We have two competing systems built into us. One that follows the herd mentality of “run!” when everyone else around us gets startled. The other that asks us to pause and make informed decisions.
Have you ever watched a flock of birds or a herd of deer get startled? One animal sees something that looks threatening and it jumps and runs. The other animals around it don’t actually see the threat, they follow the example of the first and run without knowing what they are running from.
There is an inherent benefit to the flock as a whole in following the example of these around them. Only when there is an actual threat. When a flock gets spooked too often by false threats, it wastes valuable time and energy constantly flying away. There is a balancing point where running with the herd isn’t an advantage.
I have been observing these dueling priorities inside myself over these last few weeks. I notice the pull behind my navel that keeps asking, “Should I go buy toilet paper?” It is a bit ironic for me that our house hasn’t had to buy more toilet paper until just this week. We didn’t need to run even though I kept checking.
Please do not hear me saying there is not a real threat. We should stay away from others. It is best to be very careful about getting sick. We do not need to run with the herd, though, in panicking about perceived threats (please DO NOT ingest disinfectant).
How often does this happen outside of our current pandemic? Are you able to pay enough attention to yourself to realize when you are reacting from a more primitive survival instinct that wants you to run in fear when there is nothing but fear to run from?
The antidote? Pausing before reacting. Practice taking a breath before you make a decision and look to see if you can actually see the problem to solve, or whether all you see is the herd running by. The system we use creates a dramatically different outcome on a daily basis. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
How do you break the tension? How do you shake off the stress of the day? One way is to have a random dance party!
In playing a game with my daughter last week, I was struck how often Disney characters dance. I would have to think for a minute to name an animated Disney film that DOESN’T have dancing. It seems Walt was trying to send a message. Maybe cutting loose and dancing is an important thing!
So, what IS a random dance party? First, it would have to be completely unplanned and unscripted. You can’t PRACTICE for a random dance party, you just have to go for it! Where would you HAVE a random dance party? I’ve seen them on the side of the road, in the basement, in the hall. You get to pick! How long do they last? You tell me! One song will do. Depends on the song!
That got me thinking. Why don’t we cut loose? We are in the middle of a lot of serious stuff and most of us are stiff with tension of holding on to the next thing. The cumulative effect is that we are wore out and sore from day after day of holding tight. What if dancing was an easy way to loosen up?
What gets in the way of this silliness? Mostly the idea that it is silly. Our belief that we aren’t allowed to cut loose and shake off the stress for a minute. Need help getting over yourself? ASK YOUR KIDS FOR HELP! They will know exactly what to do!
So, I’m offering a challenge. Have a random dance party this week. I dare you to give yourself a break and have one! Include your kids or your partner. I dare you to post in on social media. Challenge your friends. What song will you pick? – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Sometimes we scare ourselves into thinking the thoughts & emotions we have are too terrifying to examine. In reality the unknown things about ourselves are still just us. At the end of the day, it’s just you – there is no need to be afraid.
Do you remember as a small child standing at the top of the stairs (or running back up the stairs) to the basement? We were able to imagine something truly terrifying about the unknown darkness of the basement. The same could be said for the monster under the bed, or whatever demon lived in your closet.
The reality was (and is) that none of those monsters ever existed. It was all our imagined fear. We created a story that didn’t match anything close to reality.
My experience in coaching suggests we tend to do a similar thing now as adults in examining our internal selves. It is easy to create a story that the fear or anger or sadness we hold inside is SO overwhelming. We find it easier to just be afraid & not look down into the basements or closets of who we are.
It has also been my experience that for most of us, once we turn some internal lights on & look under our internal beds, the things we are afraid of most inside aren’t really that scary. Just like the monster in the closet, it is your imagine creating the fear. All that is inside of you is just a place you don’t know much about, it’s still just you.
My ask is to consider the possibility you have nothing to fear about what goes on inside of you. Your thoughts, emotions, & sensations are what make you a human being. Shedding some light on those shadowy places offers the opportunity to relieve some fear. It offers the opportunity to find valuable things that may have been stored deep inside you (including the racketball racket lost behind the furnace). – www.rhoadscoaching.com
In meeting with clients, it became obvious there is greater need for the tools and concepts I use on a regular basis for coaching. My hope is you will find these modules as a way of continuing your growth and development!
These 10 to 30-minute self-guided tutorials offer a deeper dive into some of the foundational topics of my coaching. By being able to proceed at your own pace, reflecting on topics and observing yourself in each module, you will increase the purpose and meaning in your daily life.
As an added benefit, anyone who signs up now will receive a 25% discount off the entire catalogue of topics until May 6th!
The workshop platform an evolving experience. New modules will be added on a regular basis. Live webinars will be offered to continue learning. Come join us and add a new level of development to who you are! – www.rhoadscoaching.com
I have posted in the past that we are all connected. Now more than ever, whether we like it or not, we can see how intricately connected we are to everyone else around us.
In the last month we have witnessed the depth of connection we have to nearly every other person on the planet. What someone does on the other side of the world has an impact on me personally. My choices, down to the simplest decisions of whether to go out to the store, or wash my hands, have an impact on nearly everyone around me. The data is very real. We ARE all connected to each other.
What do you believe about that connection? Does it bring you hope to witness individuals rallying to the aid of others? Does it terrify you how vulnerable we are? It is painful to watch the cascading unintended impacts? This connection influences everything you think, feel, and do. Have you taken time to examine your own beliefs about it?
You reaction, however, is about you. How do you choose to react? What do you believe? Because you ARE connected to everyone around you (even if you don’t leave your home). Because of that connection you have a role to play. Even if your role is to stay in place and reduce the risk of yourself and others, IT IS AN IMPORTANT ROLE!
Are you being called to reach out to others to check in? Is there a need for you to assist in other ways? My ask is for you to take some time this week and look at your own beliefs. If there was ever any doubt, please look at the evidence – we are all still connected. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
Resilience is the ability to be flexible and endure. Grit is the ability to push through with resolve. They both have levels of development. We need to work on increasing our resilience and grit.
One of the themes of my coaching (and personal philosophy) is that EVERY aspect of your life has levels of growth and development. You weren’t always great at walking. You had to learn higher levels of walking skills.
If that is true (prove me wrong), then resilience and grit are also skills to develop.
How do you understand what resilience is? Where does it show up in your life? Clearly you have had to endure and be flexible to make it this far in life! What is the next higher level for you? Do you need to be more patient? Better self-care? What habits need to be added? Which ones dropped?
What about grit? What is it for you? To be clear, grit is not a lack of compassion or kindness. It is a toughness that comes from deciding to go through with something. You have demonstrated grit before. It is time to do it again in a more determined way!
There is clearly a lot going. There will be more stress and uncertainty going forward. You have been given tools to help you through tough times. Now is the time to use them! How are you going to develop your ability to use your resilience and grit?- www.rhoadscoaching.com
Our memories can be modified. We remember some things better than they were and some things worse. Our internal lenses, our beliefs, emotions, values, shift our memories just like they shift our external perceptions. We have lenses for our memories.
In reading about memories recently, it had not occurred to me that our memories look different based on what lens we look through. Given that, our memories are flexible and dynamic, just like our perception of the present. Remember the little girl, Riley, in the Pixar Movie “Inside Out”? Toward the end of the movie her base memories change depending on whether she looks at them with Sadness, Joy, or Fear.
It was helpful to have this demonstrated to me this week watching a video on social media. A grocery employee was asked on camera if he had ever seen the run on groceries so bad. He was rolling out the next pallet of toilet paper and his unruffled response, “Y2K was this bad,” jarred the lenses from my memories. I really needed that jolt. Thank you to whoever that was and thank you for keeping us fed and supplied!
So, if our memories work just like our present perception, and our lenses of emotions, values, and beliefs have an impact on how we remember specific things, why do you care? Maybe it is worth developing the skills of observing your lenses and practicing shifting what you see in your memories!
What past events were worse than you remember them? What past events were better than your memory? If we base most of our definition of ourselves on past experiences then our skewed lenses have a BIG impact on how we define our present!
Ever feel like you are making no headway? Instead of sailing straight a your target, maybe you need to try tacking into the wind.
Have you ever heard the term? Any idea what it means? For those of us that haven’t had the excitement of sailing, a sailboat cannot navigate directly into the wind. The sails wont work with the wind pushing the opposite direction.
Sailors figured out a solution. By sailing across the wind they could still move forward by shifting the sails (and the boat) back and forth. An interesting aspect of tacking is that the boat is never pointed at its intended target. Maybe you haven’t been on a sailboat to experience this, the switchbacks climbing up and down a steep mountain are a similar solution.
How often do you wear yourself out driving straight toward your goal? How often do you meet stiff resistance in trying to accomplish what you want? What would it look like to try tacking into the wind when facing resistance in your life?
You could start by making smaller steps toward your goal. Are you measuring where you start and how far each step gets you toward your goal? Would you be willing to change your mindset? Your goal does not have to be directly in front of you to head toward it. Being willing to make more steps to achieve your dream might actually make it easier to get there.
What do you need to add this strategy to your approach? There will be days you have a strong tailwind, racing you toward your vision. There will be other days facing nothing but headwinds. It is possible to move forward toward what you want while meeting head-on resistance. – www.rhoadscoaching.com
How do you define yourself? That’s a big question. Take a minute and think about it. I would be wiling to bet you are defining the majority of who you are by the past.
Think about that for a minute. Is there any understanding of who you are that isn’t based on past experiences? My ancestors come from this country. I graduated from this school. I worked for this company. These are the certifications I hold. This is how long I’ve been married. My children are this old. I have had this many bad break ups.
For most of us we define our current state based on our past experiences. This leaves out a critical undefined value of your future self! There is a piece of you that hasn’t happened yet. Your future self has just as much value as your past self. Why do you leave your future value out of the definition of who you are?
From a practical standpoint it makes sense that using past examples to define who we are is more concrete (it’s easier) than using the vague future. We all have some form of a future though. Your future has a reason and purpose. Because it has a purpose, it has value.
My challenge to you is to include some version of that future value in your definition of who you are. You have a role to play in a career. You are needed in relationships. Your community needs you to participate.
How do you handle a crisis? In a recent Los Angeles Times article, epidemiologist Brandon Brown was quoted saying, “Don’t panic unless you are paid to panic.” Do you do that?
We have a tendency to feed our own fears. Panic breeds more panic. Worry creates more worry. So how do you handle yourself in a crisis? Are you the type of person who runs around in little circles screaming? Do you call a friend to convince them to panic too? Do you sit and wring your hands in worry? Or do you keep a level head and work the problem?
Interestingly a lot of different topics are included in how we handle a crisis. Our personality, beliefs, being triggered, and emotions all contribute to our response. In addition, black and white thinking, extreme or exaggerated language, reacting instead of assessing, and being judgmental instead of judging all contribute to our ability to handle a stressful situation.
So how do you appear when we collectively stress? Are you able to observe yourself? If you are able to observe yourself, then are you able adjust? Taking time to learn more about a problem from a trusted source reduces stress. Staying away from exaggerated language helps to more accurately assess a situation. Working the problem instead of the fear creates solutions.
What do you have control over and what do you only have influence over? How can you help yourself? Is it possible to observe yourself and adjust your reaction to prevent panic from making things worse?