The weekend before I left for my holiday I attended an extraordinary two-day workshop in Bristol called The Mastery. Originally created in New York for actors, The Mastery has since morphed into a unique personal development workshop which was, without doubt, the most profound and life-changing experience I've had in decades of attending personal development courses.
One of the themes that ran through the weekend was the intriguing invitation to Do Yourself Differently. Here was an opportunity to experiment with doing things differently and to be different from your normal self.
All very well, but how does this work in practice? Here are a couple of examples:
At the start of the workshop we were all asked to stand up in front of the group and introduce ourselves. When faced with this daunting prospect we all tend to have our default settings. So… those of us who would normally get up first, so that we could get it over and done with, were invited to try waiting until last to see what that felt like – and vice versa. Those who naturally tended towards taking care of others' needs before their own were invited to spend the entire weekend asking other members of the group to get them a cup of tea or make them a sandwich, or whatever they needed. Those who tended to be quiet and blend into the background were invited to be really 'out there' and to make their presence well and truly felt.
This simple invitation had profound consequences. It's such a simple idea, but holds within it so many possibilities for creativity, expansion and enrichment.
The more I thought about this while I was away the more I decided that the concept of 'doing myself differently' is something I want to carry forward into my life. As a start, I'm getting my hair re-styled this coming weekend. Over the summer I started eating differently and taking daily exercise and have already lost half a stone. It set me thinking about the way I spend my time, the way my business is structured and my work-life balance and I'm considering how I could do that differently.
How would you like to do yourself differently?
If you've come back from the summer break feeling refreshed, invigorated and ready for something new, then maybe you, too, feel ready and willing to embrace this concept.
Conversely, if you're feeling a bit sluggish and down-hearted at the thought of getting back to your normal routine after a holiday, then what better way to shake things up a bit and step out of the same old, same old …
In her book Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway, Susan Jeffers suggests planning and taking daily risks as a way to move away from fear and step into your personal power. A risk doesn't have to be major – it could simply be trying something you've not done before, or don't feel entirely comfortable with. Jeffers says that taking risks (no matter how small) and edging out of your comfort zone builds your confidence and sense of strength and power.
In the same way, 'doing yourself differently' is an invitation to experiment – to try out new things – to do and be something different – to play a bit and get creative. It may feel awkward and uncomfortable, but it's guaranteed to be invigorating.
Vive la différence and have a great week!
© Annabel Sutton Coaching Tips 2009
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