Living authentically is not the easiest thing to do. It took time for me to have the courage to be me! On the positive, I can be creative, easy-going, compassionate, and supportive. On the negative I can be bossy, cranky, brutally honest, and impatient. Yes we all have positive and negative traits. But, to protect myself and others from my darker side, I have learned the art of self awareness; identifying the behaviors and triggers that push me over the edge.
When I find myself swimming in negativity, I literally have a conversation with myself. It usually takes form in a series of questions and answers that I write in a journal. The goal is to quickly find a solution for eliminating the behavior that is causing the negativity. However instead of focusing on eliminating a problem, I focus on a new behavior that will give me the results I want. For example, when I am feeling irritable I work on bringing more ease. I start by writing freely about the negative behavior and how it makes me feel, then I determine the feeling and the behavior that I want instead. My questions and answers are about how I can achieve my new goal. This journaling practice perfectly mirrors a technique I learned during my life coach training at the Burris Institute. To solve a problem you ask yourself what are called Empowering Questions. The purpose of the questions is NOT to ask yourself why you have a problem, but how you can fix it.
The process goes something like this:
- I acknowledge the behavior and all feelings attached. I write in my journal, “I’m having a difficult week; feeling cranky and irritated by the slightest thing.”
- I might ask myself “what do I need to do to transform this into feeling more at ease?”
- The answer might be “I need to release more tension and stress”
- The next question might be “how can I release more tension and stress?”
- The answer might be “do a minimum of 20 minutes of yoga in the morning every day”
- You keep questioning and answering until you get to what feels like the final answer.
- Then act on it!
If you have any questions or comments about how this works, join me for MISSION CENTRAL every Monday night from 8:00 – 8:30pm.