Q: When you say sabotage, what do you mean by that in the context of working in a company?
A: Imaging that you have a report due tomorrow and you decide to take an extended lunch break putting the report off… at the time it seemed like a good idea. The consequences could be rather stinky. These kinds of seemingly harmless choices are the effect of Inner Saboteurs. The choices are not always the employee’s fault. It is however, the employee’s responsibility to learn how to change them. I call these Inner Saboteurs, “Inner Elephants” and we all have them. We can ignore them, but just like an Elephant in the Room, they will simply continue to grow until we can’t move around them and we feel “Stuck”, Overwhelmed and Frustrated – and in the example above, co-workers are often negatively impacted and having their own rampaging Inner Elephants to deal with! What a recipe for workplace challenges!
Q: How typical do you think interpersonal relationship challenges are at places of employment?
A: Very. Human beings are like round objects hitting round objects. We are going to have interpersonal relationship challenges. Napoleon Hill cited “the inability of business owners to get along with others” as one of the three main causes of business failure. The ability to avoid conflict is a double-edged sword in most companies. Good listening skills help a great deal; denial, not so much. Ignoring conflict is common. Preventing conflict and knowing how to resolve it are two of the most prized skill-sets in today’s litigious world.
Q: But there are laws to protect employees. So what you are saying is that even with laws, the workplace can be an unhappy place with everyone on safari trying to tame their own inner elephant?
A: Actually, if everyone was on safari to tame their own “Inner Elephants” the workplace would be a whole LOT happier! Most people are too busy spotting and attempting to control Other People’s Elephants to even see their own! (It is always easier to spot someone else’s).
Q: There is a quote: “Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.”
~A Course in Miracles. How does this play into how people have to think first and act second to stop the stampede of negative emotions?
A: Good quote! The challenge is that Inner Elephants often start stampeding before the rational mind is even aware that there is something bothering you. For many people, the idea of Emotional Awareness & Control is almost like hearing a foreign language. We carry around a whole list of preprogrammed emotional responses that the rational mind is unaware of until after the fact.
Q: OK! So, let’s begin with the First Way to stop the stampede of sabotage. What do you suggest?
A: Take a Deep Breath! Simple as it sounds, the practice of stopping whatever you are doing for two minutes every hour and focusing on your breathing will shift you out of high alert and give your rational brain a chance to be in front of your emotional reactions. Practice is the key here.
Q: What about long term improvements?
My 1:1 clients achieve permanent resolution of what was holding them back. Yes, I said permanent. For someone to “train” their Inner Elephants, it takes being willing to leave behind a few things. According to my clients, leaving behind “shoulds” & “shames” is worth the effort required!
Q: Your work is about resolving negative emotional history without the need for people to tell their stories and enabling success for business owners and others in the world of work. Jumping to benefits: does resolving negative emotional history result in fewer health issues?
A:Again the answer is Absolutely! With over 84% of all primary care doctors’ visits from stress related disorders and complaints, Stopping the Stampede of our inner saboteurs and reducing the damaging levels of stress chemicals in our bodies definitely improves our health. Anything that reduces the stress load, improves our bodies’ natural ability to heal.
Q: What books do you recommend for interested people to read to start to understand this topic better?
A: Any call to mindfulness: I have multiple shelves of great books on self-development, stress management and even simple stretching. For your readers I recommend: “The Four Agreements”, “The Five Laws That Determine All of Life’s Outcomes”, “Choice Theory”, “The Seeds of Greatness” and “It’s Called Work for a Reason” – or anything else by Larry Winget.
Q: You practice a method with an acronym of SITT…what does this stand for and what is it?
A: SITT stands for: “S” Soothing, “I” Invigorating, “T” Tingling and “T” Tonus (a neutral state). These are the four “flavors” of energy that represent positive, powerful states of emotion. In training Inner Elephants, these states are brought under conscious control, enabling clients to shift emotional states at will.
Q: Describe a successful case you have had.
A: I’d like to tell you about a couple of my clients:
First Rhonda: Rhonda, ignored her “Inner Elephant” of Anxiety to the point of being told she needed a stent put in her heart. Her business was a mess and she was desperately lonely. She was almost as afraid of living her life alone as she was of the pending surgery. We barely managed to squeeze in a few sessions before her pre-op stress test.
What I love about this work is that most people get relief starting from the first session and Rhonda was no exception. Her stress test almost set records as she about wore out the cycle and was told to “Go Home” – “There is nothing wrong with your heart”. By the end of her Inner Elephant Training, her business was thriving and she was happy with the life she was creating.
Mary is a no-nonsense bank manager who doesn’t believe in woo-woo. When we met, she was in trouble, so overwhelmed that her 20-year career in the banking industry was in jeopardy and every day, no matter how late she worked, she fell further behind. She was totally stuck, unable to move forward on settling her parents’ estate, creating a home that she loved, or even planning a vacation. Absolutely certain that nothing at her job could be changed, she had “nothing to lose” by starting the training.
During the Inner Elephant Training she, “Got her brain back”! Mary was able to define and act on what was important and began to say “No” without feeling guilty. Free from the worry about other people’s opinions, she re-negotiated with her company and hired more staff! Since the training, she’s settled her parents’ estate and “vacationed” on an African Safari!
Now to the “woo-woo” part. During the training, she clearly defined her ideal house, a place she could live in through her retirement years. Less than four months later she found and bought it!
Q: In conclusion, what advice do you have for business owners or staff that are dealing with less than peak performance?
A: 1: Take a Deep Breath. 2: Take out a big notebook and write down all the reasons why you are committed to figuring this out. What’s in it for you if you are no longer overwhelmed and frustrated? 3: Ask yourself: “Whose Ball Park am I in?” “Do I know the rules?” “What option/choice/attitude do I want to take?” Sometimes all it takes is a little more awareness to shift into productivity.
Sometimes that’s not enough and for those who want to know more which Elephant they are dealing with now, there’s a complimentary Elephant Identity Analyzer Quiz at: www.TameYourElephants.com
It is a fun way to learn which elephant is in your way and how to “tame” it.