Living on Purpose: What beliefs are making you miserable?
Eagle County CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” When Randy left our last coaching session, he agreed to shift time between areas of his life to better reflect his priorities. He planned to spend less time at work and more time with family and friends. In addition, he was to note the beliefs he has that drive him to work excessively.
“Tell me about striking a balance between the pressures at work and spending more time with your friends,” I said.
“Steve and I played pool on Thursday after work. It was hard for me to leave the office, but we had a great time and agreed that we should get together more often,” Randy said. “The problem is, we’ve said that before and it doesn’t always happen.”
“What will you do to ensure that it does?” I asked.
“If I get things on my calendar,” he said, “there’s a high probability that they happen. I’ll e-mail him today to schedule our next get together.”
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“That’s a great way to make sure you dedicate time to your priorities,” I said. “I’m curious. Did you feel more pressure the next day at work, since you left earlier than usual?”
“I felt pressure before leaving the office, but it didn’t feel any different the next day. I wasn’t any further ahead or behind.”
“What beliefs did you notice around working so many hours?” I asked.
Randy said, “I oversee six departments and am pretty involved on a weekly basis. I attend staff meetings and meet with each department manager once a week. My belief is that if I don’t dedicate this time, I will lose touch with each department.”
“Let’s play with that belief,” I suggested. “If your involvement right now is a 10 on a scale of one to 10, what would a five look like and how effective would you be?”
“A five would feel out of control. I wouldn’t be attending the staff meetings and wouldn’t know what was happening. I’d probably lose respect from my subordinates and possibly lose my job.”
“How effective would you be at an eight and what would that look like?” I asked.
“I’d be effective at an eight, but not as much as I’d like,” he said. “At a nine, I could back off by not attending every meeting, but keep up by reviewing the minutes.”
“How much time would you save during the week?” I asked. “Are there any other side effects ” good or bad ” that may come out of this solution?”
“If I review the minutes of the meetings and only attend one meeting a month per department, I could save 5 to 6 hours each week, and still stay updated on what’s happening. The department managers would run their own meetings and give me summaries and important details.”
Randy sounded excited by the possibilities.
“What other benefits might come from this solution?” I asked.
“I’d have more time to do my own work and it would keep me from micro-managing my people. I’m a control freak and feel like I need to have my hand in everything,” he confided.
“What if this week you took the belief of being a control freak — and having to have your hand in everything ” and broke it down like we just did to see how viable the belief is and possibly brainstorm solutions,” I suggested. “In fact, why don’t you select three other beliefs from your list and go through the same process that we did here? Will you do that this week?” I pressed.
“Yes. I’ll go through my list and see what I come up with,” Randy said. “I think I’ll be surprised with how many of these beliefs are running my life, but are no longer valid.”
Coaching Challenge: Over the next week, write down any limiting beliefs you have that may keep you stuck. For each one, ask: “Is this true for me right now?” and/or “If that happened, what would be the result?” and/or “If my level of involvement is a 10, what would less than 10 look like?” You may find that the belief is still valid for you or you may find that you can change your belief and your behavior based on what you learn. Play with it and note what changes in your life as a result.
Sheri Fisher is a Life Coach who lives in Grand Junction. Her practice, Living On Purpose, focuses on personal and professional coaching. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. Sheri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information, visit http://www.coachwithsheri.com.