Part 1 in a series
I can honestly say that I have worked hard at not dwelling on past events. I tend to believe that forward motion is really the only option. In that vein, I don’t support wallowing, navel gazing or blaming others for the present. I’m not an overly sentimental person.
Why do I advocate a backward look as a starting place for a personal strategy?
Whether we like it or not, we humans are powerfully influenced by our past. We are products of our experiences and our experiences often create patterns. Our patterns are worth understanding.
Being ourselves is a dynamic process and the process of relating to ourselves creates new awareness. At the risk of being overly complex, the Self is a verb. Self is in a constant state of action.
I could throw in some sage quotes like “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”, but the point I’m making is that we need to articulate our patterns, understand our crunch points in life, recognize our highs and lows and tell the unfolding story of ourselves.
“What I believe to be true; my subjective knowledge. It is this image that largely governs my behaviour”
There’s another deeper layer to our story and that is the images that govern us. Image theory says that what we believe about ourselves translates into behaviours; our images are held in place by values. Values are often deeply, deeply held. Sometimes we don’t realize even realize they are in place and potentially in need of an adjustment.
As an example, I was working with a client who has a deeply held image that being a good Dad is being home in the evenings. As we discussed possibilities for achieving his vision, we realized that this firmly held value of a Dad might need a re-frame. Can a good Dad also be the one who is at home in the morning or during the day?
Articulating our own story illuminates us.
Articulating our own story honours ourselves. It provides an opportunity to illuminate and accept our ourselves, warts and all. In the language of Brene Brown, we accept our imperfections as gifts. And, importantly, we are set up to define our future. If we can tell our story now, is it easier to say what we want, and why we want it?
Reflection leave us open to new insights.
Reflective process seems to be rare in our always on culture. There’s so much shiny and new, why spend time on the past? We have so much going on, why stop to look back?
I have learned that the process of reflecting on data, divorced from assumption and presumption leaves us open to new insights. It is those new insights that can powerfully impact our future directions.
I am not a coach or a counsellor. I am a facilitator with a process that is as powerful at the individual level as it is at the group level. Contact me and let’s discover your story.