Strategies

Silence Suffering: When Quiet Makes You Uncomfortable

Day 5: Silence

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Today’s topic is one that I haven’t heard discussed very often.

I’ve decided to call it Silence Suffering. It sounds similar to silent suffering (when we suffer in silence.) That is when something is making us uncomfortable and we keep it to ourselves suffering in silence.

What I’m referring to is when the actual silence that can occur during a conversation makes you uncomfortable.

That feeling that you get while in the midst of a conversation and then suddenly the conversation runs dry…Often leaving an awkward pause or void to fill.

When you have adhd tendencies, it’s common to make the silence mean something something’s gone wrong.

Think about it, has this happened to you?

What is it that makes the silence so difficult to bear?

The next time it happens to you, here’s three tips to help you get through it.

1) Notice it - when you feel the quiet, welcome it. Notice the urge to fill the void. Pause. Allow the urge to talk to be there, but don’t talk. Let the other person say the next thing. (Unless of course they asked you a question! That would just be weird :-D)

2) Label it - Think to yourself “this is quiet.” Test it out like when you dip a toe into a pool to guage the temperature. See how you feel about it. What are you making the silence mean? Is it your job to manage the flow of the convo?

3) Listen - Use it as an opportunity to double down and build the skill of listening. Ask the other person a question, and allow them to speak for awhile. Be genuinely curious about them. Practice listening hard. A nice way to practice strengthening your focus muscle is to listen deliberately.

Tell me, have you experienced the discomfort of a quiet space in conversation. Do you rush in to fill it up by talking and talking and talking?

Why?

I’d love to hear more.

~Shaun

Decision Making: Why Is It So Hard To Choose?

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What is it about making decisions that can feel so hard?

This comes up eventually in almost all of my coaching sessions.

A decision needs to be made, large, small, in between. It doesn’t really matter.

In the moment, it feels like a very large and very serious decision, no matter what it’s about. Life or death. For sure.

And for some reason it feels impossible to make it. To decide.

When I ask my clients why? Why is it hard to choose?

They tell me the following:

  • “What if I make the wrong decision?”

  • “What if I regret my decision?”

  • “What if it turns out bad and I get blamed?”

  • “What if the consequences are bad and my fault?”

  • “What if I change my mind later?”

Let’s take a look at these a little bit closer.

Is there a such thing as a wrong decision?

What if everything worked in your favor no matter what you chose?

Romans 8:28 is a favorite verse of mine.

“And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good.”

All things!

No matter what decision we make, it will happen FOR us.

Even if it feels like it’s not working out the way we intended, or desired, we can have faith in the fact that in the larger picture it will contribute to our good.

What is regret?

According to the dictionary, regret is: a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.

Let me repeat the first part…regret is a feeling.

What do we know about feelings?

That we create them ourselves with what we choose to think.

We can think a thought, like “I knew I should’ve chosen the other one. Now I’m stuck with this.” and feel regret.

Or we can think a thought like “I got the perfect one for me. How do I know that? Because it’s the one that I have.” and feel confident in our selection.

Who decides if something’s bad?

And who decides if we feel blame?

Good news again! We do.

For every single thing that happens, we get to decide if we are going to find the bad in it or the good in it. There’s always both.

Let’s say something doesn’t go as planned, and someone “blames you for making the wrong decision”. You get to decide if you want to agree with them and join that party, or not.

Let them think what they want. They will anyways. You get to decide if you want to think the same thing.

The good thing about others being allowed to think whatever they want, is we get to do the same thing!

Next time you’re faced with a decision treat it like a band aid that you forgot was there. It needs to come off and the faster the better.

Ask yourself if either option worked out perfectly, exactly the way that you wanted them to, which would you choose then?

Go with that one.

You feel stuck because you’re delaying the decision. Making a choice actually takes less than 30 seconds.

Rather than choosing an option, and making the decision, you’re choosing to stay stuck.

It’s not happening to you. You’re choosing it.

You make a decision the same way. Just choose.


If you think you may need a life coach in your life, I’d love to talk with you. Book a free 45 minute mini-session to find out what it’s all about and how it can help you launch into the next version of yourself!


The Path To Your Goal Is Paved With 1000 Pebbles

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I woke up in the middle of the night and had an epiphany. As I’m coaching with clients, it’s common for them to say “I keep doing the things and nothing, I’m just not seeing the results that I want”. I’ve thought it many times myself.

By nature I’m what is referred to as a “quick start”. On the Kolbe index, it describes the instinctive way that a person deals with risk and uncertainty. A person that is not afraid to jump in and do the things. That’s me.

According to the Kolbe index, “these change makers add vision and risk to the mix. Always negotiable, they defy the odds and intuit pos­sibilities that would otherwise go untried. Because they instigate the unusual, people who operate in the initiating zone of Quick Start are natural promoters and entrepreneurs. Accommodating change is no problem for people who respond in Quick Start. For instance, they’ll go along if you change your mind at the last minute and want to see a different movie. “

I take action, I do things, and I adjust.

I take action, I do things, and I expect results.

What I realized the other night is that my expectations may be out of alignment. When I have a goal in mind, I envision where I want to end up, what it will take to get me there and what the obstacles may be. Often the obstacles appear in my mind as very, very large mountains or boulders that need to be scaled or overturned.

I think if they can’t be scaled or overturned then there must be a creative solution to get around them. (I love that one, problem solving is my favorite!)

On average, I imagine 3-6 very large obstacles at a time. Never more than that.

I had a belief that there are a few large obstacles in the way of our dreams, and if we feel afraid but still take action, and then creatively navigate the 3-6 very large obstacles, we would get to where we want to go.

Expectations.

It just made sense to me.

Expectations.

So many movies are based on this premise. The mission is in sight and yet there is one large obstacle in the way. One big problem to be solved.

I bought into the hype.

I want to solve the one very large problem!!

So when I woke up the other night, for some reason I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was an image of 1000 pebbles. No boulder. No mountain. Just 1000 pebbles.

They were small, and smooth, and light, and the same.

Where do I start?

It doesn’t matter, just pick one and flip it over.

Pick another one, and flip it over.

And another…

And another…

What if the way to my goal is to flip 1000 pebbles? Am I willing to do it?

It sounds boring and uneventful.

Can I stick with it long enough?

What if I think the way to my goal is to flip 1000 pebbles, and actually it’s more like 100,000 pebbles? Am I willing to do THAT?

I decided that night as I drifted off back to sleep, yes, yes I am willing.

The next morning I woke up and got to work.

Flipping pebbles.