Power of Possibility – How to be open to new ones

photo by Lisa Romero

Today, driving the highway, I was listening to a song from a Broadway musical and the entire song was a reframe. For those of you wondering what a reframe is, reframing involves thinking about something differently than you might typically, allowing for new possibilities if one is open to it.  Unfortunately I didn’t catch the name of the tune.  I began to think about the miracle of the reframe, how we can think about anything and rethink it in a different way.  The tune described how two different people thought about everything very differently, one using a positive reframe and one using a reframe that was not so positive.  Each one had their own perspective and one was open to looking at their perspective and altering it, being open to changing their perspective so it served them.

I began to think about how many thoughts we have a day.  For so many of us, these thoughts are bombarded with ‘not enough_____’…  Not enough time, not enough money, not thin enough, not healthy enough, not green enough, not smart enough, not funny enough, not strong enough, not pretty enough… the list tirelessly goes on.  These thoughts of ‘not enough’ unfortunately don’t fill us up – they deplete us.  They are not thoughts that have a positive impact on what we do or how we do it.  This negative lens affects everything that we do, every choice that we make, every conversation that we have, and every relationship that we try to build and often doesn’t serve us well.  So what would happen if we were aware of our thoughts and CHOSE to reframe those that aren’t serving us – looking at things differently and being open to new possibilities?

We can reframe any thought we might have with a positive lens, a lens that can serve us well and fill us up.  Given the number of thoughts we have during a day, if we choose to think negative thoughts AND reframe using a negative lens, we can have a not so great day – contributing to our feelings of ‘not enough’, depleting ourselves, and not serving us well.  If on the other hand, we think positive OR negative thoughts AND reframe them with a positive lens, we can have a very different outcome, one filled with possibility and promise.  It is up to us to set some intention around this, be open to possibility and make a choice that serve us, and our communities, well.

When I think of a day with negative thoughts that we choose to reframe in other negative ways, WOW, what a bummer of day I would have. It would also be a bummer of a day for my husband and family given the head space I would have.  Conversely even with a negative thought, if I CHOOSE to reframe with a positive thought, I can intentionally change the mood or tone of my day, which would in turn affect my families day as well.  It is as simple as that.

We can reframe anything.  I started to think more about this as I drove.  Some of the examples we have heard are:

1).  I did not have enough breakfast before I left home.  I am getting hungry and there is no place to stop for something to eat.

REFRAME:  I have not had much to eat today so I will probably be able to fit more comfortably into my new jeans that were a bit tight when I bought them.  I can hardly wait to finish my drive so I can try them on.

2.  My child asked for ice cream and I bought her an ice cream cone.  She was so excited to get it that she ate it quickly and got ice cream on her hands, face and all over her clothes.  She looks a mess and I can’t find a place to clean her up.

REFRAME:  My child wanted an ice cream cone and she is having so much fun eating it.  She is a mess and is so happy.  I love to see her this happy.

3.  I totally bombed my presentation.  I didn’t give them enough of the information that they wanted, I totally embarrassed myself and feel like I am not good enough for this job.

REFRAME:  While I feel my presentation didn’t go as well as I wanted, I learned what my client is looking for, have a better understanding of what they don’t want and have a greater understanding of what I need to do to knock it out of the park.  All in all, it was good learning for me.

4. I didn’t get nearly enough done today that I wanted to do.  I never have enough time and now can’t go out and spend time with my friends like I wanted as I need to get more done.

REFRAME:  Looking at all the things I did get done today, it may not be as much as I had hoped, and it’s more than not doing any of it.  Tomorrow I will look at what got in the way of me feeling productive and adjust my workload expectations accordingly, so tonight I can enjoy time with my friends.

Now think of something you may be thinking about that is pulling you down.   How is this serving you and those around you?  How can you think of it differently, reframe it in a way that works to your advantage?   What can you learn from it?

What possibilities are there for you if you are open to them?

How to create a nourishing community

People are always wanting to make changes in their lives and are often unsure of how to do it.  Change can be hard and take time we feel we don’t have, or aren’t willing to give up, we understand that.   We have worked hard to make the HOW easy for you and are excited to share with you our new e-book “Creating a COACHING CULTURE for your community”.  This 12 page e-book outlines simple steps on HOW to create your community where everyone feels seen, heard, and understood.  Whether your community is informal (family) or formal (organization)  this e-book breaks it down into simple steps that help you get clear on what you want and how to do it,  basic communication skills and how they build your relationships, tools, techniques, with a built-in workbook to keep you on track and ensure that your community is one that is open, curious, and nourishing.   We have seen hundreds of people learn and embrace the fundamentals of the COACHING CULTURE™ model who appreciate the richness of conversation, learning and innovation that can come from using such a framework.   It changes their families, their organizations, their relationships and enriches their lives.  We invite your community to join ours and be apart of the change, one conversation at a time.

How our assumptions can trip us up

Recently I looked after my son’s dog while he and his wife went on vacation.  As a young family, we had a golden retriever who was our pet for the 13 wonderful years she was alive on this planet.  She was a beautiful animal who was loved by all of us and was a friend to the neighbourhood.  One of her less endearing qualities was her yen to wonder, a quality which conditioned me to anticipate where she might go if and when she escaped our yard.  I got really good at this.

Our son and daughter-in-law now have a golden retriever Luca, a male, who is handsome and very well-behaved at 14 months.  I loved to take him for long walks every day.  One day on our routine walk he ran into a large clump of bushes and became instantly invisible.  I heard a few rocks fall down a hill about 40 feet from where he had disappeared.  I was anticipating where he was going and decided he had run up the hill and had caused the rock to move.  I moved along calling his name and finally found a place that was gently sloped where I was able to climb up above.  I was nervous because the main road was about 150 metres away and terrified he had run that way.  Fortunately light snow was falling so I could look for his tracks.  I kept calling his name and walking back towards where I thought he had run to.  No sign of him.  I kept climbing until I got to a side road close to the main road and walked it both ways, calling his name.  There were no paw prints in the snow.  He had not gone this far.  I climbed back down the hill, looking for paw prints and calling his name.  When I arrived back where I started and had still not found him I was in a panic.  I ran home and got the car and his favourite squeaky toy.  I slowly drove back retracing my steps, calling his name and squeezing the toy to make the squeaky sound.  As I drew close to where he had disappeared he came running out of the bushes and down the hill.  He was safe!!!

I realized he had gone nowhere.  Luca was not a wanderer.  I assumed based on our last dog that he would do the same and wander off.  How wrong I was!  My assumption had taken me to a place of panic, one that was totally unnecessary.  I began to watch him at our place, content to play with sticks in the garden on his own, sniff for whatever and walk back and forth to the lake when he was thirsty.  He had no desire to wander.  I had held onto an assumption that served me with one dog and 20 years later no longer served me.  I was able to let it go and appreciate this dog for his own unique and charming ways.

What assumptions have you made in your day-to-day life?

How could these assumptions be creating unnecessary complications in your life?

What can you do to test such assumptions and learn from your reflections?

We want to hear your story and how your assumptions have been serving you.  Email us at kirsten@coachingculture.ca or leave a comment below.

”Want better employees, Ask better questions”

We are constantly discussing the importance of communication skills and how they affect relationships and the culture in the workplace.  Organizational culture is fundamental to how the organization does what it does.  The ‘how’ is about relationships, how the members … Continue reading