Have you ever wrestled with thoughts like, “I am not a good boss,” or “I’m not really an artist,” or “This person totally copied my business! They shouldn’t do that!” or “I can’t do this great idea because someone is already doing it.”? Have you challenged those thoughts? Or do they just have this grip over you that pops up anytime conflict comes your way? What if you did a little inquiry and asked yourself if it was really true?
This one simple question has begun to change the way I move through life, how I feel and even my relationship with others. I’m embarking on a new adventure this Fall, to become Life Coach Certified so that I’m better equipped to run my own business and also provide direction and guidance to the Dreamers and Doers who I work with daily on branding and business development. I’m also on a quest to live the most authentic life that I can, love everyone around me (including myself) with a full heart and steer my life in a way that brings me the most purpose.
So let’s get back to this question. Is it true? It seems like a very simple phrase, but the impact of inquiry can turn anxiety into peace, fear into strength, hate into love. Being “a lover of what is,” to borrow a phrase from Byron Katie, is accepting the truth of a situation, and finding peace in that. I’m reading her book, Loving What Is, in preparation for Life Coach Training, and it’s been transformative in my thought process so far. But we’re humans, and we need constant practice and patience to change ways of thinking that have been at work within us for decades.
I was first introduced to this concept a few years ago when I was getting life coaching from someone I truly admire, Kathleen Shannon. She still offers coaching, and if you’re interested, I’d say go ahead and get in contact with her. She’s an amazing person who probably doesn’t even realize the impact she’s had on my life. I don’t truly understand why, but it seemed that I wasn’t ready or willing to accept the truth that our exercises were leading me to, and so this concept of “Is it True” didn’t take hold of me as much as it has now. I’m not sure about you, but I am driven and stubborn and ruled by my emotions sometimes more than I wish.
So, this concept of truth really dulls the sharp feelings that have a hold over my body and mind. Yes, I realize this sounds kind of spiritual, and it is, but it’s also super simple. The intent of this exercise is to lessen the grip of these negative (and just plain untrue) thoughts and live in reality, which I’ll tell you, feels pretty amazing.
Let’s just take an example from my own life. Very often, I feel plagued by the thought: I’m not a good boss. I’m going to lead you through an inquiry process that lessens the grip of this thought on my mind. Using Byron Katie’s Inquiry: The Four Questions and Turnaround, I’ll share with you how I move beyond this feeling and into truth.
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know it’s true?
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought? AND Turn it around, and find three genuine examples of how the turnaround is true in your life.
BELIEF: I’M NOT A GOOD BOSS.
- Is it true that I’m not a good boss? Probably not.
- Can I absolutely know it’s true that I’m not a good boss? I can’t absolutely know that it’s true.
- When I believe that thought, I feel horrible.
- Without that thought, I would be excited to take on the task of being a boss.
- The turn around: I AM A GOOD BOSS.
- Three genuine examples of how I am a good boss:
- I’m a good boss because I care about my employees happiness.
- I’m a good boss because I take them out to celebrate their victories once a month.
- I’m a good boss because I think about how I can be a positive force in my employees daily work lives.
These questions aren’t meant to change reality, they’re merely there to confirm reality. The beliefs that we have about ourselves end up finding their way into our actions, relationships, businesses and life. When I believe I’m a good boss, I act like a good boss because I actually live that truth fully, rather than let my untrue thoughts determine how I behave. I’ll be getting more into this Life / Business Coaching stuff as I read all the books and listen to all the podcasts that go along with the training.
If you’re interested in learning along with me, I’m offering discounted Life Coaching while I’m still learning. I always offer Brand & Business Coaching for my creative clients, so if you’re interested in that, reach out to me via email here: stephanie [at] indiefoundry [dot] com. And if you’re just not sure, but you’d like to find out more, send me an email and I’ll get you a PDF of what it is that I do and how I could help you build that Dream Business & Life that brings you purpose.
Have a great day, friends!