How are you stopping yourself?

The other day, I was talking to my life coach (most life coaches have their own coach, because they know the value of coaching) and she mentioned something she’d been learning about, Positive Intelligence. This is a little different from plain old intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) because it’s main focus is resiliency. The idea was formulated by Shirzad Charmine. Like many such ideas, there’s an element of marketing and an element of truth here. Good PQ will not necessarily make you rich, powerful, healthy or good looking. What it will do is give you an element of balance or equanimity so you can take life’s challenges as they come.

The evangelist, D L Moody, once noted:

I have never met a man who has given me as much trouble as myself.

D L Moody

As it turns out, one of the keys to dealing with life is getting out of your own way. And that means letting go of thought patterns (and their attendant actions) that developed as coping mechanisms that no longer serve us. Charmine refers to these patterns as Saboteurs, and knowing your Saboteurs can help you keep an eye on when you’re on emotional autopilot instead of thinking things through.

My two favorite Saboteurs are the Pleaser, and the Avoider. I like giving good news and I don’t like giving bad news. Sometimes this focuses the mind on ways to creatively serve in tricky situations. But it can also lead to the sales phenomenon known as over-promising and under-delivering. Good intentions can’t change reality, and words and deeds intended to protect our inner child can make things worse.

One of the reasons I focus so much on empathy in my communication and coaching is that when we see things only from our own perspective, we don’t just miss the opportunity to communicate and work with people more effectively; we also discount the possibility that our own perspective may be off. Knowing what really serves you, and thinking through what will serve the other person, can help you find win-win situations that lead to mutual benefit and growth.

You can learn more about your Saboteurs by taking the free quiz at Charmine’s site. The quiz is here. (There are, obviously, follow up e-mails that will try to sell you things.) Even if you don’t take the quiz, though, when you find yourself upset or frustrated, you should take a deep breath, pause for a few minutes, and then ask yourself if any elements of your emotion are coming from a desire to shield yourself from your fears or weaknesses, rather than from logical analysis. This is almost always the case.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I am a life coach, and I’m glad to help you work through communication issues, including the non-verbal elements, that may be holding you back. My fees are pretty reasonable, but if you’ve been knocked on your bottom by COVID and the economic ripples it has created, let me know and we’ll see if we can arrange something. Go to my main page to book a free first consultation.

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