Whether You Think You Can or You think You Can’t…
You are right! – Henry Ford
This quote is a mantra my fitness coach uses with me a lot, but recently I began to intentionally apply it to all areas of my life. Whether I am running a mile or a marathon, changing my diet to more plant-based food (another change I’ve taken on this month that I thought I could never do), or responding differently during a conflict–it is all a matter of believing I CAN!
In our Core Values Seminars and in my practice, I am always challenging people to try a new method of responding. Rather than doing what comes naturally or instinctively, I encourage them to shift to a new perspective. It doesn’t feel as comfortable, but it also won’t feel as raw. Our negative response patterns come from a place of self-protection. When we slip into the way we have always engaged (usually a negative pattern of intimidation, manipulation, questioning without compassion or becoming an aloof judge) the outcome will usually produce the same response. It triggers a crazy cycle we can unknowingly trip into again and again.
I want to challenge you to switch to a different place of interaction. Instead of sitting in a place of victimization or control, let go of the reins and move into a place of love, compassion, knowledge or standing firm. Do that which you don’t normally do, but sense might be more effective. Ask yourself “Is this a time for Love? Wisdom? Knowledge or Power?” One of these will make you feel less like fighting and more like building a better relationship.
Recently, I had a choice to either be upset (which looks a lot like manipulation or control) or shift and change to be loving when I encountered a misunderstanding with my husband. I was angry about piles that had accumulated in our bedroom (my husband is notorious for organized chaos of multiple piles). My natural tendency is to try to make him feel guilty for his piles, but of course that just puts him on the defensive. I caught myself and changed to a compassionate tone of voice, asking more empathetic questions and wondering together what I could do to help. It shifted everything. Soon we were brainstorming ideas and coming up with a plan together to restore order and beauty to the chaos!
Whether you think you can shift or whether you think you can’t…you are right. It truly is up to you. Make a decision to do it differently this time. Give yourself a little break and come back to the conversation with a different way of approaching this conflict!
I think you CAN!
Sabrina J. Walters
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