Bioaccumulation is the concentration of contaminates upward through the higher levels of a system. This biology term describes how ecosystems and food chains work. I would offer the suggestion it also occurs with human beliefs and emotional and intellectual energy.
As an example, mercury is introduced into an aquatic system through a water source. The mercury settles onto the floor of a lake or river and is absorbed by the plants. Aquatic invertebrates then eat the plants. The invertebrates are in turn eaten by small fish. Larger fish eat the small fish. Finally, humans catch and eat the larger fish. The mercury absorbed by the plants is concentrated at each level of the food chain. It may not be toxic at the lower levels, but concentrates at each level until it is toxic to humans. This creates eating advisories all over the world about how much fish is healthy to eat in given period.
Does this happen in our psychological world? If my grandparents believed it wasn’t safe to move away from home, I might have a family that lives near each other. This has benefits and disadvantages, but as a grandchild I haven’t seen much of the world, I might be at a significant disadvantage in understanding different perspectives around the country or world. My beliefs concentrate into something unhealthy.
The antidote to bioaccumulation is to remove the source of the contaminate. The contaminated water must be cleaned before it reaches the river or lake to prevent humans from being poisoned by mercury. The negative belief or behavior needs to be interrupted to prevent being passed forward.
Where are you concentrating beliefs and emotional energy that might have a greater negative effect if passed forward? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Frequently we have a clear vision of where we want to go, but don’t know where to start. Almost always the answer has to do with what is closest. The most immediate obstacle or task is the place to start.
During coaching it is common for a client to wonder where to start. They may have a sense of what they want to achieve and the being able to decide where to start is frequently the obstacle that prevents us from taking a risk and trying.
Where does this happen for you? We all have examples. Our first or second attempts didn’t work and now we are stuck about what to do next (or even give up completely).
My experience is that we get ahead of ourselves setting out on a new goal; missing or skipping an obstacle that we couldn’t see (or hear). Almost always the place to start is with what is the most immediate obstacle. It makes it more difficult to lose 20 pounds if I don’t know my starting weight. Getting a scale is where to start!
When setting out toward a vision or goal it helps to pause for a moment and figure out where you are on the map. Where are your feet on the map? Then determine what is blocking your steps toward that goals in the first few steps. This creates the momentum and positive start to keep moving forward.
I apologize for the high pitched whistle in the beginning of this video. More evidence that I am losing some of the higher ranges of my hearing. If I had known it was there I would have waited to shoot. The view was too good to pass up! And I’m glad we were there to record! I was unable to remove the whistle during editing. The place to start? Another ear exam to see how much has changed in the last year. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
What if you could give the BEST gift you had ever given?
One of our clients purchased coaching gift certificates for a family member and gave the following testimonial:
“I love giving gifts to my family and friends. I take pride in putting a lot of thought into what I give and trying to give something unique, meaningful or fun. This past year, I gave the gift of Rhoads Life Coaching sessions to a family member who was experiencing many life transitions. It was hands down the best gift I have ever given anyone, and I give really great gifts! The recipient has thanked me many times for giving her something so personal and so needed. She has continued the coaching and says it is the best gift she has ever received! Thank you John for the work you do, the lives you change and for making me a star gift giver! “ M.Q.
Who on your list would love a gift that keeps giving?
Sometimes we have trouble seeing change based on large pools of historical data. Letting go of old data sets helps measure whether we are growing or not.
Take a 5-gallon bucket full of water and add 5 more drops of water. It might be REALLY difficult to measure any change in the water (or the bucket). Now empty the bucket (all the way), and THEN add 5 drops of water. It might not be easy, but I would bet you it is possible to see a change in the water (and the bucket) with just the 5 drops.
Do we do this in relationships? How about to ourselves? When navigating a conflict, or asking for a change, do you bring ALL of the previous data you have collected to your measurement? Are you surprised when it is difficult to see a change when the old data skews your view?
Please do not hear that I am advocating dismissing prior experience. It is vital that the things we have learned be kept as reference.
What I am advocating is looking for instances where new data gets washed out, or can’t be seen, through the lens of historical beliefs. My ask is to consider creating new data sets when asking for change and letting go of the old data in your calculations as to whether your life is improving or declining. Just like bats under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, it is possible to see their presence first as an attribute, then a nuisance, then as an attribute again.
In order to begin any change, development, or growth you must first accept where you are. This may seem like a simple statement until you have to make multiple attempts at changing something about yourself.
Ask anyone who has attempted to quit smoking, lose weight, or keep a New Year’s resolution. Our lessons of what works and doesn’t work in regard to change frequently have to be recalibrated after determining that we started from an inaccurate beginning.
Maybe you didn’t know how difficult it would be to grow or develop. Or maybe you didn’t fully understand how hard it would be to let go of something. These, and many others, are observations of not accepting where we are when we start.
Where do you have a blind spot that prevents you from accepting where you are? Or better yet, what are you in denial about that prevents an accurate beginning? Even if I understand that my stress level is too high, if I don’t accept it I will continue down an unhealthy path. Where are you not being honest with yourself? What would it take to accept where you are?
If you cannot accept the reality of where you must begin, you will be starting from a false starting point. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
What do you fear? Can you say it out loud or write it down? Frequently we lose courage and energy by avoiding an unnamed and hidden anxiety or terror. There is power in being able to name the fear!
Just like J.K. Rowling’s “He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named”, our fear builds by not naming what scares us. The fear itself steals our energy as much or more than the actual person or situation.
What are you afraid of? Speaking in public? Losing a loved one? Losing your job? What would it take to say it out loud or to write the fear down? Suddenly the things we are afraid of is outside of us instead of swirling around inside. We can see it and don’t have to work to hide it.
One step further – C.S. Lewis wrote the “Screwtape Letters” giving a senior devil in hell an actual name and persona. By creating a character the fear not only materialized, but could also be observed and understood. What if you not only named your fears, but then gave them a name?
Suddenly you could talk to your fears like they were a person. If the fear is a character then it is no longer who you are as a person yourself. Do you believe that about yourself? You are not your fears!
Give it a try! Who would best embody your fear? What do they look like or sound like? What do they say and how do they behave? All of these answers provide context about how to overcome and banish that fear. You can take your power back when you name the fear! – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Sometimes the most obvious things can be the most profound. I have been laughing and shaking my head this week at how much it struck me to hear the statement, “For innovation to happen, change has to be something different”.
Let that sink in for a minute. It is painfully obvious, right? Duh! Of COURSE something has to be different. Having worked with a lot of people around growth and development (the foundations of my coaching practice), I can tell you that most of us say we want change, but we don’t really hear or believe it. Don’t believe me? Put your wallet in your other pocket for a day. Or carry your purse on your opposite shoulder. See how different your day is!
Rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t want their life to improve. For things to get better. But if nothing is different about how they live, then nothing will change.
We have to create a space to allow change to happen. By definition we have to do something different to create the space for our business, clients, employees, family, friends, and children to develop and grow. If that different space isn’t created, nothing will change.
So where in your life are you preventing something different from happening (both intentionally and unintentionally)? Where do you want things to be better, but there is no space to create something new? How will you see things differently and look for different spaces to create in order to change? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
From my viewpoint, there is a difference between being fierce vs. being aggressive. As a culture we have a difficult time being powerful, assertive, and confident without being aggressive. There is a dilemma in being aggressive in our attempts to move toward what we want. In my mind aggression has an aspect of violence in it that frequently does harm to those around us.
So how is fierce different? For me, the image of being fierce has a sense of fire, a passionate burning, a confidence that holds boundaries and drives us forward. Being fierce has many of the same characteristics as being aggressive without the addition of violence.
Why do you care? If our main method of teaching how to be bold, confident, and passionate comes through the lens of being aggressive, we create athletes, business partners, and personal relationships laced with the mindset that violence is acceptable.
What would it look like to be fierce instead of aggressive? Is it possible for you to be passionate, bold and confident without being violent? How would you treat yourself and others? What do you need in order to create that fire in your belly that doesn’t burn you to the ground? Pay attention to when you are being fierce vs. being aggressive. Can you remove some of the aggression from your confidence and boldness? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
We struggle to communicate because we use different definitions for the same words. Until we create a common definition of terms, until we calibrate our communication, we will continue to misunderstand each other.
This calibration boils down to the fundamentals of communication. Words like “good”, “fine”, and “great” end up being throw aways in our culture because I don’t have any idea what you mean when you say, “I’m good”. Based on your definition you may be surviving, where by my definition I would mean you are thriving. We have missed each other in terms of communicating.
Unfortunately this happens to us all the time. Ranking frustration on a scale of zero to ten on a scale (zero being no frustration, ten being enraged), a level of three on my scale has a different description than your level three. Until we create a common definition of terms, it is difficult to understand fully.
So how to calibrate?
It is important to SLOW DOWN when we are having meaningful conversations!
It is vital to ASK when you aren’t sure what someone means.
If you aren’t being heard, it is important to PAUSE and take the time to CLARIFY.
The more SPECIFIC we can be in our descriptions of feelings or thoughts, the easier it is to calibrate. Using “angry” to describe all levels of frustration creates a very broad definition that is difficult to calibrate.
Where is your communication not calibrated with someone else? Where are you being vague? Who do you communicate with regularly where a definition of terms would improve understanding and communication? There are significant benefits for your employees, clients, coworkers, family, and friends if you a hear them more accurately and feel heard yourself? Time to define terms! – www.rhoadcoaching.com