Whatever questions you have or challenges you face, there are coaches and programs promising answers and solutions. But sometimes all the information available to us just puts us deeper in the hole of feeling stuck. Here’s a way out.
Outside Perspective is a Double-Edged Sword
Gaining outside perspective is certainly valuable. Sometimes, even the best coach, teacher, manager, parent can be too close to see us. They’ve spent so much time with us that they not longer see with clear eyes. They may see what they have always seen or what they want to see. A new set of eyes, or a new strategy, can bring fresh perspective and spark momentum.
But getting too many perspectives can create CHAOS, and leave us feeling Confused, Hopeless, Anxious, Overwhelmed, and Stuck.
So, how do we straddle that line?
Here is a framework to get the perspective you need without falling into CHAOS?
(1) Acknowledge the Reality
Awareness is half the battle. First, recognize that this happens. We all do this. Especially when we are facing an uncertain situation. And any moment of growth is a moment of uncertainty.
Over the last two decades, as an attorney and real estate agent, I have helped hundreds of people and companies (which are run by people) make significant course-altering decisions. I’ve seen that it’s our natural tendency in that situation to seek more information and more perspective.
Notice when you are falling into the pattern of trying to acquire more information. Where are you seeking more opinions, or feeling the need to do more research?
(2) Know Yourself
Knowing yourself is more than half the battle. Two aspects to knowing yourself:
(a) Know what you need
Know where you’re stuck and what you need. Be as specific as possible.
Do you need a completely new system or do you need help implementing a system that you already have and that will work?
Are you stuck because you have a knowledge gap, a skill deficiency, or a mindset block?
Do you need a completely new process or a new distinction?
Do you need education or assistance?
(b) Know how you work/learn best
Know what works best for you and How you work best. What type of working and teaching styles resonate best with you?
What is your natural rhythm?
What conditions help you show up at your best?
For example, I invested in too many self-paced programs before realizing that I require a live call component to force me to show up to do the work. And I prefer live events over online courses. I work best when I can go deep in immersion on something and power through, followed by a rest period. If I allow too much time between ideation and creation, I lose momentum.
Do you think this is helpful to know before I invest in a program or in working with a particular coach?
(3) Be Discerning
Once you know what you need, hold out for it.
Don’t just “buy” a program or sign up with a coach. Make an investment. Ask questions. Interview.
If you’re in business, you likely have qualifying criteria for your ideal clients. You should have a set of criteria for any coach or program in which you invest.
It’s so easy to be lured in by the promise of what someone offers you. That’s the role of great marketing.
Here’s the thing: many people make the same promise. But they don’t all take you on the same path.
Trust that no matter how great the promise of what someone offers, if their methods don’t work for you they won’t help you get to where you want to go in the way that works best for you.
There are 50,000 real estate agents in NYC. At the end of the process, the buyers who work with me and the buyers who work with other agents end up in their new homes. The difference is in how they got there.
Find a coach or mentor who will show you alternative ways and also help you find and embrace your way.
(4) Embrace Curiosity and Wonder
Once you commit, enter into a new coaching relationship or learning experience with an open mind. Receive the feedback, coaching or new approach with a mindset of curiosity and wonder.
Even if you think something won’t work for you, be open to the possibility that it can work. When you hear a strategy, your natural instinct may be to find the reasons why it’s inapplicable to your life or business or industry. Especially if you’re a mismatcher.
Instead of jumping to the conclusion that it doesn’t apply to you, ask yourself “how can it apply?”
I’ve gotten some of my best strategies from other industries by asking this question.
Be open even if it’s something that didn’t work for you in the past. This can be difficult, but remember that the past is not the present. You’re different now than you were last time you tried it. Maybe all you need is a few new distinctions to make this approach work this time.
Test all advice and theories for yourself. Don’t take what some expert says as TRUTH. Remember that there is no universal TRUTH. What works for one person doesn’t work for everyone.
Treat their prescriptions as suggestions, not commandments.
Allow yourself the time and space to try on a new system and play with it before you rush into something new.
Take action. We often think that more information and more outside perspectives will help give us clarity. The saying “information is power” is a fallacy. Information is just information. Power comes from knowledge, and knowledge is embodied.
Action creates knowledge.
Once you know what works, fold it into your system and your life, and discard what doesn’t work.
(6) Notice the Clues
This works in a cycle. You will make mistakes. But each thing that doesn’t work for you is a clue to what will work for you.
Noticing what works and what doesn’t work for you will keep you from making the same mistakes again.
Finally, trust yourself. Listen to your heart. Know what is aligned for you and what’s in integrity.
You win when you act from a place of alignment.
Trust that deep down, you know what you need.
What are ways you straddle the line between getting perspective that helps you grow and falling into CHAOS from too many opinions and approaches?
Please share in the comments.