Power and Focus

I’ve been playing with some of these distinctions recently. It’s the:

-Inside out vs Outside in.
-Invisible vs Visible.
-Internal locus vs External locus.
-Respond vs React.

These are top of mind concepts for me because I’m always looking for ways to put the power of change in the hands of my clients. It’s so common to give your power away.

The first time I heard the “give away power” concept, someone said in a program I was attending “I’m giving away my power” – I thought “what the hell is she talking about?” It sounded new agey and like woo woo bullshit. So, I wrote off the concept – and gave my power away. It would be years before I got it.

It’s actually quite a practical idea: Nothing is personal. I don’t have to let others get under my skin. Ancient wisdom that is so applicable in these modern times. If we can just get out of our own way.

During a recent meeting with a client to review progress on his coaching, he wrote this: “I have spent so much of my business career wasting time worrying about what was driving other members of my team. Which led to jealousy or resentment and kept me from moving forward. I am coming around to the idea that if you work on your own happiness, everything else falls in place.”

When I read this, it immediately called to mind one of my experiences with skiing. (Of course, it did!) This was over 10 years ago at the first Women’s Week at Coble Ski School. The first evening, everyone was sizing each other up. Who’s the best skier? Who looks best in a bikini? Will I fit in? What if I make an ass out of myself? You know, all those inner questions that we never dare say out loud. Would we end up competing with each other or supporting each other? Would this week be truly fun or not? Were we going to be competitive or comparative? That first night, it could have gone either way.

The first morning of skiing washed away any fears I had. When someone needed a couple of tries to get up, we all stood on the shoreline cheering her on. When one of the women achieved a personal best, we high fived and whistled so they could hear us in the county. At the end of the week, one of the skiers said, “Never in my life have I seen such a supportive group of women.”

We chose to see the best in each other – and as a result we lifted each other up.

In my TEDx talk on the Power of Positive Intent, I talked about how you get more of what you touch. In my client’s case, when he focused on jealousy and resentment, he got more of that. When he started working on his own internal happiness, he got more of that.

We have tremendous power when we choose where to focus. Everything starts from within us.

Where are you focusing on what is NOT working? How could you shift your focus to what you want? Where can you find the gold in difficult situations? How can you see past the ugly behavior to the hurts that caused it? What can you do today to focus on your own happiness?