NOTE: This video is not directly connected to the story I will write about below, but the essence of being in the moment still stands
I had an interesting meeting with my friend, Steppon, a few weeks ago. As many people may know, I have my coaching hat on at all times and I even take pride in saying that. But it also can work against me, especially if the person is not looking for my opinion or a solution to their situation. It works against myself when I am dealing directly with myself as well, which I will get to shortly.
Anyway, I opened up about how I constantly want a solution to everything I am doing and get really hard on myself when I don’t follow through with what I say I will do, so disappointment easily arises within me. This disappointment usually makes me want to persist forward even less than before and the disappointment continues to stack on top of one another. I don’t want to say that I am my own worst critic because, in my mind, it gives me an excuse to continue doing what I am doing and it hasn’t been benefiting me much.
Steppon told me that the coaching side of me is primary and that I will probably continue to get more and more frustrated in the future with this habit. The coaching side of me isn’t solely directed at other people. It’s just as prevalent when I am talking to myself, perhaps even more since I am always with myself. So, this habit of self-coaching to sustain as much enthusiasm as possible and using my coaching thinking with others can get tiring when I experience disappointment. As mentioned in other posts, this way of thinking is a vicious cycle that must be disrupted.
He gave me a suggestion and said that what if I had another side that was just the watcher? This part of you isn’t emotional nor judgmental; it isn’t trying to push forth an opinion to create positive change in someone else, it’s just present. It isn’t trying to move from frustration into enthusiasm. It’s just present.
I heard all of this at first and thought that this is bullshit, getting my pride engaged because why? I viewed it as an attack on my identity. My initial reaction would normally have been to chime in any defend myself, basically doing what I can to get the last word. But then something clicked. It was perhaps a mixture of being outside in the cold and having my own pattern interrupted, but I let him talk and just soaked everything in. Even when I chose to spoke, I entertained this side and spoke with a very even keeled tone, even if I would normally get excited. Learning to listen before you speak, I was practicing that. I was disrupting my patterns and even when I felt tempted to talk at first, I remained attentive to his words and my breathing – remembering that this side is unemotional. After a little while, perhaps 5 minutes of listening and entertaining presence, my need to state my opinion and push forth an agenda dissolved. It was such a refreshing feeling and it let me know that I don’t have to coach all the time. That coaching has its place. No words were necessary in that moment and I had nothing to prove to anyone.
Listen before you speak
The fascinating thing about this is that he’s always identified himself as someone who operates by feeling people, not necessarily their words but their energy which I have a difficult time comprehending. I have operated from expression, by using my words to convey my emotion. Before, he would say that good and great are the same thing because it was not dependent on the definitions to him. But something was also changing in him. I wasn’t cutting him off when he was talking, I let him continue and my pride was non-existent. It was incredible in hindsight.
Anyway, once we departed, he sent me a text telling me how thankful he was and that I am a great speaking coach. I had no idea what he was talking about because I wasn’t doing the talking. And that was just it. Giving others the opportunity to be heard without judgment is a profound teacher. This entire blog post could have been summed up that simply.
Sometimes, listening can do all the talking for you (tweet this quote).
- When was the last time you experienced presence?
- How do you attempt to turn pride into presence?
- How can you attempt to turn pride into presence?