Inspired by a coaching session with one of my clients, I created five steps to help you tap into your innate personal power.
As a mindset coach, I listen for language which provides clues about what drives a person and what impedes them. For those of us who are building and running businesses, there is nothing more important than the mindset behind our language. This is equally true for our relationships.
Our language reflects our beliefs, values, fears, and the rules we follow in our lives. For example, my client who told me she was frustrated and wanted to figure out how to build her business without having to do what she doesn’t want to.
I asked her what she has done in the past to try to build her business. She listed, among other activities, networking.
I asked her how much business she got from networking. Her answer was “none”.
How much time did she spend networking? Three hours per week.
I asked, “Do you enjoy networking?” Without hesitation, she said, “No, but if I want to build my business I should network.”
“Did you hear yourself just now?” I asked.
Then, “Ya. I don’t get any business from networking. But because I think I should, I spend three hours a week doing it. I don’t enjoy it, but I drag my body to these events, survive them for an hour or so, and go home feeling frustrated and resentful.”
She got it. I asked, “If you weren’t networking, what would you like to spend those three hours doing instead?”
“I’d be spending time with my son and my husband. I would finish that online course I started.”
“What ideas do you have about how to get business that might work, and that you might enjoy?” I nudged.
After about 20 minutes, while I took notes, she listed several things she has enjoyed doing in the past that have worked to generate business, and a few new ideas that she hasn’t had time to implement. We went over the list and I asked her what she would do over the next 30 days with each idea. When we were finished, she felt energized and enthused.
“So why am I spending all of this time networking?” she wondered.
“Because when someone told you that you have to network to build a business, you believed them. But you’ve tried it and the facts don’t happen to agree with this opinion.”
“What if I stopped spending these three hours a week networking and used that time to do what I would enjoy to build my business?”
What about you? What would you be doing in your business and relationships if you weren’t so busy doing what you think you should be doing?
I listen for words like should and shouldn’t, can’t, must, have to and need to, to help my clients notice what disempowering rules, beliefs, and fears are preventing them from having the lives and businesses that they want.
Listen to your own language. What language do you use that prevents you from getting the results you want?
Use the following five steps to seal up your power leaks and leverage your thoughts, words, and actions.
1. Listen for disempowering language and thoughts. Ask someone you work or live with to help you by pointing out when they hear words like should, shouldn’t, can’t, must, have to, and need to.
I should buy my wife flowers for Valentines Day.
2. Notice how it feels to think and speak this way. What is the impact on your emotions, motivation, and energy?
Emotionally I feel fear What if I didn’t buy her flowers? How would she feel and what would she do?
Motivationally, fear pushes this task to the top of my to-do list, but I feel pressured and resentful that I am expected to conform just because society agrees that on February 14, husbands, boyfriends, wives, and girlfriends must prove their love.
Energetically I feel fatigued.
3. Ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t do what you think you should do, must do, or need to do? What if you attempted to do what you think you can’t, shouldn’t and had better not? This will reveal the assumed danger and consequences that this language is there to prevent.
I am afraid that if I don’t buy her flowers, she will be embarrassed, hurt, and angry. I’m afraid she will tell others I didn’t buy her flowers, and they will decide that I am not a good husband.
4. Restate your thought or spoken word in an empowering way. Use phrases like, I choose/choose not to, I will/won’t, I want/don’t want to, or my preference is. You will feel empowered when you think and speak in a way that reflects what is true for you.
I will buy my wife flowers on Valentines Day. I love how it feels to show her my love. I want her to feel loved and secure. And I will do a better job of demonstrating my love for her every day.
5. Notice the emotional, energetic, and behavioral shift that occurs with this change in language. There is a shift when, rather than thinking and speaking automatic beliefs, rules, fears, and values, you consciously state your preferences, values, and choices.
I feel more authentic, empowered, and loving toward my wife.
When you notice that your thoughts or words leave you feeling oppressed, resentful, or disempowered, take a few minutes to go through these steps. Use your conscious mind to speak and think powerfully. This will shift your perspective and enable you to live your life from an intentionally empowered state.