Dancing with Passionate Self Care – II
Because the Law of Attraction says, “You get more of what you focus on,” a critically important component of Passionate Self Care is focus. If you want to train yourself to recognize where your focus is, start by listening to conversations around you. What is the focus of each? Now look at the people holding those conversations. Are they a match to what they’re focused on?
Never is this so clear as when you listen to the elderly. Those who are having lengthy conversations about their aches and pains and pills and surgeries are the ones who are in the worst shape.
The ones who are talking about their gardens, pets, hobbies or grandchildren are vibrant and healthy. They may have aches and pains but they don’t dwell on them. Because of that, their aches and pains are manageable.
Sullen teens are obsessed with how unfair life is and how ridiculous adults and their rules are. Well-adjusted teens are focused on sports, music, school, or sharing cool new trends with each other.
What are you and your friends focused on? Start listening to your words – those that come out of your mouth or those you type into email messages and texts. Will the recipient of your words be happy to hear from you or inwardly groan?
We all agree that we don’t like to be around negative people but many of us who express that sentiment ARE the negative ones people don’t like to be around. And we don’t even know it. How can that be? How is it that we can be primarily focused on the negative and unaware of it? It’s because it’s become a socially accepted habit.
The news media consistently focuses on the worst events. When we broadcast our own personal news, we seem somehow embarrassed to share what’s going well in our lives. Doctors are trained to look for what’s wrong versus ways for us to stay healthy. Managers, until recently, have been trained to focus on employees’ weaknesses instead of their strengths.
There’s a new trend in management I would like you to steal for your Passionate Self Care. It’s called Appreciative Inquiry. An example of how it’s being applied will help clarify what it is:
The traditional style of conducting an employee’s performance review consists of 10-15 minutes focus on what an employee does well (employees refer to this as “buttering us up for the kill”), with the balance of the meeting focused on everything the employee needs to improve. In other words, the manager mainly focuses on what’s NOT working versus what IS.
A manager who practices Appreciative Inquiry would flip the time. She would spend 10-15 minutes focused on what an employee needs to improve and the rest of the meeting on everything the employee does well and how to leverage those skills. This manager focuses on what IS working instead of what’s NOT.
When I talk about this in my workshops, people get very excited, “Yes, that’s what my supervisor needs to do.” They stop in their tracks when I tell them it works both ways. “What do you mean?” they ask.
If you want your supervisor to focus on what you’re doing well, you must also focus on what you are doing well. You can’t expect to attract a supervisor (or a mate, friend, or child for that matter) who focuses on your good qualities if you are continually focused on your failings. Remember, you get what you focus on. That includes getting people in your life who agree with your self-assessment.
Appreciative Inquiry is the daily practice of looking for what you like about a person, place or thing (and that includes you). As you begin to focus on what you appreciate, you’ll begin to attract more of that into your life.
Appreciation is a feeling that can only attract good things to you. As you begin this practice of appreciating your friends, your community, your house, your children, your health, your family, and on and on and on, you will begin to feel more energetic and more vibrant. The Law of Attraction says it can be no other way.
I can’t think of anything more important to Passionate Self Care than using Appreciative Inquiry in all that you do. Try it. You’ll see.