an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness; a model of consciousness, including
all aspects, for designing practical
paths of personal development and evolution.
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Freeing Yourself of Self-Limiting
Either/Or - Limiting Choices
I received an email recently, sparking a chain reaction of questions for
me, eventually leading to our topic. Addressing the Conscious
Communication-centric “mission statement,” the observation was made that
[rather than communication] there was a strong focus on psychology. The
wording of the observation establishes a kind of context or rules of the
game by putting communication on one side and psychology on another.
What’s interesting is that knowing what a creative person this was
coming from, it probably wasn’t intended as an either/or form at all.
The wording of the observation more reflected our common cultural slant
for simplifying our choices; often to an either/or perspective. If I
may quote myself, this is directly in line with simplification by
reduction, rather than getting to the core essence.
The thing about simplifying our choices this way is that it also limits
our choices, and that’s rarely what we want. Limiting other people’s
choices may be helpful on the retail end, (ever wait tables?) but you
probably want to have your options as open as possible. This is one of
those unconscious ways we block ourselves, so the slightest awareness
around this habit can make a big difference in your sense of emotional
and mental “elbow room.”
The old maxim regarding using “yes, and” rather than “yes, but” actually
speaks to the heart of this widening of our choices. We go from the
digital, two possible answers of on or off to a more natural, organic
spectrum. How many times have you been frustrated by multiple choice
tests that wouldn’t allow you to choose more than one answer, or people
who insist on yes or no answers to questions that have much more depth
and texture to them? Is this about communication or is this about our
psychology? Can either really exist without the other?
Mortar Between the Stones
place I often hear a digital choice being offered, is when people ask if
I am a business coach or a life coach. I usually annoy them by answering
“yes.” In fact, the reason that I so focus on communication, is because
it is the very mortar between the stones of everything connecting our
lives to each other, the world, and even our own thoughts and feelings.
How often when you think about something, do you do it without any
internal dialogue? How can we share what’s inside (psychology) with
who’s outside, without communication? Whether that communication is
using words to convey an internal experience to someone, to give
direction, or even to mull something over in your head, those words
control the nature of the outcome.
Our words and our psychology are very much like the chicken and the egg.
It is almost impossible to establish a singular origin; they each create
each other. Your self-talk is both the result of your psychology, and a
creating element. The more we try to understand how everything fits
together, the more we look at systems and relationships, the more
communication becomes a factor.
our way of seeing the world, sorting things out, and processing, creates
a kind of language specific to that perspective, listening to that
language from others gives you clues to their perspective. This is
another example of the inextricable flow between psychology and
communication. How do you work with a given person? How do you convey
things to them? Just using our own styles and hoping others will get it
isn’t terribly effective, so this “conscious communication” thing
becomes very useful.
Let’s take a common element that shows up in our behavior, as well as
our language: self-esteem. People constantly tell you how they feel
about themselves (and thus you and others) through their language.
Digging into our self-talk, there are numerous “reasons” our ego gives
us for why we can’t, don’t, aren’t ___________[fill in the blank].
If we follow the ripples of these “reasons,” they take us to different
behaviors or ways of being in the world. “I’m not enough” is actually
quite different than “I’m not good enough,” which is again quite
different than “there’s something wrong with me.” Each will manifest in
the world as a completely different kind of person, with different
perspectives, and speaking these slightly different versions of the same
language. We need to understand this to motivate them, to sell to them,
to convey our own thoughts or feelings to them, and to understand them
as well. We can also use language and our communication to shift our own
way of being in the world; to motivate and understand ourselves.
Psychologist Martin Seligman’s work with “Learned Optimism” at Penn
State relies heavily on our internal communication. Our psychology (our
mind and behavior) is fluid and changeable. Just as our perspectives
affect our language, our language can have a remarkable impact on our
outlook (that chicken or the egg thing.)
“Everybody always does this to me” becomes a recipe for depression,
whereas addressing the pervasiveness, [everybody] the permanence,
[always] and the personalization, [to me] could completely reverse the
affect a circumstance would have on you. Communication gives us a way in
to our own insides, and a way in to others. As long as we’re going
there, it couldn’t hurt to do it consciously. Doing so gives us far more
options and choices, as well as much better results. You might even say
it gives us optimized results.
Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
Want to grab your life with both hands and
make it intentional and extraordinary? Come visit this
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- Ian J. Blei
June Special Offers:
June is known for graduations, weddings, and Father's Day, not to mention the
beginning of summer! What's common to all? Relationships and
For some it's about the communication, for others it's about optimizing
your life, and I'm going to offer specials in both areas this month.
Discover your Operating System, resources, challenges, and communication
styles, so you can be every bit as incredible as
you were meant to be.
to Schedule or give me a call!
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Institute for Integral Enneagram
Without Losing Your Soul
about you having
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Circumstances will always be
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charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
is written for you,
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Action Steps to try them out, and
finally some things to notice when you do.
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We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The
good news is: they can be overcome. The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."
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