What do you think you're good at? A lot of people don't really know, let along how and when they apply their strengths. And reading some articles about strengths it would be understandable if you came away thinking that strengths are always good to use! I certainly have. There tends to be an indirect message that it's good to maximise strengths.
So what do strength traps look like? I'm going to concentrate on three types of traps - there could easily be more! Remember these traps don't broadcast themselves, or have a thought-nudger 'be careful now, a strength trap is just...
Courage shows itself in so many different ways.
During a coaching session with one client (I'll call her Nadine) we were looking at her strengths. Nadine did not believe she had courage. When answering my question about what courage looked like for her, she said something like "Well, I see it linked to physical courage, like parachuting or having a walking holiday in the jungle. I don't think anything I do needs courage. I don't feel outside my comfort zone."
You may be wondering what she does do! I certainly would be curious if I were you. Well, Nadine has acted as compere...
“Because Dragons are full of wisdom and make wonderful friends it is vital to learn to walk with them and to have their constant support.”
~ Trevor Bentley, author of ‘A Touch of Magic’ and gestalt organisational consultant
Dragons live within each of us! Sometimes they are quiet and go unnoticed. Other times they appear fearsome and perplexing. Their fire and energy seem out of control and wayward. We often make them into difficult enemies rather than wonderful friends. I may be biased because I am Welsh!
Increasing awareness and choiceSo in part 1 I considered the relationships between feelings, thinking, awareness and choice.
I know when I’ve read such blogs, I’ve thought “OK, so how can I increase my awareness and choice?” And I’m hugely tempted to give you a suggestion on how to do it, even though I know that's not the way to go!
Now you may be asking that question. However, is it because you consider that you ‘should’ or ‘must’ increase your awareness and, therefore, choice? If so, it is likely your ‘interest’ in increasing your awareness is coming from somewhere other...
Thinking and awareness
Some time ago my cat was ill and I was waiting for the results of a blood test. Over the next day his health deteriorated further and then during the night he went out and did not return – a very unusual occurrence. I was extremely worried due to his ill-health and I had heard that cats sometimes go away to die. Well two days later I thought he must be dead.
After tears I reflected on what had happened and realised that I had chosen to give him freedom and this led to these consequences.
Accepting current understanding of reality, that is what 'accepting yourself as your are' is all about. No more no less. Well, in fact it is far far more because of what can happen when you genuinely and deeply accept reality! And understanding can change.
The word 'accept' is defined in several ways including:
- to acknowledge that something is true
- to tolerate something without protesting or attempting to change it
- to acknowledge a fact or truth and come to terms with it
When I use the word in this context I mean the first definition - to acknowledge that something is true. There...
I've noticed how the language we use reflects our internal normally unconscious view of the issue we're considering. For instance, currently I'm involved with a group of people, who want to change the Welsh government's mind about introducing some new legislation. Someone suggested that we start a 'fighting fund'. This supports the view we are in a fight and is likely to engender that feeling - and affect the group's thinking, decisions and behaviour. I think a better term would be 'winning fund'!
A different example is when we say that someone or something "made us happy/sad/angry/etc ". This is not...
"..the question is not so much what makes them 'difficult', but what we tell ourselves about them that makes them difficult" ~ Peter Vajda
Recently I've been working with a client who wants help with working effectively with a person she finds difficult. I asked 'in what ways difficult?' She said it was based on past experiences over a few years. In the first instance they got on fine. Circumstances changed and so did their relationship. My client's interpretation of this particular person's words, deeds and behaviour led her to finding it nigh impossible to trust him as a work...