Seems like there is a new trend I am experiencing. Being a guest on radio shows gives me a chance to talk about my latest personal lessons and the subsequent gifts I can share with others. Earlier this month I wrote about how recovering from burnout is an inside job after appearing on the On Purpose Radio Show. Last week I was a guest on Savvy You and had the opportunity to outline the warning signs I experience when things are not quite right in my life. During the show I clearly articulated the sequence I personally experience when something is not right. Once we are aware of the warning signs of being off our path, it is time to investigate what is truly wrong and how to make it right.
So often in life we look at the symptoms of our pain instead of the cause. It makes sense that we look at the symptoms because that is where we feel our pain. However the symptoms are just there to grab out attention. Once we are aware from our symptoms, aware that something is not right, it is then time to uncover the true cause of the pain. I was talking to a client the other day who had an issue with a co-worker. The discussion started in the world of emotions, what he felt and what he was experiencing. This client expected the co-worker to remove the emotion he was feeling; he thought it was her responsibility. Yet as we talked, we found the true source of the pain. The client truly liked his co-worker and was concerned that the co-worker was not aware of how her actions were being received by others. When we removed the emotions, we were able to uncover the actionable steps to help the co-worker improve her communication skills.
Here are a few steps I take to find the cause of pain so actionable steps can be taken to bring us back to our right space.
Stop: As in much of my advice, the first step is to stop in order to gain distance and objectivity. When we are in the midst of the pain, confusion, and emotions, we can not act clearly. Step aside. Walk away. Turn off. Tune in. Give yourself some physical, emotional, and psychological distance from the perceived source of your pain. This does not need to be a lot of time, but one does need to be completely removed from the situation. It is necessary to step far enough away that you no longer are exposed to or responsive to that source of pain.
Take the Emotion Out: To help you have clear objectivity on the issue, it is necessary to first clear out all the emotion. Emotion can be a symptom that alerts us to unrest, but it is not the cause and it tends to cloud up our thinking. Emotion needs to be removed in order to see the truth of the situation. Journal, punch a pillow, cry, go for a run, or whatever you need to release your emotions.
Remove the Us-Versus-Them Mentality: When we are in our pain, we tend to make it us-versus-them. We make the other the source of our pain when in fact they may actually be an innocent bystander. Remove any blame toward the other. They are not causing your pain. Our pain is caused by our beliefs, actions, or reactions. When we release any blame toward the other, we are empowered.
What Can You Affect: Focus only on what you can truly affect. We can not change things in the past, others beliefs, or some circumstances. Look within your own realm regarding what you can affect. Dig down to the actionable issues. Don’t focus on fixing emotions or other symptoms of your being off-track. Focus on changing your actions, reactions, and beliefs. What are the true facts of the situation that you can affect?
What Can the Other Affect: Also look clearly at what the other person can do. They can not and are not responsible for taking away your emotional pain. Like you, they can only affect their beliefs, actions, and reactions. Be aware of making the other responsible for other things outside of their reach.
Take Action: Look at your needs, the needs of others, the requirements of a circumstance, and the truth of situation. What are the tangible actionable steps you can take?
Have you recently become aware of being off-course? What clarity did you gain by stepping away? What tangible steps did you take to get back on track?
Savvy You radio interview