issues of clarity and confidence are a primary focus of my work.
for context, here are some common concerns shared by a client looking for guidance.
- i’m 35 years old
- i’m in sales
- i lack confidence
- i’m harsh on myself
- i need confidence in my actions, any clarity in my thoughts
- i have multiple relationships that are also issues
i approach all of his concerns using three fundamental concepts:
AWARENESS, AGENCY, AND ALIGNED ACTION
i am defining awareness here as becoming more conscious than you previously have been.
we need a way to become continually more conscious of our experience because every moment represents a brand new situation, with brand new problems.
enter the wisdom of einstein:
“no problem can be solved by the same consciousness that created it”
your mind is designed to use historical problem solving strategies, which is excellent for external problems like tying your shoes, making a sandwich, and driving to work.
things get a little bit dicey when historical problem solving is applied to internal problems, like the one’s expressed by my client (see above).
according to your thinking mind, you have seen this situation before, so you apply those old problem solving strategies.
the issue is those old patterns are no longer current or relevant – you are no longer a teenager, or 20, or 30, or 40, or whatever age you once were.
you and your life are evolving everyday.
truth is, you are no longer who you were yesterday, or even an hour ago, so you need to “update the map” on a regular basis – you need to become more conscious.
if you are not actively becoming more conscious, you’ll do what you’ve always done.
and if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.
you can see it in habitual patterns of self-sabotage, anger issues, anxiety/depression, being stuck, and other forms of ineffectiveness…like the one’s expressed by my client.
my go-to recommendations for awareness raising are:
interactive dialogue (talking to another human with the intention of becoming more aware)
agency is your ability to choose.
it’s a choice that stems from your fundamental belief in your ability to take action.
this involves both internal (e.g. mindset, motivation) and external resources (e.g. supportive people, money)
your internal and external resources come together to create the “pathway” forward.
here too i recommend:
*interactive dialogue is especially important for becoming more aware of your internal resources (e.g. belief systems) because of unconscious processes like denial.
aligned action is intentional action in the service of your values.
this is how you “craft your narrative”.
it is only through action that you create the future you want to end up in – and i’m guessing that future includes you having more clarity and confidence.
here i recommend:
a values clarifying process or exercise to get clear on what is most important to you.
followed by on-going goal setting and attainment.
IT’S A PROCESS
there is an interrelated dynamic between these three fundamentals that is circular and nonlinear.
one creates the other and that creates the other and that creates the other and so on…..you create momentum.
the by-product of this momentum is clarity and confidence.
ALERT: the process will not sustain itself without accountability.
you are too close to yourself to hold yourself accountable.
this is especially relevant for men as we tend to lack sufficient relationships to hold us accountable.
(hint: your committed partner is not sufficient)
so you need to find some accountability, such as a friend, colleague, spiritual leader, men’s group, therapist, coach, whomever.
just make sure they are genuinely pulling for you and won’t let their shit get in the way.
now go get it.