It is important to flip our approach sometimes, turn it on its head and hang out there for a little while, even if we tire. My familiar approach, the one I think is my strongest and yet is likely my blindspot or where I need to loosen up, is to think I need to fix something for someone else, to understand it, to know the answers…and to ‘help’ the other to do the same for themselves – whether it be a client, one of my daughters, or a family or friend in need. Flipping my approach would look a little like this: slow down, breathe, listen and get more curious. When my oldest daughter expresses a fear, instead of me trying to take away that fear, which I so instinctually want to do, I can get curious and ask – what’s it like to feel that way? How often do you feel that way? When do you most feel that way? Where do you feel it in your body? What does that then lead to? How does that affect others? How does that affect you? I can help her to feel fear, know fear and also move through fear. And this she can then later do on her own which she will of course need to do.
With clients it is the same…if you are unhappy in your job and want to change your career perhaps it’s not about helping you to figure it out but rather to highlight or illuminate to you that the not knowing is possibly an important place to be. And that maybe you need to get stuck in to this place of not knowing for a little while…get more familiar with it…avoid it less…befriend it more…as this is often where aspects of our deepest selves emerge and our most creative juices get flowing. This is where other parts of ourselves emerge, where new ideas are generated, and where we get to know ourselves better. So very often we strive gallantly towards what we think will be the answer(s), towards what we think will bring certainty, and/or towards who we think will tell us what to do. Actually, I think the greatest service to ourselves would be to just sit in what it’s like to not know what my next step is. And there we can explore questions such as ‘what does that bring up?’ And ‘how do I feel about that?’ And ‘what does that inform me of?’
So the reminder to myself is to catch myself each and every time I am coming up with solutions and to ask myself and my client (or my daughter) – is there value right now in you not knowing what to do? Or in you feeling confused? What could possibly be the value and can we get in there, explore, and see what might emerge? Because in there might come some answers and solutions that just might already exist within ourselves. And this just might surprise and delight you.