• The Gift of Fear and Other Jedi Mind Tricks

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    December 02, 2022
    Inflation. Lay offs. Viruses. This is all “bad,” right?

    Well…that depends on which part of your brain is running the show. Humans are wired for a negativity bias as a matter of survival. That voice is loud and fearful. We also have a quieter, positive voice that knows any outcome or situation can be turned into a gift or opportunity.

    In design and construction, you may be hearing about or even feeling a slowdown. Just typing that my gut constricts and my mind starts conjuring scenarios of gloom and doom. But wait! We are not responsible for our first thought, but we are for the second, third, and so on.

    Here’s a challenge—think back to a time when you thought some circumstance was “bad.” Maybe you lost a client or a project was delayed or a key employee resigned. In hindsight, was it actually bad in the end? Did something positive ultimately come of it? Maybe an even better client came along, or the project delay allowed the team to come up with an even better design, or the staffing gap led to a positive restructuring. And that was without even trying!

    The truth is we are always in choice and we can take an active role in creating the positive outcome. Maybe there’s a gift of knowledge to be gained from the experience, or the gift of inspiration to take an action you’ve been putting off. Or maybe you can flex your Sage muscles and grow in empathy, curiosity, creativity or laser-focused action.

    The key is to catch yourself after the first thought that this is “bad bad bad!” That’s just your pesky Judge trying to protect you. Your Sage knows that the path of ease and flow is to convert the situation into a gift or opportunity. Which one is right? Remember the Contagion Effect—whichever you believe will come true. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The negativity of the survival brain will attract more negativity and create a downward spiral; while the same but opposite is true for the positivity of the Sage brain.

    A favorite example of this is a client who was struggling with a vendor meeting their commitments. My client was understandably frustrated, however the more they worried about the impact of this behavior and the more they pushed for a certain result, the worse things got. My client’s frustration started to leak out to their team—everyone could feel the tension, they started to talk badly about the vendor and slacked off on their own work—and even spread to their home life. After some coaching around the situation, we identified the fear-based lies of the Judge as the core problem and decided to create the gift by putting the Sage powers of empathy and curiosity to work. With more positive energy flowing, the vendor felt safe to open up about what was going on and a mutually beneficial solution was created. Their relationship flourished afterward and creativity by the vendor improved dramatically, which rubbed off on my client’s team. That’s the upward spiral of the Sage.

    So, what’s the lesson? Let your fear be a signal that something needs your attention and actively create the gift or opportunity. Depending on the gravity of the issue, this may take time, and that’s okay. Along the way you will feel empowered and experience less stress.

    Email me if you'd like to discuss this further, and if you want to take a deep dive on the Sage and Saboteurs, check out my Tool Kit Offers for member on 1:1 Coaching or Mental Fitness Bootcamp.

    Wishing you ease & flow.

    Janine Auricho, Joy Master & Founder
    janine@yes2yum.com, (415) 686-3138
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