One of the things that I have learned in life is that once you become aware of something you cannot change back and not become aware anymore. Recognizing that you are likely to be more of a natural ‘teller’ and having awareness than to make a choice to be an ‘asker’ is an interesting experience in practice. You will find that once you have told or advised or suggested that you will notice what you have done and are likely to feel disappointed in yourself.
I certainly know that when I was ‘in training to become a Potentialiser* the first thing that became obvious to me was how much a natural teller I was, particularly because I thought that I was being helpful or showing what a caring person I was. So it wasn’t hard for me to catch myself in the natural telling role – in fact, it pretty much happened all of the time in my conversations. My response to this awareness was typically one of disappointment because I wasn’t practicing what I knew very well at all.
The good news about noticing what you are doing (even if it isn’t your desired approach) is that you are now aware of a different and better approach to communicating with your children and this conscious awareness is a good thing. You will notice that your awareness enables you to stop and think as you are in the process of habitual practice and of course at this point, you can choose to do something differently.
When we are trying to change a longstanding practice or habit, of course, there will be times when we forget what we are doing and fall back into our old ways of doing things – this is natural. The most important thing here then is not to allow your disappointment at yourself to be judged a ‘bad’ thing – just accept that this is a natural occurrence in the learning process.
All too often I talk with people who get into the berating place of the ‘self beaters club’ where they give themselves a really hard time for not having done something well or, in some cases, perfectly. This is not good practice because it leads to all sorts of disappointment when in reality my suggestion is that we should be celebrating the fact that we are noticing what it is that we need to change and prior to the awareness we now have we wouldn’t have noticed this need at all.
The good news is that over time we will start to choose an ‘asking’ approach more often and more naturally to the point that we can operate as an ‘asker’ or ‘teller’ without too much thinking. To get to this point though we have to be prepared to persist with our practice, handle the setbacks positively by viewing them as a learning experience, and of course celebrate the good practices that we start to do as well.
Learning to become a Potentialiser has to be one of the best things I have ever done in my life and I am very aware that if I hadn’t been persistent and kind to myself along the way I would never have been able to bring these skills to the table today or share my passion for them. So recognizing the need for persistence and a little self-encouragement will be vital to your success on this journey, so be prepared!
* POTENTIALISER – Meaning: Releaser of amazingness in yourself and others