neigbors.” One of the first sentences I read and I just couldn’t agree more. “Each of them bring beauty into relationships but many of them also bring broken patterns.” Scott claims that we can’t undo yesterday and neither can we undo the past, but we can do the rest of our lives better. He encourages his readers to recognize the unhelpful patterns that hold them back from fruitful relationships, which turns out to be extremely valuable.
“It seems like it has everything to do with my past, my upbringing”
Is what one of my coachees mentioned, and with him many others. When I visited my favorite second hand bookstore in Bangkok my eye fell on ‘Past Present’. Standing on one of the shelves together with approximately thirty other books. They say that coincidence doesn’t exist, right? So I immediately grabbed the book, handed in ‘If I stay’ .. And therefore paid only 50 bath, one and a half Euro, for Scott’s wisdom. Couldn’t be happier about it. ‘Past Present’ is a tough read though, I have to admit .. Yet totally worth it. Scott’s words offered me additional insight on how the Past truly influences our Present.
INPUT – BELIEFS – CONSEQUENCES
As a coach it’s my ‘job’ to discover crucial parts of the coachees mindset, while using questions as a shovel. I try to dig deep during the first acquaintance, so that I am able to reveal some of the coachees statements during the following one to one coaching-session. The coachee will arrange the statements and place them in different categories where he or she thinks they belong: (limiting) beliefs, assumptions/interpretation, eternal truth, judgement, yes but, prejudice and opinion. I’ve come to understand that many of us grew up in environments characterized by rigid black-and-white thinking. And Scott claims that such environments often produce adults who carry deeply negative consequences like prejudice or intolerance.
Identifying the key negative inputs in your story, because everyone has a story, is vitally important because those inputs led to distorted beliefs, which are key contributors to the relational challenges you may be experiencing today. This is crucial in nowadays work environments, especially because very few people take leadership classes in school, yet so many are called on to become leaders. Knowing yourself, why you do or say the things you do or say, is essential. Why? Mainly because your (distorted) beliefs make substantial contributions to the (negative) consequences in your relationships. Consequences in terms of behaviour, the way we communicate or make decisions.
What story lines from your past might be affecting your relationships today?
I bet we all have been in a situation where we told ourselves: “I am so tired of stupid people”, and that’s when you feel the tide of intolerance swell inside of you. Instead of telling yourself this, you want to be able to coach yourself with little phrases of self-talk to neutralize the message: “Even this irritating person has some beautiful qualities”, “I don’t need to see this person as terrible”, “The fact that I am smart does not make others stupid”. And so on, just because deepdown you know that the first primary reaction, mostly thought in silence, isn’t the most helpful one in building relationships.
Because with new levels of self-awareness, an improved self-awareness, you’re better equipped to listen to the stories of others and therefore have greater dialogues.
“My story is important not because it is mine but because if I tell it, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours”
Source: Past Present – Scott Vaudrey