How is your approach to self-improvement working?
Starting our self-improvement work by first looking at what’s wrong and trying to fix it is like beating on ourselves for the way we’ve learned to do life.
In this environment our sympathetic nervous system engages in a fight-or-flight reaction and emotionally we end up in survival mode.
From here we only know old ways of reacting based on what we've learned. Our self-defenses will win any battle over new ideas.
In a coaching study, college students were asked two different types of opening questions:
(1) How they were doing with their homework and if they were
getting the help they needed?
(2) How well their courses were supporting their career dreams
and if they were getting the learning they needed?
The sympathetic nervous system was activated by question (1).
The coaching session revealed little that was noteworthy.
The parasympathetic nervous system was activated by question (2).
This is where we find creative possibilities, and the coaching session was significant and effective.
When we inquire with genuine curiosity and a positive outlook, it’s easier to access the authenticity and vulnerability needed to look at what’s not working with fresh ideas and to find the motivation to create change.
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