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).
Overcoming Mental Blocks to Achieve Sustainable Change
We all want to be great in our own way, yet things seem to get in the way. You get excited about a business idea yet have difficulties implementing it. You start an inspiring project only to lose focus halfway through and give up. Suppose you are putting in consistent effort every day but don’t prioritize your own health, well-being, family time, and other pleasurable activities. In scenarios like these, greatness eludes us. Consider that your personal greatness slips away when you fail to see how you trap yourself in the matrix of your own mind.
Many people develop strategies based on negative conclusions of their past and are easily sent into a tailspin. When people enter an incompletion spin they often feel confused, frustrated, unfulfilled, and unable to get what they want. The cycle repeats, and the negative conclusions become reinforced. The conscious mind is dealing with an overload of unchallenged former assumptions while it is trying to deal with current internal dialogue about what to do next.
Interested in becoming a coach? Discover how Solution-Focused coaching skills enable you to create transformational change in yourself and others.
Your inner awareness and curiosity about what you are doing are the first steps of the change process. Without awareness and curiosity about how your current thinking is producing your results, change will be temporary, not sustainable long-term. Once you have awareness and true curiosity about how to develop useful processing habits, you are on the road to change.
What Gets in the Way of Change?
There are three main ways you might currently be trapping yourself:
Lack of prioritization skills.
If prioritization is a challenge, you may recognize areas where you are less effective than you want to be. You want to develop your ability to creatively explore, make relevant choices, and then powerfully focus so you achieve what you truly want. You might need practice in organizing your priorities by building your capacity for systemic thinking, creative visualization, exploring potential futures, and knowing what you value.
Old habits. If this is a challenge, your life may be out of balance.
You may find that you are attending to only one or two key areas of your life. You tend to limit your range of experience, and this impairs your ability to reach your goals. Limited attention may have created unconscious and automatic habits that have sent you into a narrow daze. What if you redesigned a more useful internal map of your life’s key elements? This allows you to intend and attend in a way that works to create a rich, fulfilling life.
Your negative conclusions from the past may be blinding you to opportunities.
If this is your challenge, the significant emotional events unique to your history may have created negative beliefs that you currently hold onto on a conscious or beyond-conscious level. As you face your future, these conclusions may be spinning you into confusion. Be clear that your past does not equal your future! You may benefit from coaching assistance to open your mind to the opportunities that stand before you.
One of the best ways to support change is finding a strong Solution-Focused coach to help you move past your resistance to change by working directly with these variables. A good coach understands and uses a solid framework for the journey that first supports exploring the macro-vision (the purpose and outcome that the person has in mind) and then focuses on the micro-vision that includes the first steps to move into action. The art of transformational conversations starts with asking powerful open-ended questions so a person becomes curious enough to swing their attention to a compelling purpose and visioner.
When people find themselves living in a fog of incompletion, it can often be attributed to one or more of these three key areas. If you remain unaware of what you are doing inwardly as you move from thought to thought, you might find yourself doing a spin under a gray haze. If any one (or all three) of the typical traps have been the cause of your challenges, it is important to realize that they were laid, tripped, and sprung by you, and only you can get rid of them!
The good news is that transformational conversations and effective Solution-Focused coaching techniques can support you to move beyond the traps of the mind. Making the internal shift to get what you want requires that you begin to observe and take responsibility for your patterns, especially those habitual structures of the mind that have been getting in your way.
Although change challenges us, it only takes twenty-one to thirty days of concentrated and consistent daily focus to shift a habit. The support of an effective coach can assist this process enormously.
Believe that you can directly change your habits! Observe your thinking habits and your behaviours, own your old habits, and implement strong Solution-Focused techniques in your life. You will master useful ways to move beyond old emotional brain traps.