This is staff meeting week at Intercon Messaging. At our morning huddle on Monday we decided the best use of our two staff meetings was to help our people stop beating themselves up. People beat themselves up with the chatter in their head about…I should have, I should not have…well I’m just not that…I’m just not this… I’ve read 4 books in the last two weeks, relevant to this topic.
- ‘10 Mindful Minutes’ by Goldie Hawn
- ‘Change Your Questions Change Your Life, 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work’ by Marilee Adams
- ‘Do The Work’ by Steven Pressfield
- 'Choosing a Good Road, High School Success' by Jonathan Brennan
Both of our staff meetings have the same agenda and we work hard to duplicate the information for both meetings.
To help us dispute the destructive chatter in our heads we each created an affirmation. The process we use is to have each person sit at the front of the room on a stool while the rest of the team shouts out kind words about them. We write a whole flip chart page of words for each person. While they are at the front they are encouraged to simply smile and say Thank You…and “receive the recognition”. When everybody has a list we ask them to take five minutes of reflection time, and write a positive affirmation using this format: I am a ______ _________ _________ person/ mother/ friend/ partner/ leader/ etc.
Certainly, each of the books, talks about our negative inner chatter. In the book Do the Work, Steven Pressfield suggests ““Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.” THE ENEMY IS RESISTANCE “The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/ shouldn’t/ won’t do what we know we need to do.”” He says “DO THE WORK, START BEFORE YOU ARE READY.” He calls the negative chatter our dragon brain, Goldie Hawn calls it our guard dog, and both Jonathan and Marilee call it the Judger.
I am also working through John Kehoe’s Mind Powers CD training set. He says dispute your negative chatter with several minutes of your positive affirmation until you effectively change your mind.
The never ending challenge is to quiet the negative chatter and listen to the quiet inner knowing within, which Steven calls The Knight, Marilee and Jonathan call the Learner and Goldie calls the Wise Old Owl.
Is this stuff easy?…NO!
Once everyone has an affirmation, we share them. First we agree on the order each person will speak and make sure that everyone is aware that no other conversation is permitted. This is an emotionally moving exercise.
A few years ago we recruited 22 people (most of which were men) to our community and helped them get a class One Drivers License. We did this exercise and as each person in the room read their affirmation I could feel the energy shifting. I suspect, that for some of the participants this might have been the first time in their life that they were conscious of having a positive inner conversation. It was a deeply emotional experience.