Marilyn Atkinson is the Founder of Erickson Coaching International and originator of the Solution-Focused Coaching methodology. A former Registered Organizational Psychologist, Marilyn is an NLP Master Trainer and specialist in Ericksonian Communications. Since 1980s she has been helping leading global companies and leaders through Solution- Focused and Outcome-Oriented Coaching. Marilyn has authored eight books, including The Art & Science of Coaching trilogy (Inner Dynamics of Coaching, Step-by-Step Coaching & The Flow of Coaching).
Coach Yourself With A Spring Mind Stretch
You know those little fears that stop people from achieving their dreams and goals? At Erickson, we refer to them as gremlins. As we feel nature's renewal in spring, it is useful to do a "gremlin stretch" to shake off winter’s reflexive comfort zones and prepare your vision for the amazing possibilities that are right around the corner. What old habit systems do you want to stretch beyond to make this year a great one?
For example, what are the secret dreams that call you this spring? Do you need to move past fear of dreaming and habits of small-minded attention? Begin the stretch I will describe here: Literally move up as on a high kite into the overview zone where you can see your timeline past, present and future. Focus on the future and in a pleasant reverie float above your timeline perhaps even 10 years out. When you enlarge your mindscape in this way, you can enlarge your vision and sense your own deep purpose. What are the key visions you want to see yourself engaged in? What do you aspire to? See them on the timeline.
What are the capabilities that call you this spring? Do you need to move past fear of failure and build some new strategies? Do you need to need to move past old self-concepts and ideas like "I've always done it this way!" Do you need to move past self-justification or even some self-pity? Hear the old inner dialogue and turn it into a spring trumpet call for renewal. Get your inner 'symphony orchestra' playing the Vivaldi's Season of Spring or other music of your choice, and try hearing your complaint in tune with that. Enjoy the humor of hearing the new rhythms totally strip the old sad songs of all meaning. Then undertake some 'spring forward' challenges!
Are there any small-minded self-references or grudges you need to move past this spring? Do you need to move past fear of upsetting people? Often we, too easily take on identities given to us by others. The challenge is to move past our need for approval by them. This process requires attention and courage and often it is useful to discuss your perceptions with a coach to shift your perceptual position from their point of view to your own inner support. This is like taking a shower. What spring showers do you need this season to clean off any small identities of grudge and non-forgiveness? You can regain a sourceful, loving, inner reference position once again.
Any old conflicts to dig into the ground? Conflicts can provide fertile soil for new renewed relationships because if we find their positive edge we discover the deep desire for authentic listening. This produces strong roots of curiosity, desire to learn, and real love. We move beyond the fear of conflict into the willingness to engage where engagement is vital and important? Is there anyone you hesitate to communicate with? Ask: what does this person want that I can happily want for them? How can we build that shared interest into our communication moving forward?
Communication is our energy! Our coaching attitude in communication releases the dull shades of a winter scape, the gray tones of old mind, and allows us to color our life with renewal.
Spring forward everyone! Make this a season of deep renewal!