We all of us have a mix of aspects to our personality. Strengths, blindspots, preferences, personas. Let's face it, your best impressions self is not the same as the slobbing on the sofa in your PJs self, we all differ according to the contexts we are in.
Sometimes, it's possible to get stuck, and for our strengths and talents to get distanced from the places in life we need them. For example, a formerly seasoned driver, rail and air passenger, not fazed in the least by travelling can easily become less confident and even anxious if life changes and travel becomes infrequent and hence unfamiliar.
So what can you do? One way of being at your best is to reconnect with the skills and talents of your past, bringing them to bear where you now need them. Here's an exercise to help you do just that:
1. Close your eyes and really notice the situation you are finding challenging. Be aware of what it is like for you, when you step into it as if it happening now what do you see, hear and feel? What thoughts come to mind?
2. Shake this off, moving to stand in a different place close by to get some perspective on it. Now notice what qualities would be useful to you in the situation that you are not currently accessing. From confidence to calm to exuberance, there are many things you may want to bring to it.
3. For each quality you identified:
A. Identify a time when you strongly had that quality. A specific memory.
B. Find a space that can represent that time for you, in stepping distance of where you brought to mind your challenging situation.
C. Stand in that space and bring the time you had the quality to mind and notice what you see, hear, feel and think. You may even notice smells and taste. Really notice the quality in your experience.
D. Taking that quality with you, step into the space holding your challenging situation.
4. Having added each of the qualities you felt would be helpful, notice how you now experience the situation you are working with. Imagine yourself moving through it with the qualities you identified in your experience, and be aware of the differences you now experience. All of your experiences are yours, they are there to access when you need them. What will you make use of them now you know you can?
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