I’ve got an important question for you:
“Right now, are you really where you want to be in your life?”
If you answered “no,” how does your heart feel?
It probably hurts, right?
(I’m sorry…and I have some helpful guidance for you…)
Your heart is telling you something important. If your life doesn’t look the way you’d like, it’s time to make a shift.
It’s time to shift your sense of what’s happening.
Recently, I coached Barbara (not her real name, for privacy), a marketing manager at a Bay Area technology company who was very, very disappointed. After working long hours and sacrificing her social life, she was passed over for the prestigious promotion she’d been coveting.
Let’s look at how she made herself feel better, won the praise of her manager, and even created a new job for herself.
Phase 1: Neutralize the Negativity: Make a Sensational Shift
Barbara complained, “No one sees me at work. I work so hard, and I’m unappreciated. And it always seems to be like this in the jobs I take.
I asked Barbara if she really wanted to be feeling that way. She wailed back a big fat “NO.”
So this is what I asked Barbara to do…you can do it too, when you’re being hard on yourself, or feeling down or depressed:
(1) Feel the negativity. Notice how it feels in your body. Get in touch with the sensations that tell you that you feel negative, down, depressed, anxious, or anything that’s turning you away from good feelings. Simply and objectively notice you’re experiencing, moment to moment. Describe what you’re sensing in your body. You can do this aloud, or in your head.
You might say things like: ”I feel a tightness in my chest. It’s about the size of an apple. It feels heavy. My breathing feels constricted.”
(2) Continue describing your sensations, nonjudgmentally, objectively, without a story or explanation. Do this until you feel a shift — relief, relaxation, a breakthrough or some insight.
At first, this may take 10 minutes or more. As you practice, you can experience a shift in a minute or less.
When Barbara did this, she calmed down, and felt more at ease about being passed over for promotion. She even said, “I don’t really love my job. And taking the job the next level up doesn’t feel good. I wish I was doing something else.” That was the big “aha” that helped us to craft something new in Phase 2.
Transforming your negativity allows you to respond to life with flexibility.
When you focus your attention on your sensations, you get present. That’s where your power is – in this “now” moment. You move out of the alluring — but disempowering — practices of reminiscing about the past or becoming anxious about the future. You sensationally shift your inner state, so you can create something new in your outer state.
You open up powerful, positive new possibilities when you create your life from the sensationally aware state. When you access the sense of what your choices feel like in your body, you embody them. Those possibilities — like what job to take, where to live, who to love — become more than mental ideas. When you embody an idea, and really sense it in your body, its energy moves you.
Phase 2: Energize a Positive Vision: Become More Sensational
Now that Barbara was less stressed about the missing out on the promotion, she wanted do get clear about her next steps.
At first, she shouted to me: “My management should give me a better job!”
Do you feel any excitement about what Barbara was demanding? Doubtful. That “should” energy is heavy, oppressive.
Here’s the thing: If an idea doesn’t feel good in your body, you’ll naturally resist it.
For Barbara, that meant resisting pursuing a better job.
Barbara and I played around with saying something more uplifting: “It will be so wonderful to do work that I can do with ease, and that wins me lots of praise.”
How does that phrase feel in your body?
Probably, you’ll feel an inner “heck yes!” So did Barbara.
Why? Because she was now embodying the intention to do work in a way that worked for her and her management.
When your body and mind are aligned in their purpose, you pump up your probability of success.
From that intention, Barbara and I talked about the kinds of skills, talents, and abilities that came to her with ease. One of the most energizing skills for her was unraveling customer problems and working with internal teams to create solutions. Her company had grown fast, and they lacked a strong process for resolving customer dissatisfaction. We developed a business case for a new process, one that she was clearly the best person to manage. And now, by focusing on an intention that energized and uplifted her, Barbara is now happily heading up a great new project, in a whole new custom-crafted role.
Want to increase the likelihood that something positive will unfold for you? Here’s how to energize your vision.
(1) Make sure that when you imagine fulfilling each step, you get a positive feeling in your body, like a tingle or a warmth around your heart, before you take steps in the direction of your desires. Otherwise, reframe that step, so it does feel good to you.
You exponentially magnify your wisdom about your next steps when you focus inside yourself and listen to your body’s sensations — including breath, posture, gesture, movement, and notice how you’re feeling in any part of your body.
(2) If you some steps to your vision take real effort, the kind of task that might feel tough or overwhelming, do this: Instead of envisioning all the effort, imagine how you’ll feel you’ve completed the task. What feeling do you get in your body when you envision checking that step off your to-do list? Use that feeling as fuel.
(3) Do you get a happy, celebratory feeling? That’s usually it’s a good signal to move forward with the work. Otherwise, pause and listen inside for other guidance. Maybe you’ll tweak or totally transform the step you were planning.
I encourage you to make the sensational shift! Consciously pay attention to your sensations, both to neutralize strong feelings, and to energize your vision.
I’d love to hear how you use these two phases to become your bold, brilliant, and resilient self. And of course, I’m happy to talk with you about coaching you to be more sensational.