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We are shaped by practices and shape ourselves through practices.” Bob Dunham
Are your practices creating a more powerful life for you? Or, are they creating more of the breakdowns limiting your life? I recently read a great blog by an associate and friend of mine, Jerry Holtaway, entitled “My morning disconnectionism“. Jerry breaks down how his practices were having a negative effect on his daily routine. The article reinforced what I know to be true in my life and in the life of every one of my clients. Our practices shape how we see the world. Are you willing to look at your practices?
From an ontological coaching perspective (ontology, the study of being human) we look at three factors that shape how we see the world:
The Body- We exist in our body – you can not escape this reality. It is the ship that navigates your life. What are you practicing in your body?
-Are you practicing a body that is strong and healthy, benefitting from exercise and healthy eating. On a daily basis is your body radiating energy and expanding, ready to embrace your interactions no matter how complex they may be?
-Are you practicing a body that is worn down and tired, shrinking from the daily demands of life? Do you fill your body with chemicals and manufactured foods? Is your body contracting, merely getting you from place to place, and conserving what limited energy you have?
Language- Language is the fundamental human tool. We are linguistic beings and we create stories through language to understand the world around us. What are you practicing in language?
-Are you making powerful requests that allow you to create the future you desire? Are you having effective conversations for action with those around you? Are you unlocking the potential that allows you and your team to fulfill on your promises?
-Are you practicing using language to create stories that allow you to stay in your victimhood? Are you complaining about another, instead of making a request so that they can fulfill your request? Are your conversations for action more like conversations of inaction and disgust and frustration?
Moods and Emotions- As humans we are emotional beings. Moods and Emotions shape how we see the world and give our stories their meaning. What are you practicing in your moods and emotions?
-Are you seeing the world through powerful moods and emotions such as gratitude, acceptance, peace, ambition and wonder? Do your moods and emotions allow you to see what is possible and what beauty the world has to offer?
-Are you seeing the world through limiting moods and emotions such as resentment, anger, resignation (shows up as a rational excuse why things cannot change.) and anxiety? Do your moods and emotions limit what you see as possible and hinder your ability to see the beauty the world around you has to offer?
So, what are you practicing? As Bob Dunham (www.generativeleadership.co) stated: “We are shaped by practices and shape ourselves through practices.” Therefore, whatever we are practicing, we are getting better at. We are always practicing. What we practice we become good at it. For most of us, we have decades of practice, some of these practices help us, and some limit us. What we as leaders need to do is to choose what we practice. After all, we are only living the one shot at life we have. It may be time to change some of our practices. #leadershipflow, @croftedwards
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