One of my gifts is that I can easily see other folks’ boxes – you know, the story they are telling themselves about how life is and what they can and can’t do because (go ahead, pick a reason – I know you know what I’m talking about). It’s why I made a great community-based organizer (because communities have stories too. There isn’t a level of existence you can look at that does not have a story underpinning it.) and a great coach (because, like I said, I can see other folks’ stories – just as if they were written down in front of me!)
Want to be your own coach?
Find the story, grab a strand, “yank” it and see what moves.
So, here are a few steps to finding the sides of your box in case you have any need for them:
1. Write down what you usually do (i.e., how you define yourself. Do you think of yourself as aggressive or shy? When someone says: ”Well, in this case, I usually do thus and so, ” and you respond: ”Not me. I’m [shy, assertive, too scared, not trusting, etc] – that would never work for me.” *That* is your how – how you respond to any given situation. So write down your usual response to the situation that you are currently contemplating).
2. Brainstorm some things that you don’t usually do because (fill in the blank):
- I don’t spend money on advertising because PR is better
- I never go into any debt at all because who knows what tomorrow will bring
- I only spend money on my art supplies because (well, who needs an excuse for art supplies?)
- I am not impatient, I am assertive, and I am not yelling
3. Pick one of the things you listed in #2 above, and journal about how your life would look if you did that something you don’t usually do. Be creative with how it would look. Which one of the things you journaled about made you the most uncomfortable? You have just run up against the walls of your box. Right about now all the voices about doing stupid exercises and trying to be something you clearly are not should be piping up in your head.
4. Write down the walls of your box – that would be all the voices and what they’re saying.
5. Light a candle, take a deep breath or two and burn the walls of your box (the paper on which you have written all the voices). As you breathe out, bless the old ways that once helped you. As you breathe in say a prayer of gratitude for this opportunity to think bigger.
6. Pick one thing you could do that would move you closer to changing what you usually do.
7. Do it.
8. Repeat as necessary.
As promised : here’s what the ‘possum learned: