"I don't fix problems, I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves." - Louise Hay
Yesterday was indeed a day of self-discovery! For the past couple of days, I was becoming more aware of my patterns and blind spots. And after attending a webinar by one of the master coaches on the topic, discovering your sweet spot; I became more aware of a part hidden in me that I wasn't aware of. This webinar acted like a catalyst to uncovering that. Sometimes you need your own sweet time to discover things. That discovery is joyful because then the insight becomes too powerful to resist converting it into action. As coaches too, we have our blind spots. If we aren't mindful of that, if we aren't looking within, there are chances of us sabotaging our own growth & so the growth of our clients & people whom we serve.
SELF-DISCOVERY IS BEAUTIFUL
Self-discovery is beautiful because then you get to decide what you want to do about it. You have the power within to control the outcomes and not the other way around. I realized that I had a mindset of fixing everyone's problems. I wanted to fix things. This I did consciously & many a times unconsciously too. My mind looked for cues to fix people, fix things, situations. After having been into HR for more than a decade, I developed this attitude in me strongly and so I behaved exactly the same way in every aspect of my life. I wanted to fix things not working in my relationship, I wanted to fix things in my son, I wanted to fix things in my career etc. etc. And amusingly, I looked at this from an absolutely different angle. I gave it the name of being a giver. I was considering myself to be profound giver giving away my advice, my ideas, my tips, my suggestions trying to fix what was wrong in the other person. Sometimes, I did this without even the person asking for it. I mean unconsciously, I just exuded that energy and so I sabotaged many connections & relationships. Many a times I offended people too. Most importantly, I was harming myself and sabotaging my peace of mind & happiness. This attitude of fixing never works out for good. The only thing that would really be empowering for me would be to fix this mindset of mine. Something inside of me needed to be fixed and so I decided to dive into it deep.
OUR PROJECTIONS ARE OUR DEEPER INTRINSIC NEEDS
What we project onto others is exactly what we need to give ourselves. As an Enneagram style 4 person, I had this believe around myself being defective. My coach, Clarence Thompson did tell me about this. I viewed myself from that space and so my urge to fix things in others. You fix when you think that what you are seeing, experiencing is not right. So, you try to make it better. You try to fix it to be able to fit that into your idea of being good. I realized I had high ideals in my mind and I was never satisfied being who I was. I always had this habit of comparing self with someone whom I looked up to.This can be even imaginary ideals, the perfect being. So, I wanted to fix every part of me to be able to be that ideal person. And when I do this what happens, I loose out my uniqueness, my originality and become just a mere copy of the ideal & a vacuum persist. I had nourished this demon inside me for years and this was one of the major blind spots that was holding me back from experiencing myself in my truest form, liberating myself to my next level of growth. Ah! Every time I think this is the big one, I encounter another big one. But this uncovering is amazing!
NO FIXING NO REPAIRING, JUST THE WAY IT IS
I then realized that this needs to be fixed in me. Rather, than fixing, it needs acknowledgment. I acknowledged this side of me and embraced it fully. I gave approval to myself for who I am. As Byron Katie says, "Loving what it is." So, I decided to love what it is. No fixing, no repairing; just the way it is. If I want to live with this imperfection, so be it. And if I want to fix it, so be it. But now there's a huge difference in the way I operate. I don't fix because I want to make things better; but because I want to accept the imperfection & embrace the next level to experience another side of me and so in other people; not to escape from the imperfections but to experience myself & others more profoundly. More than fixing, which comes from a place of scarcity, fear; now I operate from a space of love and abundance. There's scope for improvement, if you want, embrace it; if not let it be how it is because that is what is needed exactly at this point, at this moment. So, givers & people who love fixing; do look deep within: "What's that which needs fixing inside of you? What is it that you need to give to yourself that you have been giving others?"
Last but not the least, when you fix others problems, you take away their ability to find their own solutions. All you got to do is, just support them in finding their solutions and answers. They know best what needs to be done, you just be with them while they solve/fix their problems. That is powerful! We don't see this power because we haven't realized it's power yet. And coaching is all about that, no fixing but inspiring, eliciting, nurturing & leading forward.
Love, light & gratitude,
"You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."
Uncovering a truth requires courage and the willingness to go deep into areas within us that we haven't traversed or have restricted ourselves from doing so. When you open the doors to that which you resist, you'll find that you have unlocked the first door to the barrier itself. There's this abundance barrier that is holding me back from experiencing myself in a profound way & not letting others experience me in my unique ways. As I block this, I too block myself from creating what I am meant to create.
WE ARE MORE THAN WHAT WE HAVE EVEN EXPERIENCED OF US
This life is not just about waking up everyday and performing the tasks that we have laid down for ourselves but doing; let me scrap doing but being more of who we truly are. We are at the core beyond our possibilities, beyond our vision, beyond our thoughts, beyond our limitations. We are extraordinary, we are love, we are pure, we are abundant, we are more than what we have even experienced of us.There's so much to experience ourselves in us that this life-time will fall short. As I grew in my life, I have uncovered beautiful parts inside of me, parts unknown to me & also parts that looked seemingly not so good to me but was there to tell me that it is important to experience both sides of the coin to be able to arrive at a point of nothingness, a space of absolute infiniteness. The space between the extremes, the space between the polarities, because to experience that space, you have to be awakened to even sense its presence.
For a greater part of my life, I lived in black & white. I lived in this or that, on or off, because I wasn't even aware that something in between existed because this awareness is very unique to every individual based on his/her growth journey. I am not sure what & why I am writing all of these. But yes, I am letting myself flow, I am enabling my thoughts to flow and uncover an abundance barrier that is holding me back for long and I find many people including my clients having this barrier, unable to break-free from it. So this blog is an attempt to uncover that barrier. I have realized that when you let your thoughts flow, feel the underlying emotion in it and just sit with it with the quest to uncover the message, you get the message, the answer that you are looking for.
THE UNIVERSE IS ABUNDANT ONLY IF WE ARE WILLING TO EXPERIENCE IT
Anything that we restrict in us and don't allow to flow & obstruct the Universe's flow of energy is where we get stuck. Abundance is the natural flow. The Universe is abundant only if we are willing to experience it. We choose to be in the scarcity space because that's what we have experienced, that's what most of us have been conditioned to accept, that's what takes us to the victim mode paving the way for sympathy & excuses which we like & dislike too. A thought is coming to my mind but I am feeling vulnerable to share it here. And I know that this is the right moment to share because this resistance will uncover something that will serve me. So, here it is: I grew up in a middle class family and my parents gave us the best that they could. Today I am all because of the foundation that was laid then. So, I sit in this deep gratitude of that experience. Yet, there are parts in me that is looking for answers, unresolved issues around abundance that needs resolution. And here I am to unlock my abundance barrier. Two questions that I asked myself since the abundance barrier is not serving me anymore are:
1. What is the abundance barrier trying to teach me that I haven't learnt over these years?
2. What message is it giving that I have been ignoring for years?
What came up for me are these revelations! Deep down I believe all of these: I don't deserve abundance. I am not important enough to experience abundance. In the experience of scarcity my deeper needs of being accepted, loved, valued unconditionally are met. And because of which I had restricted myself from experiencing abundance. I never allowed myself to embrace it, but kept on deflecting it whenever it wanted to embrace me. As a result of which, I couldn't experience the joy of being in the nothingness of this experience. I just tasted one side of the coin and never allowed myself to taste the other side thinking that this is what it is. I kept imagining what the other side would look like & kept judging, conceptualizing, restricting myself from experiencing that out of sheer fear to plunge to the other side. This awareness is enough for me to create a new awareness in me to enable me to experience the other side, allowing the energy to flow & enabling the abundance barrier to break. I already feel from the inside that the barrier is breaking now.
We think that abundance means having lots of money, huge bank balance, surplus income etc. But in reality abundance is beyond all of these. Abundance is the feeling of fullness, feeling of having everything, feeling of bliss, joy, feeling of resourcefulness, feeling of the power within us to create & manifest. When we get access to that power within, we automatically elevate ourselves from a space of lack, emptiness, scarcity to a space of resourcefulness. Abundance can be felt when we get in touch with the gold mine that is hidden inside us and now it is up to us as to how we want to use it. Getting into that space requires deep belief that we deserve to live in abundance and that abundance lies in us & not outside us. You can earn more money, yet feel lack & scarce. You can have everything yet feel empty & incomplete. Abundance comes from the acceptance of these facts: I am worthy of this feeling. I have faith in my resourcefulness. I approve of the abundance that is already there in my life. I approve of the abundance in me. I am not pulling myself down to scarcity in my thoughts, emotions & actions but elevating myself to experience abundance, a blissful state to be in. When the little voice inside us says: "Yes, I have everything, I am full, complete and powerful enough to create what is important to me", is when you truly embrace abundance. You break free from your barrier and you are a step closer to your experience of life. Why did I even mention that I belonged to a middle-class family?! Because generally we are conditioned to belief that a normal middle-class family doesn't live much of their lives in abundance state but scarcity state. That is what we have been conditioned to believe. But the actual experience would be to not accept what is generally downloaded to you but what you experience what the reality is. Being in middle-class family doesn't mean living in scarcity, it is just the conditioned mind that restricts the experience of the abundance gold mine that is there in us. Once that is broken free, abundance will flow through every person, every being. It's a matter of sheer experience unique to self!
OUR CHOICE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
An insight is a new way of looking at things. You then club it with your learning, learning from other sources and make a powerful perspective for you. That's the beginning of any journey. Once you are aware of your abundance barrier, you got to ask yourself: What do you want to do about it? You want to use it to experience yourself in a more profound way or you want to remain who you are, in a cautious space not wanting to expand & bloom? The choice is entirely yours and that choice makes all the difference. Leaving you with a thought provoking quote by J K Rowling, "It is impossible to live without failing at something...unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all-in which case you fail by default."
Love, light & gratitude,
The joy of uncovering our blind spots is so fulfilling because it leaves you shifting your being which is the key towards massive growth & transformation within you. When your being shifts, your actions will accordingly shift and so your results. Today I uncovered yet another blind spot in me where I realized that more than living my own values, I was actually expecting others to live those values. This realization gets triggered at the most vulnerable situations, when you are in the grip of your limiting mind, when you are under stress. It is rightly said that if you have to know the true personality of a person, you have to see him/her at his/her lowest points. How one behaves during these periods will actually reflect what insecurities they have, what fears they are holding on to & what their inner world without masks & armours truly look like?! In moments of despair, we usually give in and we project our inner self. Not that our inner self is not good or so, but we then get aware of which space we are operating from: fear based or love based.
We all have values that we uphold, our actions are shaped by our values. But many a times, we don't realize that living our values is different from expecting others to live by our values. Even I didn't have that awareness until I uncovered that blind spot in me today. And I am so glad to have got in touch with that side of me. Values are what we uphold to be important to us & that which influences our behaviours and attitudes. My top values are: freedom, fulfillment, joy, authenticity, empathy & abundance. Great values to have! But, at moments when we are not at the centre of our being, at moments when we are out of balance, is the moment when we need to uphold our values most because it will serve us since it defines our identity, our actions that makes who we are. Noticeably during these moments we don't live by our values & instead expect others to live by our values. How? Let me share an instance. I arrived late for a meeting by 2 mins or so. The person with whom I had the meeting scheduled was upset and the body language reflected that. This was my perception though! Before the person said something to me, I clarified why I was late & expected the person to empathize with me. But that really didn't happen and the person started to question me & I felt judged. Here I was sitting feeling judged and not being empathized. I was completely zoned out because I had a very high benchmark for the person & that it wasn't matching up to that really irritated me. I sat in that anxiety and was flooding my mind with all sorts of judgement around the person. Later, after centering myself again, I realized that I was the one judging the person and not empathizing with. Empathy & authenticity are my values and I wasn't living those at that moment but expecting the person to empathize with me and be authentic too. Because I wasn't living my values & I was expecting the other person to live my values, I withdrew myself from being totally present in the moment, from giving my committed listening and hence my actions weren't serving me & the intent of the entire meeting got lost till I got back to my senses and reminded myself of the fact that I need to empathize and be authentic. That small shift just changed the entire dynamics of the meeting and eventually it turned out to be a fruitful one but with a massive breakthrough for me.
Many a times, in organizations also, we carve out these values yet we forget to uphold them. We expect employees to abide by them. The leaders who create these organizational values don't live by them and expect every other person to adhere to these. Leadership is beyond forcing but inspiring. And you inspire others not by saying but by being what you want them to be. Likewise, pick up any relationship in your life. May be with your spouse, child, sibling, colleagues, friends etc. Notice that many a times we don't do what we want them to do for us. If we want love, we must first give them love; if we want them to be truthful, we have to be truthful first. Do think over? What serves us powerfully: living our values or expecting others to abide by our values? Our values are unique to us. And more importantly, values have to be just lived without any inner benchmark. Benchmark will derail you. But simply living the values will empower you. Nothing external can trigger you if you live by your values in every situation and not just put the power on external locus of control like expectations from others.
Love & light,
There are times, cycles when we reach a low point in our thinking. Our mind is no longer capable of thinking positively, we are no longer able to look at the bright side of the things. This noticeably happens at moments when we are rejected, when we get NOs, when we fail, when we don't meet our expectations, when we don't meet our targets/deadlines, when we assume that we are no way closer to our intentions. That's when we question ourselves and our abilities. That's when self-doubts creep in, we become one of our greatest critics! Everything seems to be working against us. Situations, people & life in general seems not to be working in our favour. That's when we are in the grip of our limiting mind! That's the time when we look at things from a fixed view and loose the power to create. That's when we tend to give up. In fact this is the most vulnerable spot and time for giving up & forgetting our "WHY". This is the time when we loose sight of why we started of in the first place. Our mind is clouded with all the negative thoughts and we slowly move towards the victim state if we aren't mindful enough.
Today I felt I was in the grip of my limiting mind. I became fixed in my views, my mind started to pick up all the negative cues, everything not serving me & my growth. Earlier I wasn't aware of my patterns. But now I know when I am in the grip of my habitual patterns. I withdraw, I criticize myself, I doubt my capabilities, I don't take any actions but become lazy across all the four bodies: physical, emotional, intellectual & spiritual. I use distractions to keep me away from feeling any discomfort. I seek for approvals, validation and blame others for what has happened. In a way it is a complete zoned out moment for me. But, the beauty of all of this is that, now I am aware of my behaviours. I realize my patterns & so half the battle is already won. All I need to do is to gather myself up and move on with my consistent actions. But, there is a twist here. Every time anything negative happens, I get the chance of being a beginner again. The lightness of being a beginner again is more effective than carrying the burden of being just successful with no real impact. Every time things don't work out, I get an opportunity to use my creativity muscle, churn it to my benefit & come out with something really impactful & useful. This for me is growth. There is so much joy in failing! I could never say this before because I never saw it that way. Every time I am rejected, every time I am ignored, every time I bag a NO; are the times I really feel proud of myself because I know that I am progressing & not just running over at the same spot again & again with the delusion of progressing. These NOs are the foundations of my story to be told as a part of my legacy! I would be happy to gracefully bag as many as I can and I acknowledge myself for being able to say this now. This proves that my leadership depth has increased massively over time. Way to go!
My clients are a reflection of me and hence we find joy working together; being in the coaching relationship. Whenever they come up to me with a long face upon failing, upon not meeting targets; I know that breakthrough is going to happen that will change their lives drastically. They do the same things that I have mentioned above. They self-loathe, self-criticize, withdraw, blame, go to victim state. They forget to see the glory of being who they truly are in moments like this! One failure robs them of their peace of mind, their identity, their capabilities. Mind it that they are all exceptionally high performers; just that the failure has taken a toll on their being and they are unable to see more than just their failure in moments when they are in the grip of their limiting mind. Giving up & quitting mentally, mid-way, is one of their biggest blind spots that they need to work on. Simply put, they have lost the form due to limiting thoughts that they have held due to the rejection that they are experiencing now. And then I remind themselves like I did to myself to let go of these unnerving thoughts; to embrace the limiting mind because it speaks from a space of fear & give power to the limitless mind, igniting & leveraging the limiting mind. Leaning against the intrinsic fears is the key. Change is constant, likewise failing too is a part of the master's journey. For anything extra-ordinary that you want to create, you have to be extra-ordinary in your thinking, in your being and in your actions. You have to fail extra-ordinarily too. You must sail through that to be able to conquer your failures. Giving up is truly failing and not failing. Failing gives us opportunities to be better, for us to re-look at our ways, to be more creative, to defy the regular ways of doing things, breaking ourselves into pieces to actually see what parts are critical to fulfilling our bigger intentions. And my clients are extra-ordinary who plays bigger games and their purposes and causes are extra-ordinary!
Free yourself from your limiting mind to win not just the battles but the war inside of you & produce extra-ordinary results, to live your "WHY" for which you started in the first place.
Love & light,
A candle consumes itself to give light to others and it ends there. But, the powerful question is: Do you want to be just like the candle that dims itself after lighting for a short period or do you want to be like the sun that radiates light not at it's cost but after conserving the energy within & radiating that outside for all to shine & glow? There is altogether a science behind the light emission but what I am trying to say by using this metaphor is to urge you to reflect on yourself and ask if you are being the candle or the sun while giving yourself out there in the world. Here's an interesting conversation that I had with one of my clients who is a giver, but somewhere feels lost while giving. And because of that my client feels purposeless, tired, exhausted, lifeless. Here goes the dialogue (To maintain confidentiality, names are not used and even the gender is not disclosed):
Client: I am a people's person and I allow the people around me to define me. I love doing that and it gives me joy.
Me: Great! You are an extra-ordinary giver! So what's the challenge when you are doing what you are doing and you love it?
Client: I am lost. Although I love what I do, I am kind of standing on a cross-road now and there are two paths in front of me. One that I am passionate about and where my inner dreams lie and the other is what I must do to make others happy and satisfied. I don't know what I am supposed to do. Which one should I pick up. Both are conflicting and I am confused.
Me: What if you have both? Not this/that but both?
Client: Is that even possible? How can I do that? You mean I stop caring for others and become selfish?!
Me: That's what you are thinking! Who says you are selfish if you do what you love to do? Imagine when you are doing what you are passionate about, who would you be?
Client: More nourished, more happier and more fulfilled!
Me: Great! From that space will you be able to serve others better?
Client: Yes, I think so. I would be more inspired to help, support and take care of others because that would come from a space of not losing myself but doing it while discovering myself and giving more powerfully.
Me: Great insight! Some more food for thought for you. Would you like to lose yourself by giving or would you like to discover yourself, empower yourself, rejuvenate yourself in the process of giving & serving?
Client: Obviously the second one. But I am not used to doing this.I get easily influenced by others and people's need come first for me.
Me: That's okay. We will together handle that during the sessions. I will coach you to connect with your wisdom inside and figure out a solution/action plan to not to slip into your old patterns. Are you up for playing that game?
Client: Yes, I want to for sure. I need to care for myself and not just let myself waste in the process.
And the conversation continues....
This is one of the most common dilemma witnessed among givers. They are wonderful people who cares and empathizes so much for others but unfortunately loose themselves while doing so if they aren't mindful of their actions and behaviours. There's nothing wrong in giving, but as a giver; the first responsibility is towards yourself and only when you first take care of yourself, you will be able to give profoundly. You can then be a powerful giver in every sphere of your life. Your glass needs to be filled by you first and then you can give. Otherwise, in the name of giving you are just transferring emptiness in the lives of others including you.
So, it's important for you to decide if you want to be just a candle or the sun that radiates bright & gives warmth to everyone.
Love & light, Priyanka
We all live by our stories and we hold on to it strongly. But, stories are not the reality, it's not the 100% truth that we easily assume it to be. Stories are just stories that are past and nowhere relevant in the present. Because of this attachment to our version of story, we live in constant state of stress, worry, fear, unhappiness and pacify our pain by putting blame and projecting our inner reality outside. The question is not about dropping the story but investigating our thoughts around that story that has the power to liberate us and set us free. When we are free, our thoughts and actions are in sync and they are far more clearer, kinder and fearless. All the battles that we are fighting outside first needs resolution in the inside; after all we are nothing more than what we are inside of us and we create that reality for us everywhere.
At age 38, I am glad that I found that liberation inside me that has set me free from the shackles of my own attachment to uninvestigated thoughts and my old stories that had been over long back, but I am holding on to them and replaying those in my mind with every thought that I feed in, thereby feeling the angst, pain, fear and worry of living it again. Loving and accepting the reality is so grounding & humbling that I spare myself from unwanted speculation of myself and others and just live in the moment. When I live in the moment, there is so much power. My entire energy is just being used right here, right now. What happens when I do that? I become saner than before, wiser than who I was, productive in my actions, enjoy life more than what I did and best of all become aware of the power of truth, the power of reality as it is and accept it with open arms. This to me is empowerment!
Most of our lives is spent in focusing on others' business. When I say others' business, I mean when I put my energy, thinking and thought on what others should do and not do, what should have been right, not right, what my expectations from others is, how a system should function, how people should act, behave, how they should treat me for my actions and behaviours etc. etc. We spend our lives doing this: consciously and unconsciously. The result of this is, we walk away from discovering the truth that lie within us and just become a talking saint. When the focus is shifted into our own business, we find liberation, freedom, peace, love and ecstasy. We all point at others and try to correct them, but failing to realize that major work needs to be done in us because that's our business first and as we do this we enable the change in others because the world mirrors our behaviours and actions. Not the other way around. From a victim state to a creator is the most wonderful gift that we can gift ourselves with. But, doing this is tough. When we focus on being right, then we cannot uncover our truth. But, when we commit to living in truth, then we can drop the guards and see the reality. When you see the reality, chances are that you will feel disgusted initially or even feel judged by yourself because after all you are shedding a reality that you had dearly owned for long. But, now that you have uncovered it, you lay there like a new born pure soul fearing to stand up on its own and doubting self; but with time you'll learn to sail this journey too. It's all in your mind. The day you can accept it for who it is, that's the day you are free to feel joy, love and peace within. And then what happens is nothing but a life of bliss, meaning, contribution, purpose and eternal progress.
This writing is inspired after reading the book, "Loving what is by Byron Katie" and I am so grateful to her for this book. This is what I needed at this point in life. She did the work on herself and with that liberation, she is transforming the world around her including me. As she says, "Judge your thought, investigate it, turnaround and set yourself free." Here I am investigating a thought that used to bother me for long. The four questions as laid down in the book is asked my me to me and watch how things turn around. You too can see and try it out for yourself and uncover the truth.
My thought (I am judging the system from the story that I have created in me): I dislike system because it doesn't give me the freedom to be me.
Proof of truth: I become just a follower of instructions and lose my creativity. My productivity goes down.
First investigative question: Is this true that I dislike system......?
Me: Yes, I have felt this way.
Second investigative question: Can this be really true, 100% true?
Me: Not sure, I haven't asked myself this question before.
Have you always felt this way? Where there opportunities were you felt free being in the system?
Me: Yes, there were few exceptions to this.
Third investigative question: How do you react when you belief the thought that I dislike system because it curbs my freedom?
Me: I shut down, withdraw, repulse, resist it and at times become rebellious too to fight it out.I feel angry and suffocated and feel like running away from it thinking that leaving it would fetch me liberation.
Is there a stress-free reason to hold on to this thought?
Me: Not really, I can't find any at this moment.
Fourth investigative question: Who would you be when you drop this thought and how would you behave?
Me: I would be happy, productive, creative and use my potential to the fullest while in the system.
Turn arounds (You turn around your initial thought and direct it towards you):
Hilarious but insightful isn't it?! And any turnaround is useless if that is not backed by action. My journey of uncovering my truth is on. As I turned around my own thoughts, I just set myself free from holding on to a story that was causing pain in me and not allowing me to think clearly and accordingly perform to my best ability.
We all unfold in our own sweet time and that's the beauty of this journey. Every experience that you encounter is required for you to enable that unique growth in you that you need. Welcome home and enjoy this journey at your own right time.
Love and light, Priyanka
What's your failure quotient? How many times can you take Nos, rejections before you give up determines your ultimate level of success. To have exponential success, you have to be willing to embrace numerous Nos, rejections, be comfortable with banging your nose & be prone to adapting with failures. Hard to believe but yes, this is the truth! A person's failure quotient determines how far he will go in life; whether he will achieve his/her unimaginable/scary dreams or not. I wish I was aware of this mathematics earlier when I started my journey and career! Probably I would have fulfilled many of my dreams/goals by now. Nevertheless, as it is said, you receive the lesson at the time when you are ready and willing, so I am grateful to be sitting in this awareness and truly accepting the fact that failing and being a failure are two different things. Successful people embrace the act of failing, they are willing to fail; they like to fail; but unsuccessful people stop themselves from failing any further, they avoid failures, they hold themselves back. After few bumps here and there, they quit. That's it!
I have always been a topper in my life. And every time I read stories like back-benchers making it to great heights and toppers being seen as someone not being able to make it big in life (statistics says so); I used to wonder why. Honestly, this pinched me too. Not that I didn't appreciate the success of the back-benchers, but pitied myself and my kinds. I used to feel very sad and even worthless for being a topper. I used to question myself as to why did I then put in efforts, burnt the mid-night oil etc., if toppers had to live a life of conformity?! Does it mean that hard-work, efforts didn't have a role to play?! Well, people who do well early in life get used to success and so they become very fearful of failures. They are fearful of rejections and Nos. So, they don't do anything that will sabotage their image of being topper, successful. The achiever's image is dear to them and throughout life, they live maintaining that. They never try out beyond their limits. Once they get what they wanted, they become complacent. One no, and they are doomed! One rejection and they can't handle it. So, they know how to underplay it. I failed to become a Doctor. I couldn't crack the entrance examination and this took a toll on me. The image of being a topper, an achiever; broke. I was under pressure to perform and focused all my energy on cracking it but with fear of failure. What if I didn't crack?! And yes, I didn't crack. It shattered me and I never tried again. I didn't know how to fail gracefully and I gave up. My failure quotient was lowest! One failure led me to give up my childhood dream! See that's why toppers don't become successful! Statistics are right! It has nothing to do with skills, potential; but your ability to embrace failures/rejections/Nos. When you don't take failures personally, you don't give up. You keep trying and trying till you get the yes. More the Nos, more is your validation to your inner commitment to yourself. May be my inner commitment to becoming a Doctor wasn't high and so my failure quotient to that was pretty low.
Pick up any successful person and look at their failure quotient. You will be amazed! They have more Nos, rejections, failures than you can even think of. Thomas Alva Edison failed 10,000 times before he discovered bulb, Allen Breed who invented airbags pursued 30 long years before his product was sold and accepted; Sara Blakely failed numerous times before she became the youngest self-made billionaire....The list is endless! We don't see their failures because once you achieve success, all that people remembers is the ultimate level that you are in. Your desire, willingness, eagerness, persistence to fail determines if your 'WHY' to achieve is strong enough or not. I thought success was to avoid failures, being cautious. But this is absolutely a wrong equation to follow. Success is to embrace failures. More the failures, more the chances of your success. To dig out the diamond, you will have to dirty your hands; to succeed, you have to embrace Nos.
So, ask yourself how many rejections have you faced in life? If the answer is No, you haven't tried enough to succeed. You are standing in your own way to greatness. Pike Syndrome is something I love. I am a victim of Pike syndrome. Google to know more about it. When you get conditioned and limit your actions/efforts because of past bad experiences, couple of failures/rejections and quit; that's called Pike's syndrome. As leaders also, when you reach a particular level in your career; you become very protective of your image and role. You refrain from failing, embracing Nos; you avoid failures; but you want you teams to try. Do you think they will? Absolutely not! They will eventually figure out that if you are afraid of something, they too will avoid that because they too seek security. Leaders who embrace Nos themselves; not only allow themselves to embrace their greatness but others too.
My new learning: Embrace Nos with greater velocity and be happy every time you get it. Let the answers unfold as you do this. I leave you to unravel this secret in your own good time. Do watch this awesome video to figure out yourself what your failure quotient is?!
Love & warmth, Priyanka
"Kill the snake of doubt in your soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart & mountains will move out of your way." - Kate Seredy
In all my blogs I have been mentioning about the inner power that we have. We are whole, complete and resourceful enough to achieve what we set out to. We are self-sufficient, yet we don't achieve what we want to. We always come back to square, the very place where we started. We are unable to move ahead not because there is lack of information around, but because of something else that we are unaware of. Many a times we are aware of what holds us back, but we don't know how to overcome these. That's why I always say, move out of your own way if you really want to achieve what you want to.If you want to be your best version, then you got to stand out of your way. Well, I am referring to the psychological barriers that hold us back from accessing our inner resources, the power that resides inside us. Psychological barriers are beliefs that a person has about himself/herself regarding his ability, potential, self-worth. They are some deformed thought patterns that don't allow us to break-free and attain what seems impossible for us.
For a long time, I have been a victim of these psychological barriers myself. Overcoming these require much inner strength, strong will and courage. Pick up a sport and you will see how your psychological barriers come into play. That's why probably it is recommended to learn to play a sport at a very young age. That's the time when our mind is flexible and tender. We can mold our thoughts accordingly. As an adult, you too can achieve what may seem unattainable or impossible for you. But, what is required is first your courage to uncover your psychological barriers, your mental blocks and work on overcoming these. Most importantly, patience is required to allow yourself to unfold to this process of discovery. Many a times we find it hard even to accept our blind spots, it's like a tight slap on our face; something that we had been running away from & ignoring. Don't worry, I have been there and I know how it feels. I know now for sure that not uncovering is much more painful than confronting these.
I would like to cite my example here. As a child, I used to play a lot with water and you'll find all my dolls bald-headed. Every time I used to play with my dolls, I shampoo their hair and clean them. The result of which was that I used to fall sick and had fever because I was majorly in water myself. My mother couldn't make me understand that and so the best that she could think of was, to cut all the hairs of the dolls that I had. I had a lot of other histories around water and my adventures. Somehow, without my knowledge, I developed this very strong dislike for water later. To the point that I was scared of even getting inside it. I had gone to Triveni Sangam to immerse the mortal remains of my father many years back. For those who aren't aware of Triveni Sangam, it is the meeting place of the three sacred rivers: the Saraswati, the Yamuna & the Ganga(Ganges) and is considered as a very holy confluence in Hindu tradition. A bath there is said to flush away all of one's sins. I didn't take a dip in that water out of fear. I was scared to that point. Later, when my son wanted to learn swimming, I allowed him to, despite of being fearful myself. I was so scared that I used to sit there watching him while he was taking his classes. I sat there and confronted my fears. That's when the Coach came up to me and told me to try out swimming. My first reaction was, "Me and swimming?! Oh! Forget it! I am very scared of water.I can never do it." The Coach insisted me and for many days I didn't even pay heed to him. I started giving him excuses saying that I had a c-section while giving birth to my child, I have a deep-seeded fear around water. I get sick and also an emotional block around water holds me back. But, somewhere deep down I wanted to swim. I had the desire but was fearful and my psychological barriers around my self-belief held me back from taking the plunge. The Coach insisted me and encouraged me. There were few other coaches who told him to stop pushing me because I was too fearful and hence they passed their judgement that I can never swim. This hit me hard. I then told the Coach, "I want to learn swimming. How can it be that I can't learn?! I will give it a try." And that's how my journey began. It took me a while and lot of endurance. Today I am a good swimmer and you can see me swimming in the picture above. I am not fearful of water anymore! I swim along with my son and every time I am fearful of anything, I just remind myself to get out of my way and let my inner resources play it's part. If I have created that limiting belief, I have the power to recreate another one. If I have held myself back, I have the power to push myself forward too. Since then I have been challenging myself. As a child I used to play Table Tennis, Badminton, even Cricket (advantage of having two brothers) & dance was something that came naturally to me. Sports had been an integral part of my life. So, I chose to embrace it now again because it rejuvenates my soul. I learnt Zumba, I did Zipping, Paragliding and now I am learning Kick-boxing to challenge myself more. There are many mental blocks which we aren't even aware of. Our job is to uncover them one by one till you are left with none.
Our own psychological barriers hold us back from performing at our peak. Mental block is an inability to perform a certain action. It can be associated with just about every aspect of your life. Mental blocks are formed because of various reasons such as:
1. Painful or difficult unresolved experiences/memories which you have buried deep inside.
2. Lack of confidence due to lack of knowledge and experience.
3. Fear of the unknown creates paralysis and incapability to cope.
Also, look at this info-graphics below to see where you stand.
Here are some of the common mental blocks. See which one is familiar to you:
3. Fixed mindset
8. Fuzzy Focus
How to identify your mental blocks?
Notice your inner dialogue and what words you commonly use for yourself. What feelings come to the surface. Journal it and read it loud to yourself. This will expose your mental block.
Our own personalities and values get in our way. We may have a personality type & our values may be something which might be conflicting to what we belief, who we are and what we aspire to be. So, choose to stand out of your way if that is no longer serving you. You will be amazed at what you can create. Trust me, you can create more than what you belief you can.
Love & warmth, Priyanka
When the curtain of darkness drops and when you throw light to your unawareness, you will viscerally feel breakthrough happening. Every time I feel I am growing, I bump across an area within me which needs light, which needs my awareness to transform into light within me. Today I am glad I again got present to something inside me that I wasn't even aware of. All thanks to my Coach! I resisted and defended myself from acknowledging it. I denied that I felt that way because long long ago I learnt my way of dealing with uncomfortable emotions. I learnt to protect myself from feeling the hurt, the pain. And the way I choose was, to not feel that emotion, not acknowledge that emotion and even ignore it when it hit me. And after doing this, I became very good at it. Practice turned this into a habit and habit became my second nature. I became very adept at hiding my emotions, my feelings and could quickly cover that up with something, which sadly after a while even I lost sight of it. And I thought it was okay to be this way. I thought this is how emotions need to be dealt with. As I ignored my uncomfortable emotions, I also deflected the good emotions coming my way. My being got created this way and so my energy with which I showed up!
I struggled with this internally without even my awareness. Every time something happened, every time I couldn't progress in my life I defended myself with circumstances outside of me, by putting the blame on people around me and even judging myself. Least did I know that there was actually a bug inside me that was stopping me from blooming into who I was, from flying high, from achieving my goals, from showing up the way I am meant to be. I was looking for answers outside me while the real demon lied inside of me. I even tried to understand this by gathering information around people, their habits, ways to deal with them, etc. etc. The more I looked outside, the more I enabled the demon inside me to grow. I knowingly nourished the demon inside me by putting my focus on things outside me. I thought that if I understand the situation well, I can adjust to it. I thought that if I understand people well, I can accommodate their view points....The list is never ending. The moment I decided to look within, the moment I decided to throw light to the demon inside me, I realized that it was there sitting inside and just trying to stop me from having limitless access to myself & my being. I decided to take responsibility and engage in a discussion with that demon. Let me call it my limiting mind inside me instead of demon because I got to know that it was there lying in me to protect me and not to destroy me. But that limiting mind wasn't aware that even though it's presence had a protective undertone, it did more harm than help to my being. Because anything limiting can just be a bonsai and not a blooming plant. It did give me the requisite ingredients to survive and be protected but not what needs to flourish, thrive and bloom into limitless possibilities. And I want to have a limitless experience.
Tears rolled down my cheeks just after my session with my Coach ended. As if, I was bidding adieu to my limiting mind who protected me, showing gratitude for it's presence inside me for so long that today upon joining hands with it to embrace and welcome my limitless mind, I am feeling joy & courage. I thanked my limiting mind for having been there with me in my journey and for all the protection. But, I also said,"It's time for you now to leave me and whenever I will need you, I will call you not to limit me but to help me embrace my limitless mind. This way you'll be empowered too. Because now I want to embrace limitless possibilities and I want to spread this awareness to people around me." I know there are numerous people out there who will resonate with what I have felt and I want to support them in embracing their limitless mind the way my Coach did for me. As a first step, I am going to do this with a group of leaders that I am addressing in a session next week. I am glad that this breakthrough happened today. Now I can take the participants to this joyous journey that I viscerally experienced.
My limiting mind, I acknowledge you,
I thank you for being with me.
I take responsibility for defending you all through out my life,
And as a result of which my experience of me, people & life was limiting too.
Today let's together embrace my limitless mind,
And set on a journey of limitless experience of myself, people & life.
Let's take it to the next level. Let the journey begin...
"It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." Chaos Theory
A minor change, such as flapping of wings by the butterfly can create a phenomenal change. Hard to believe right?! How can such a tiny action create a massive reaction?! This is the way we doubt ourselves too! Many a times we don't realize our power until a situation arises which enables us to play with our strengths or until when someone shows us our power. A butterfly cannot see the designs that's there in it's wings but everyone can see it & believes that the butterfly too knows it. Much to our surprise, we don't realize who we are. But, the fact is we are enough, we have enough within us to be, become who we want to be. We can make a difference in our own subtle ways. We don't have to be someone to do that. But, just be ourselves and keep doing our tasks with passion & conviction. Every action matters because it causes another reaction and eventually another and it's a chain reaction. Only when you forget to believe in yourself, you give the power away to what happens outside of you.
I see everyone as gifted. There is not a single person on this earth who lacks potential. Yes, the difference lies in whether you are able to ascertain that gift in you, what you do after you know you have that gift and whether you are consistent enough in honing that skill inside you. Best of all, when you can find an outlet to use that skill for something greater than yourself, you have more possibilities of creating miracles with that gift. But for all this, you have to be comfortable in your skin. You have to first decide if you want to be a copy or someone original. Because, a copy remains a copy and an original is always in high demand. It doesn't loose its effect but a copy fades away with time. We hold lot of fears in us. Sometimes these fears are just groundless. We are more than our fears. Fears don't make us, it's just a part of us. It has a protective undertone to it. Sometimes, a certain belief comes to the surface & holds us back till we confront it and lean against it to rise to who we are.
Small gestures leads to great impact. You never know what difference you might be making in someone's life, till the time you stop doing what you are doing. So, believe in yourself. Trust in every action that you take. You are powerful beyond measure! Sadly, when we stop believing in our strengths, the worlds stops believing in us too. Leave aside humility for a while. If what you do is true, there is nothing wrong in speaking up for what you do and who you are. So, first acknowledge yourself, your strengths; then work towards mastering that strength. Keep taking tiniest of the actions and you just reach your destination joyously, purposefully & most of all, you surprise yourself with you own abilities. You look back and smile at your own inhibitions & disbelief!
Sometimes, we just need a reminder to ourselves: "You are powerful beyond measure!" And this post is just an attempt to do that.
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals