‘Get out of your own way….’
So many people complain about being unable to ‘reach their potential’. Some believe that they are unable, for a multitude of reasons, to make significant gains in their careers, while others believe themselves incapable of overcoming the various obstacles in life.In this era of ‘self-help’, and with the prevalence of informal communication tools like the phone, internet and email, it is clear that the following statement is as relevant now as it originally was:
‘We are all better than we know. If only we can be brought to realise this, we will be unwilling to settle for anything less’. Kurt Hahn
More recently, a famous U.S. illusionist has suggested that:
‘We are all capable of infinitely more than we believe.’ David Blaine
Theorists, like Hahn in the early twentieth century, are quick to present their views on the abstract ideas mentioned above – ‘potential’, ‘success’ etc. Relatively few, however, seem able to offer the kind of practical suggestions and advice that can be easily absorbed and applied in day-to-day life, in order for us to fulfil our ‘potential’ and achieve ‘success’. They also rarely offer the practical skills needed to combat the psychological states – a lack of self-worth or positive mental attitude (PMA) – that they have identified. Problems associated with these negative ‘states’ can be seen all around us:
- Personal development blockages
- Sales targets not met
- Management or supervisory issues
- Relationship strain, etc etc.
The thing is, it really does not matter what the issue is that we face. In most cases, the answer to the difficulty is often closer to us than we realise! Many of society’s ills that were once incurable are now easily solved by a personal, individual approach. For example, drugs for many forms of depression are now replaced with ‘thinking strategies’, and health issues that once were deemed serious can now be cured by addressing the sufferer’s ‘thought process’ – i.e. the way they react and live with the illness. That is not to say some drugs can’t be helpful – some can, and in some cases are the only forms of relief.
Challenges such as ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder can be eased with cognitive behavioural therapy and drugs even so, therapy still requires the individual to seek and take responsibility – then to take the appropriate actions.
In other words, now is the time to “get out of your own way”. Seek help from others, seek assistance pro-actively and take responsibility for the development of those areas you feel either a need or a compelling want to address.
Thinking skills (‘skill’: an ability acquired through deliberate experience or training) are required in order to aid ‘thought management’. Thoughts being very much like dreams, they come into our consciousness for many reasons. Contrary to what some might ‘think’, they can be changed, created, deleted and replaced with thoughts that are more helpful.
So, how do we change our thinking? The answer is surprisingly easy. We can suggest alternative thoughts to ourselves, that are more helpful than the ones we already have, or we can use something or someone else to help ‘plant’ different, exciting, challenging or important thoughts into our minds, to take our trance like and often negative thinking into a different, more helpful or “positive” state.
It has been suggested that the brain aims to hijack our thinking when under a perceived threat – this is where fight or flight comes in. A surge of adrenaline gives us the chemical boost that just might save our lives. We really are amazing, don’t you think? If the human brain can harness this much power, surely we can use it to our advantage in other situations?
The most important thing we can remember is that we are often the only thing that stands in the way of our reaching beyond our self-imposed limitations. We should utilise our instinctual skills and develop new ones, through a programme of positive thinking strategies, in order to progress, fulfill our potential, find peace and contentment and acquire success – and that’s where exceptional coaching and teaching comes in…