Do you sometimes find yourself reacting to situations in ways that
create conflict with others – employees, co-workers, friends or family members?
High achievers set high standards for themselves and often find that the behaviours, standards and commitment of others contributes to frustration and anger.
Reacting from this internal state can be very costly in:
1. Staff replacement cost,
2. HR challenges
3. New Business
4. Partnerships and Alliances
5. Missed opportunities
6. Placing you under a glass ceiling.
A sustained approach like this can cause permanent damage to our most important relationships.
So many of our decisions are automatic responses to external conditions based on our inner state in the moment. We all know people that react to any adverse external condition with anger, anxiety or overwhelm. Are we aware of our own habitual responses?
In many cases decisions are taken either in a passive habitual manner that lack focus on our mission and purpose or are taken in a moment of anger or frustration in reaction to a circumstance that unfolds in the moment. Either way, such decisions have a tendency to lack intelligence which is a quality to which so many high achievers aspire.
This poem is taken from the book ‘Seeds of Greatness’ by Denis Waitley
I have a little Robot
That goes around with me:
I tell him what I’m thinking,
I tell him what I see.
I tell my little Robot
All my hopes and fears;
He listens and remembers
All my joys and tears.
At first my little Robot
Followed my command;
But after years of training
He’s gotten out of hand.
He doesn’t care what’s right or wrong
Or what is false or true;
No matter what I try —now;
He tells me what to do!
Does your little robot control every move you make?
Dr. Waitley is using the metaphor of "My Little Robot" to represent self-image.
OWA, teaches that many of the limiting states that we experience are due to a conflict between a self-image and external circumstances in the moment which present as stressful emotions including anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, overwhelm, self doubt and loneliness.
Such states are limiting because they hamper:
4. sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others
5. relationships both in the business and personal spheres.
It is way too common today for people leading busy and stressful lives to entirely disregard and dismiss inner emotional states.
High achievers often deny these conflicted states in the belief that such emotions damage inner confidence and are best addressed by dismissing them.
Denying gravity exists doesn't make us impervious to its effects.
And the very denial of our experiences of these inner states could be seen as a form of fear or anxiety!
It is certainly not a true representation of confidence which we would see as the the capacity to experience a joy being who we are. Projecting and protecting a lofty self-image is an exhausting and energy consuming exercise that leaves very little for enjoying life while creating sustainable success and nurturing heartfelt relationships.
OWA also teaches that the first step to wisdom is awareness. Such awareness would allow you to be conscious of the inner states that guide most of your decisions or in many cases drives your to react to certain situations.
Here is a simple practice to begin bringing attention to your inner state and over the next week – it will take all of 30 seconds each time.
I promise you will be amazed at what you will find.
Stop what you are doing at frequent intervals each day (tip is to put an alarm on your phone every 90 minutes to do this), close your eyes and take three conscious breaths - if you are not familiar with the concept of conscious breathing we have included a simple set of instructions to learn the process in a matter of five minutes below.
After the third conscious breath as you continue to hold your eyes closed, ask yourself these three questions:
What emotion am I feeling?
Where in my body am I experiencing the emotion?
What have been my thoughts in the last few moments?
Create a simple grid to record your answers for the week and you will begin to see the patterns in your inner state of being in terms of time of day, emotional states and the thought processes that underlie them. This will be an invaluable resource to you in becoming aware of the impact your little robot is having on your life, career and relationships.
MindShift has many resources to help you dissolve these states and move to more creative, productive and relationship friendly states.
Conscious Breathing Instructions
There are three parts in conscious breathing and these steps will guide you through them individually.
Firstly, as you inhale silently say inhaling now and as you exhale say exhaling now – three times.
Next focus on the physical action of breath… breathing deeply and fully into the lungs and feeling your abdomen expand as you inhale and fall as you exhale fully… diaphragmatic breathing... three times.
Next focus on making the exhale longer that the inhale, if you inhale for a count of three, exhale for the count of six and so forth… do three more breaths in this way.
Now do all three parts together and you will have mastered conscious breathing!