Let’s say you’ve got an issue. You’re stuck. Lost your mojo. Have an issue at work you don’t know how to deal with. Want some great executive coaching? How about we give it to you for free? Let’s throw in some additional perks: clarity, self-confidence, balance, purposeful action. How about we give it to you 24/7? Meet your new executive coach: your inner Wise Self. In my executive coaching work, my goal is to help clients really connect with their inner executive coach. It doesn’t sound like a great business model to work myself out of a job, but it’s one of the most important ways for my clients to achieve the results they want in a sustained way. Connecting us to our inner wisdom helps me live into my purpose. So I decided to share this process with our blog community. Read on to try the five steps to access your Wise Self.
The Wise Self vs. The Saboteur
When coaching clients are stuck, there is usually an inner fear or “saboteur” at play. There is a great saboteur assessment from the book “Positive Intelligence” that helps us understand our own particular cocktail of saboteur. Taking the test will help you identify the saboteurs that prevent you from reaching your goals.
We also each have a Wise Self inside of us. There is an old Native American parable where a grandfather is telling his grandson about two wolves inside each of us. One is anger, envy, fear, hate, self-pity, greed and ego. The other is peace, love, hope, kindness, empathy, wisdom, faith. The grandson asks which wolf wins. “The one you feed” replies the grandfather.
In my executive coaching work, I want to help clients identify and feed their inner Wise Self. Here are five steps to do that.
Five Steps to Access Your Wise Self
1) Feel the impact of a great decision. Take a few deep breaths. Think about a situation where you made a really good decision. This is a decision you’re proud of. Bring that memory to mind. Savor and sense the feelings and positive outcomes from that decision. As my clients return to this memory there is a feeling of strength, peace, confidence, and relaxation they connect to.
2) Find your Wise Self in the body. Our Wise Self resides in our bodies. For some they call it their intuition. Others make up a fun name for it. For some it is in their guts, for others it is in their hearts, and others just find it in a certain relaxed posture. It doesn’t matter where it is. The idea is to have a touchstone that is always accessible 24/7. Touch that place. Feel the experience of being in that space. What does this feel like? We are accessing our intuition here, so just trust it.
3) Bring a challenging situation to mind. What is a current challenge you’re faced with? What has you stuck? Get clear about the questions you have in this situation. One of my favorite Einstein quotes is “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”. If your problem comes from the saboteur perspective you’re in, you’ll need to step out of that perspective to solve the problem.
4) Access your Wise Self. Close your eyes and connect with the place in your body or posture where you found your Wise Self. Return to the feeling of confidence and peaceful knowing. Ask your Wise Self the questions you have and note the answers. When we access our Wise Self, the answers sometimes come in words, sometimes in pictures, and sometimes a feeling or sense of knowing. Doubting that your Wise Self actually exists? Einstein, notably one of the greatest scientists in history, also said “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” The answers from our Wise Self are simple, supportive, sometimes just common sense. Take some time to journal what you’ve learned and make a commitment to yourself to take the first step in that direction.
5) Practice, Practice, Practice – Access to our wiser self is like a muscle. The more we use the muscle the stronger it becomes. Think about it as a limitless, free, 24/7 all-you-can eat buffet (except it’s calorie free and gives you no indigestion).
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More on this topic: Career Coaching for Your Inner Critic