We strive to learn tricks, recipes, new ways of doing things, we ask for advice and sometimes we despair because we do not get to change something, when we have a powerful tool to modify our behavior and achieve our Objectives: CONSCIOUSNESS.
And what do I mean by consciousness? To our ability to put our mind’s attention on something concrete, whether it is an activity, a thought, an emotion or anything that is happening inside or outside of us.
To illustrate the power of consciousness I will put as an example two situations that I have lived recently:
During a training session with one of my tennis students I noticed that her body made a strange move by hitting backwards. Instead of telling him not to rotate the body at the time of hitting the ball (it is much less effective than concentrating all the movement on the arm), I suggested that for the next five minutes he would see what his trunk was doing when hitting the ball.
After a minute I could see that his way of hitting had already changed. Little by little, he himself was realizing that it was “useless” that overexertion to move the trunk and that also centering most of the movement in the arm the ball was thrown out with greater force and tired less.
This student told me strangely once the five-minute test was over: “It seems incredible, and why hasn’t this occurred to me before”?
I answered that many times we need someone to “make us a mirror” and help us to put awareness in some aspect that we have not repair, but once we put consciousness we are ourselves that we are able to advance in a way Surprising.
The second example is related to one of my executive coaching sessions in a multinational company. My client showed to be a very talkative person from the beginning, so much, that he barely allowed me to speak. In fact, one of his challenges was to get people to understand him better, because according to him, and the people who knew him better, it was so fast that the co-workers were having trouble following him.
After a while I asked: right now at what speed are you talking? (My perception was that it was going quite fast). For a moment my client stopped talking and said, “For me right now I’m slow, but I’m sure others would think I’m going fast. Without further moving on to other topics, but something changed during the session from that moment on. The Coachee had become aware of his speed of speech and by the simple fact of observing himself talking was adjusting that speed to achieve a more leisurely conversation, more appropriate for the moment he was living.
On many occasions we give advice to others by telling them what our criteria should do. Some will take it well, others will show indifferent and others will resent them because they feel we are telling them what to do. What if try to launch a question that invites reflection and awareness of what is happening instead of giving advice? The question could be of the type: Have you noticed the reaction of your son when you say this or that thing? Have you noticed the reaction of your team when you start the meeting on Mondays demanding?
We can often be acting in an “inappropriate” or “inefficient” way without us being realizing it. And many of those times we can put solution with the simple fact of observing what is happening, ie, being more aware. From there, changing will be much simpler and more natural.
“If you raise awareness, the changes in your life come Alone” (thus titled the newspaper La Vanguardia an interview with the molecular biologist and promoter of “mindulness” in the West Jon Kabat-Zinn).
Do you dare to change? How are you aware of how you act in the situations you want to change? How do you evolve once you have become aware of how you act?