Nobody knows us as well as we know ourselves. No person on the planet is as cognizant of everything we’re juggling — which, for DaVincis can be a heckuva lot. No-one else is as invested in our own success or well-being. Accordingly, there’s a lot to be gained from talking –and listening — to yourself. It’s part of being your own best friend.
The challenge for most of us is that life intervenes. We tend to get waylaid by our many projects, ideas, talents and responsibilities. We tend to put everyone else before ourselves.
It’s important, then, to clear some uninterrupted time, every so often, to check in with yourself. To listen to what’s going on…and to remind yourself of what’s important.
This is not rocket science. It’s not complicated. In fact it’s so simple and so easy, few of us do it. We let random excuses intervene. (“I can’t possibly sit down for five minutes to think — I’ve got to make this phone call/drive my kid/pay this bill”) Perhaps it feels selfish or silly to give ourselves a few moments of quiet contemplation.
Just do it. Give yourself a few uninterrupted minutes to check in with yourself. And experience the rewards.
Activity: Remove yourself from distractions or potential interruptions. Close the door. Turn off your phone and all electronic devices. The time frame is up to you — five, ten or fifteen minutes works well for most people. Set a timer if you wish. Now, take out a pen and paper and put it beside you. Close your eyes and just breathe for a minute or two. Relax and settle yourself. Now: ask yourself “What’s going on?” Wait until a thought burbles up. If it seems valid, write it down. If it doesn’t, gently push it aside and keep listening. If no thoughts are forthcoming, you can try prompting yourself further with questions like ‘What’s working well?” and “What’s not?” . Or phrases like “I’m concerned that…” or “I’m happy that…”. Write down whatever messages seem meaningful.
When you’re done listening, read what you’ve written. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do with this information?” Take action, accordingly.
Maybe you need to dispute unhelpful thoughts or beliefs. Perhaps you need to remind yourself of what’s important. Possibly there are some actions to take.
The point is that until you stop and listen to yourself, it’s difficult to address whatever’s going on.
Try this activity a few times and see what happens. My coaching clients have found it so helpful, they’ve made this activity a daily, weekly or monthly practice.
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Are you struggling with too many talents, skills, ideas? You may have The DaVinci Dilemma™! Find tools, fun quizzes, coaching, inspiration and solutions for multi-talented people at http://www.davincidilemma.com/ .