Are You Flipping Pancakes?
You can hardly open Facebook at the moment without seeing phrases like “new normal” “world waking up” and “Post viral world”. It seems like, even though we are going back to work, as more and more places open things will never change and things will never be the same all at once. Many people talk of using this time to take stock, of doing the things they have been putting off or changing their stuck routines. So how do you use this global time of change to your best advantage?
Firstly, are you one of those people who take stock of your life now? If so, what have you discovered? When everyone is rewriting the rule book, how are you going to redefine yours?
It sounds really easy, lets just write a list of sentences and that is how the world is going to be from now on, but if you have ever tried to lose weight, give up smoking or stop biting your nails you will know it is just not that easy.
The success of using this opportunity to take stock and bring about the change begins and ends in your head. In this blog for the next few weeks we will explore how to make the most of this time, by checking you have the best mindset to do so. It is up to you to protect this attitude as it is your greatest asset.
Remember too, in a time to take stock, that whilst everyone is re-writing rules, and it does give you some flexibility, the only rules you can re-write are your own. Getting others to meet you halfway is a negotiation, rather than an obligation and the same goes for how they want to re-write yours.
Now let’s flip that pancake. What does that mean exactly?
Well the brain is a complex thing, yet also incredibly simple. It tries to protect you, keep you alive and stop you from harming yourself. In doing this it sets up routines, cognitive pathways and strategies, which when they were established were helpful, but now maybe they are or maybe they are not.
One of the most powerful of these strategies are our internal stories, the ones we tell ourselves when no one is listening.
It is really easy to spot these stories, they are the ones that explain why we do something, or who we are or the situation we are in. They tell our present in terms of our history, they tell us what we can and cannot do or how we can or cannot behave.
These stories can be remarkably powerful for the amount of conscious space they take up, and in order to get the best out of ourselves we need to be aware of them, each and every one, and how they impact what we do.
For example, here’s one I made up earlier.
I tell myself I am a great mum, but I let my child watch too much screen time because I do not have the time to find something else for him to do whilst I cook supper.
It’s true I am a busy mum, but in that moment, I chose the path of least resistance and let Nick Jr. be my babysitter. In reality it would only take a small amount of my time to find something else for him to do, for example, play with his Lego.
My real story is not that I am a great mum at all. It is that I am not doing enough to monitor his screen time. Also that I do not have enough time to be a good mum. It is disempowering me to make the decision to change. Though it may have served me on one or two occasions when there was something more pressing than monitoring screen time, it doesn’t and it has been written into my story.
Personal stories, like pancakes, always have two sides. So, if we take stock and flip the pancake, we can re-write the story to something that serves us better.
So in the example above, I am a good mum but I let my child watch too much screen time….this could become I am a good mum and I monitor my child’s screen time as I need to. This doesn’t judge the screen time, but rather gives me the permission to change what I do about it. I can accept he will have screen time, or I can find an alternative activity.
What stories do you need to flip?
Finding our stories can be difficult as they are an intrinsic part of our self-talk, they are like friends we have had with us for so long we do not even remember when we met. They hide in our day to day life, and steer us, whether we want them to or not. They cloud our judgement and make us doubt ourselves.
If you think you have a friend, a story that no longer helps you, whether you know where it is or not, I can help. I can help you move this story so you can move your career or even your life on.
For this week only I am offering a 30-minute clarity call with a free practical 5-day challenge to find your stories. Book now and we can take the first steps to being free to move on in your career.
Next Week: Are you staring your gift horse in the mouth? Why you might be looking right at your golden opportunity and not seeing it.
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