Sometimes guilty of “beating up on yourself” when you’ve fallen short of your own expectations? Do you know how powerfully reframing the word “yet” is?
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Reframing yet – an example
Me: “Oh, I’m such a turkey! I just can’t seem to listen without jumping in“.
Coach: “you just can’t seem to listen without jumping in – yet“. It’s just a matter of awareness, practice and time, and you’ll be just as good a listener as the person you admire so much for this skill.”
I’m pretty sure I could publish this blog right now, and most of us will have got the message, right?
I’ve learned from over a decade of coaching hundreds of business people all over the world, that one of our greatest “people-skills” assets is our self awareness. Together we’ve all realised how important a part self awareness plays in our emotional intelligence. I’m sure you’ll have worked with others that “just don’t have it” and stumble into strife blissfully unaware of the impact they are having (or not having) by not being able to read the situation or the other person’s response.
What we’ve also learned is how critical a role self awareness plays in managing change. Particularly personal change. And even more so when we’re that person (smiley face).
Reframing Conditioning and Behaviour Patterns
What’s also been realised in many recent coaching sessions, is the amount of “auto-pilot behaviour patterns” that seem to just come out of nowhere and influence outcomes quite differently to how we’d envisage them. Have you perhaps experienced that recently too?
That we’ve even sabotaged ourself and wondered afterwards “how the heck did that happen?” I’ve learned just how much of our unconsciously held conditioning and deeply protected beliefs actually seem to “just come out”, no matter how much we think we may be in control of ourselves. Particularly when the “heat is on” or “the blood pressure is up”.
Carl Jung so very famously and fittingly said so long ago: “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will rule your life and you will call it fate“.
Another culprit that exacerbates the power of our conditioning is our self-talk. It becomes the executor of our conditioning in our day to day life. Would you agree with me that it is more often somewhat negative, even deprecating, rather than positive and uplifting? Like the “turkey” in the introductory example?
Reframing “YET” and the role of Patience
What we’ve also learned together is that getting on top of self-awareness and eliminating the impact of our conditioning (as per the Carl Jung suggestion), we will have gone quite a long way towards better reading ourselves, the situation and those we are talking to (dare I say influencing) in order to enable the reframe I’m talking about here. (Remember that a reframe is just allowing ourselves to look for and see a different perspective on what we’re currently dealing with)
However, what’s the most important ingredient in all of this? Patience.
That’s where the word “yet” comes in when I’m coaching. Whenever I hear a client berating themselves for something they just don’t seem to be getting right, I’m known to immediately interject with “yet“. Which often invokes a “what?” response. Then, when self-awareness kicks in, there’s usually a smile, acknowledging that they’ve “got it”.
Reframing “yet“, So What?
So, what’s the big deal here?
Well, I’ve learned that personal change can be quite a big deal. That it takes time. And usually lots of practice. And by the way, that cultural and organisational change often doesn’t work that well, if we aren’t able to implement personal change successfully first, right?
So if this is about self-awareness, identifying and eliminating conditioning and belief impacts, correcting our self-talk and exercising patience, that’s not so hard is it? Well, is it?
We all know how hard (or slow) these kind of personal, (particularly behaviour) changes can be, don’t we? This then becomes a matter of breaking old habits and allowing ourselves the time, the rhythm and the patience to create new ones.
So that when we’ve caught ourselves “jumping-in” again, instead of beating up on ourselves, we can smile, acknowledge the slip and appreciate the “yet” hasn’t happened so far, necessitating more of Gary Player’s famous: “the more I practice, the luckier I get“.
How is that best achieved?
Yes, self-aware practice, of course.
But what I describe in Turbo Charging Your Goals becomes most effective here. It suggests that if you:
- write down a goal to want to change something,
- share that with someone you know and trust
- and have them hold you accountable to doing what it takes to achieve it,
you’ll increase the likelihood of a successful outcome by over 85%. The blog points to fair dinkum research to back that up.
I know it works. And I know that it is one of the most powerful allies you can muster to help you assure the changes you want become the changes you made. Quickly. Effectively. Satisfyingly.
So, just remember to add the little word “yet” to the end of your next personal rant. And allow the reframe to serve you some (much) better options for that situation. Make sense?