In last month’s newsletter, I shared a cool little exploration that I love to use in my work. (If you’re not on the newsletter list, you can fix that right here, and get a free planning playbook to boot.)
When my clients are timid and squeamish or afraid to experiment, I find the sneaky culprit can often be a quest for perfection.
But sometimes, a little bit of perfect is exactly what is called for.
I learned a version of this valuable exploratory tool from Carol Kauffman, PhD, founder of Harvard’s Institute of Coaching. My own version is slightly different because I have tweaked it to work with the typical challenges and scenarios – and personalities – that make up my own coaching practice.
This is a great way to dive deep into what’s got you stuck. I also find that it works well for a variety of situations, from supercharging your momentum to work-life explorations to personal strategic planning.
Let’s take a look, shall we? Before we begin, hold in your mind something that’s been feeling stuck for you. Now, let’s PERFECT it.
Since we’ve all got one, the physical body is a natural place to start. Sometimes, when we can’t move forward, there may be a physical concern or imbalance that needs addressing. Our bodies are also excellent emotional indicators. From your energy and vitality to your physical self care to potential health indicators, what is your body telling you? Are you listening?
It is said, and I believe it to be true, that the environment often wins. The environments you are operating within, at home and at work, can support and sustain you, nudge your forward or deplete you. Is it possible that solutions lie in making adjustments to your environment? How might your environment set you up for success?
Nothing happens in a vacuum. Where do relationships come into play for this situation? Are your personal relationships supporting or conflicting? Might your network be tapped for new solutions? Don’t forget to consider your most important relationship—the one you have with yourself– as well as how you are relating to the problem at hand.
Feeling what you feel
How you are feeling is a great source of information, but only when you’re present enough to name and feel it. What feelings are coming up around this situation or topic? How do you want to feel? Might it be possible to leverage your emotions to move forward or draw on emotional strengths that come naturally to you?
Empowering your mind
How we think — and how we relate to what we think –plays a huge role in how we experience our daily reality, and what we create as a result. (I’m a longtime fan of mindfulness practices with good reason.) Some may even say that our thoughts can create that reality. When you check in with your mind, what’s going on in there? Might there be another perspective? What’s the more empowering thought?
Connecting the dots
What about this situation feels familiar? Where might you find connections with your past or with what you have been envisioning (or avoiding)? You might already hold solutions that have worked for you in similar situations, or have an opportunity to develop or call on a key strength. What have you drawn on in the past that might serve you well now?
There are times when we encounter obstacles and difficulties. Some of them are large, some small, some self-created or even imagined. Remembering to tap your go-to resources for such times—prayer, meditation, supportive people, nature— can help you establish resilience, nourish yourself and have the emotional and mental space to choose how you will respond.
I’d love to hear how you “perfect” your next challenge. Come share over on Facebook, or comment here.
Photo credit: Red Flower via photopin (license)