1. the action, fact, or instance of occurring.
2. something that happens; event; incident: We were delayed by several unexpected occurrences.
It’s pretty amazing what icing can do to a cupcake. Or perhaps you favor dressing on your salad. Whenever we add some flavor to an otherwise (seemingly) bland object, we can end up with some very tasty morsels. But woe to the man that puts bad flavoring on something we otherwise enjoy and the food is completely worthless and en route to the nearest trash receptable.
Let’s bring this idea much closer to home.
Most of you know my background as a life & leadership skills specialist. My professional goal was never simply to help people enjoy a nice tour of the weight room and cardiovascular area (aka the average personal trainer who teaches people how to squat and do pushups). I have spent my entire professional career trying to further both my clients’ personal and professional lives by equipping them with leadership and self-management skills.
This has allowed me to walk through some of the most difficult and trying times a person could walk through and they weren’t even my problems. However, I still took them on as though they were my problems and it’s taught me so much about life.
One of the most frequent obstacles I’ve helped clients conquer has dealt with this concept of occurrence. Some people can look at a glass that is half full (positive occurrence) and call it half empty (negative occurrence). Some of this is personality driven. Some of it is reinforced by (unconscious) choice. Regardless of why, what matters is whether or not this belief causes distress in a person’s life.
You’ve heard motivational speakers say that if something’s not working, DO SOMETHING ELSE! You’ve heard doctors say if something hurts, DON’T DO THAT! Seems like sage advice either way. However, our awareness of any beliefs that may be causing distress in our lives is usually somewhat hidden or else we might be adjusting this belief. In other words, we don’t know what we don’t know.
There are some definite downsides to holding on to detrimental beliefs (negative occurrence). Unforgiveness, perpetual sickness, bitterness, ulcers, anger, broken relationships, loneliness, rage and prejudice are just a few consequences that plague the person who is either unable or unwilling to self-diagnose the role they are playing in a life NOT well-lived.
So, What Do I Do Next?
I’m sure many of you have read the landmark parable (book) called Self Deception and Leadership, by the Arbinger Institute. Here’s an excerpt from their website.
Self Deception is little understood, yet reduces the effectiveness of every individual, leader and employee. Whether your organization is very successful or in major need of a turn around, or you as an individual are trying to make personal changes, self deception will be reducing the effectiveness of your ability to get the results you want.
I would suggest anyone hungry for more information on this subject get the book or simply do an online search on the subject to get a quick overview. I’ve suggested this to many of my clients over the last 8 years since I first read it and it’s been highly insightful for every single client. My personal training school students even get to read it to help them coach their clients better.
So our first step is to do a VERY honest self-evaluation. Involving a trusted friend or family member in the process is more effective because we usually spend copious amounts of energy protecting our fears and weaknesses from the world. We’re not usually open to admitting or acknowledging our faults much less allowing someone else to help us do so.
Please forgive me but I seem to have assumed something. I’ve taken the liberty of assuming that you share a particular ideal with me. [quote align=”center” color=”#999999″] We are on this earth to become fully realized in our potential and to throw off everything that hinders us from that expression of our gifts, goals and talents.[/quote]
If that doesn’t sit well with you, I apologize. My heart lives fully by seeing others live fully. That means that when I see a person doing the same detrimental thing over and over and expecting a different result each time, I’m saddened by the obvious lack of freedom and power that person is experiencing.
During my initial consultation with new clients, we always establish and delineate where a person is starting from and where he/she would like to finish, so to speak. Once we’ve clearly outlined all the important goals and co-partnered a few solutions, we may begin the journey.
I would suggest the same process here. First of all, what seems to be the source of distress that you ‘re facing? Second of all, how would your life look if that issue was nonexistent or at least reaching a happy ending? Next, is the more difficult part. What sacrifices or difficult changes would you be willing to consider in order to help facilitate this issue being resolved? If that idea doesn’t scare you then perhaps the issue you’re dealing with isn’t that big of a deal. A vast majority of my previous clients (as well as myself) have really struggled with this last strategy. So don’t worry if you feel nervous or threatened by attempting this. You will experience a cathartic relief once you take this step!
I’ve only just begun to address this aspect of self-diagnosis and survey with this article and will continue these thoughts in later articles. Feel free to chime in with any further questions you may have. Lead on!