Taking the temperature of the roomJun 10, 2022
Last week I was on vacation and I did a podcast about that and how great I did and how I showed up differently in vacation this time. It's the first time I've traveled in a couple of years. And in that couple of years, I did a lot of mindset work. So I decided, let's try approaching vacations from a new mindset instead of going back to my habit brain and how that knows how to vacation. And so I did that and I had great success both in my mindset and in how present I was able to be on my trip. And then when I got home, I also checked the scale data and I had lost weight. So it was a win across the board.
And then what happened was, I will tell you all of a sudden, but if you're in the coaching world, or if you're in my membership, then you know all of a sudden is a big old lie. We tell ourselves nothing happens all of a sudden, we do have that ownership over what is happening if we slow down enough to actually hear the thoughts. So for the sake of the podcast, and just getting the message out, I'm going to say all of a sudden.
It's Saturday night, and I'm sitting there in my kitchen eating Doritos and I actually said out loud to my husband. I am so full. I'm so full, yet I continue to eat. In my mind, I had made up the story about how now I think vacation was hard.
That was a lot of work to keep it together for a whole week.
That was a lot of work to say no to some foods.
It really wasn't.
My story changed. My story changed to suit my desire for Doritos. Because the day before my story was a great vacation. There was nothing hard about it. I really enjoyed it. And that's the truth. That is the truth. But when your habit self wants something in its habit environment it is just smart enough to shift your story so that you believe it and that you follow suit with the actions that your habit brain wants to be taking. So I'm eating Doritos and I'm noticing I'm full, I'm still eating Doritos and I just decide, okay, stop, stop.
Then fast forward to Sunday. Was group membership. Almost every member in the membership was on some sort of vacation last week, whether it was traveling for work so you were just out of your normal environment, or you were visiting parents, or you were off from your normal routine because you had kids off from school on break... And what was interesting was a moment where several members really needed to plug in and re-engage with the coaching and the program and refocus group coaching took a little bit to get going.
It was six o'clock when the group starts. There was nobody in the Zoom Room. And I waited and now let me tell you, I'm not sitting there like what the hell, where are they? I'm here for them. I really stood there thinking, what's going on?
What are we feeling when we don't show up for ourselves?
Usually, it's some sort of shame or embarrassment, doubt or fear. So when I open group coaching, shared about my experience of coming home from vacation, temporary dysfunction in my mind in my behavior, and then waking up Sunday morning deciding, okay, that happened. I need a plan for my day because I want to get back on track to a way of operating that feels good to me. And that's not eating Doritos when I'm full, actually the only time I enjoy Doritos is if I'm actually physically hungry, then I don't have the shame tied with the fact that I ate Doritos.
So members started to trickle into the coaching call. I’m so glad that they did. Making that decision to show up for themselves in whatever capacity they can, they were able to find some traction again, they were able to ground themselves in the idea that hey, you're not alone in you're struggling, you're not.
This isn't like math. This isn't like you learn two plus two is four now for the rest of your life you know, two plus two is always four. It’s very different with emotional learning. Very different because you're going to feel different on different days. And when you feel different, you have different thinking that you need to assess. While my members and myself have all learned the tools to access those emotions, manage those emotions, to show up for ourselves, and to not eat when we're not physically hungry. It doesn't mean it doesn't feel hard, that's part of the learning process.
It doesn't mean you don't know how to do this or you’re not doing it right and you don't show up and show your face because you can’t admit that you're not doing it right. I had full awareness of what was going into my mouth. I had full awareness that I was not hungry. And I also stayed present in that emotion long enough to make a conscious decision to stop what I was doing and start writing my plan. What is my next best decision?
When I go to group I want to share that those things happen to me too, shame can't live in the dark. We keep these things secret and hidden. Going to feel shame around it because we think we should be doing something different. I’m so proud of us for showing up! You show up how you want, you either show up knowing I want to be coached or you show up thinking I just want to listen, take what you need from it and you don't make it mean you're not doing it right or you're not good enough to show up.
I just wanted to share that with you because I think that's one of the big benefits of having a community like this. It gives you a place to go to see normal people living their normal life with normal obstacles, and then figuring out the next best thing. You have a tribe of people behind you that are rooting for you and they're also out doing the same work as you!
This leads me to the main point of this article and that is about emotional intelligence.
I had the honor this week of going to another luncheon and the wonderful Lisa reef presented about emotional intelligence. She actually was so kind as to give us each a copy of her book she wrote, “A Leaders Guide to solving challenges with emotional intelligence.”. And I will link that book in the show notes for you because I think it's incredible. They also have a version for educators and they have a workbook that goes with it if you're one who likes to write everything out and have a nice organized space to do that. She provides that for you.
She was talking about intelligence and a little bit about her background. She spent years working for the government as an accountant. And in business meetings, she was noticing how the boss sees who connects with this. The boss would come into a meeting and often not make eye contact with who was at the meeting. Eyes down to the paper he goes into the meeting putting out a fire, directing employees to the solution.
The boss comes in and isn't taking the temperature of the room at all. We're not looking to even see who's here. How does everybody feel? Because if there's tension or somebody is not feeling the way you as a supervisor or the boss need them to feel, there's an urge to avoid addressing that because if you address it and you open up that gate then they have to manage that, they have to deal with that.
They have to know what to do with this emotional report they get from the room. And many don't want to do that, they want to get right to the base of this problem in the business. This is the fire we need to put out and let's do it. The problem with that is then you have employees, (Lisa explained) that will walk out of the meeting and say Yep, got it. No big deal. They're not fully invested in what they're doing. They're feeling walked on, unrecognized, and unappreciated because they're just being told directive. Without any indication of does the energy that they have match the effort that's being required? What shifts need to happen?
All I could think of as she was explaining this is, that this is exactly what many of us do when we go to start a new diet. We get so fed up with ourselves. We have this big fire in our minds about this fix. And we bust through the door and we say, all right, carbs, you're going to bed at eight, drink all the water, we're doing two workouts a day and give you 14 days you got to start dropping some weight enough is enough. And then the other side of us is just kind of shocked like wait a minute, what happened here? Do you remember I was just eating Doritos the other day? Sounds like it's going to be really restrictive.
I don't know if I can do it.
I'm not feeling very confident.
But I also don't feel like I have a choice because I didn't check in with myself and ask Hey, are you on board?
How are you feeling about this?
What do we need to do to get your energy to a level where you're feeling like yes, I'm enthusiastic, confident I can do this.?
And so then what happens is we go about this diet feeling forced into it, feeling like we have to do it. We don't have a choice. We're not excited about it. Dieting is not fun. Losing weight is hard. We create this whole story. And we often fail. And we end right back at the emergent meeting by saying, oh my gosh, we have a big problem. Here's what we're going to do. We need a new plan with new rigid guidelines now get to work.
We will stay in that same action loop unless we are going to change our thinking. And that same thing I would bet happens in the business office. You send your employees out, they start doing the tasks that you don’t really care about. They just want to get you off their back, or vice versa. You just want to get your boss off your back. So you're just gonna do it. Keep the peace. You have inner turmoil. And what happens? You end right back to another meeting because now maybe you've got disgruntled employees on top of the fire in the business that you need to put out. And as long as you keep bypassing that and you don't address the emotional comfort of the employees or a personal level the emotional comfort you have with this new goal you're going to start then it's destined to fail from the start, or it's at least destined to stay stuck. To stay in the sameness that it's in.
This is actually what we do. We just storm out on ourselves and here is what you need to do to be an acceptable human being. Go do that and then let’s check back in and that never works long-term. It will only get you short-term results. Then you need to decide once I get to that short-term result can I keep living in this way to maintain it?
You have to get real with yourself. So when you go to set a goal for yourself, even if you start small, if you set a goal for yourself to drink 64 ounces of water today, to walk, try leaving two bites behind every meal today, and get seven hours of sleep tonight. Your brain might pass up red flags and say Whoa, that's a lot. I can't do all that. And instead of hearing that message from yourself and thinking, no you have to! You never want to do anything! We're never going to change if we don't just do it. We got to do it all or none of it will work.
You meet your thinking with negativity like that and with a pessimistic attitude. You don't give yourself the chance to see what are you actually capable of. So if you give yourself a list of things to do during the day, and you hear that thinking come up, ooh, I don't know. That might be a lot. Try listening to those that come from a place of love and understanding. And I know that sounds like woo-woo like give me something really concrete. I'm telling you, if you can hear your own thinking, and try to understand where it's coming from. Why might I be feeling like this is a lot to do in one day. What have I been doing? What am I asking of myself now? Is that just one rung on the ladder or am I trying to skip seven rungs right now? And I'm really unsure.
Would it be okay if I decided you know what today? I'm going to shoot for water and 8000 steps. I'm pretty confident I can do that.
And then you get to work on figuring out and how will I do that?
How can I get up from my desk and take some steps?
Should I go check the mail?
What can I do to get some more water in?
How can I build it in a bathroom break and how am I gonna fit that in with my schedule?
All of these little things to consider that we don't think about, we just think of it as water and steps, like I should be able to do more than just water and steps. But it also takes a lot of planning to figure out. How do I fit steps into my day without overwhelming myself or feeling like this is too much? I don't know how long I can maintain this. Then you work on adding your water, adding your steps, get comfortable with that, and then maybe get curious about I wonder if I could start leaving food behind and decide am I committed to doing this? Or am I just interested in it right now? There's no right answer. If you're going into it just interested in it you're gonna want to take smaller steps to see if you can spark the interest and get a little flame going. Whereas if you commit and you're committed and you're ready and know I just want to get moving in the right direction. Run with that. And don't do it in a way of I'll never be able to keep this up. First of all, you don't know that yet. And second of all, who says you have to.
It's okay with me if I have days where I get my steps, I get my water, I get my sleep, my food is on point and I'm really in tune with my hunger. I have other days where it's like, if I get my water in today, good for me. That's about all I can handle. And that's okay because I know there's going to be different days where my energy is different, where my commitment is different where my interest is different. That's part of my human experience. I'm not supposed to feel 100% gung-ho every day. What I need to do is the days where I'm not gung-ho, I need to decide that that’s okay, I need to decide that it’s okay for me to show up and have days where I just have less to give. That doesn't mean I'm not doing it right. It just means I need to also expect less of myself on those days so on the other days I can show up and give more. Why because I allowed for rest on the days that I needed it.
The bottom line is when you go to set a goal, please make sure you take the time to check in with yourself and see, is this goal is aligned with me and what I think I can do, and what I think I'm capable of doing or am I trying to force myself into this is? You're not going to achieve the feeling you want getting to the result you want, it's not the result that gives you the feeling you're looking for it is the journey you create along the way. What small steps could you put in place for yourself so that you're only climbing one ladder rung at a time versus trying to skip all the ones in the middle that are all valuable lessons we need to learn on our climb to the top.