A Coaching Power Tool created by Bharath Mohan
(Executive coaching, INDIA)
We all have evolved from days of childhood with a heavy dosage on aspirations, ambitions, variety and so on so forth. The part of the world I have been brought up has extreme peer pressure, super competitiveness in vying for select courses. Role models are anybody who has managed to succeed in those lines. In the next few pages I would like to share my perspectives on how people like me who, have forgotten their true personalities and have created complications.
Every time we have been in a denial we have made the greatest disregard to ourselves, our competencies, skills etc. By accepting, we give ourselves the best chance to move ahead. The objective of the article is not to ACCEPT what come by your way, but to accept yourself as a person. Recognizing one’s strength and weaknesses and thereby charting ones journey
An illustration through an example of Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh is one of Australia’s top 5 cricketers, who played international cricket for close to 2 decades. He emerged primarily as a batsman who could bowl a bit. Interestingly, Steve Waugh was not amongst the top 3 talented batsman of his times, but emerged to become world’s number 1 batsman in 1995 – 96. He became one of Australia’s most successful captains and was responsible for Australian cricket’s dominance for almost a decade.
What transpired this?
Steve Waugh started as a typical Australian batsman playing all shots being aggressive at the crease. He had a fair amount of success and for about 5 years, till 1990, was the next big star who would go on to captain Australia. Steve Waugh ran into rough weather with fast bowling specially in west indies and soon his weakness was getting highlighted. This led to a series of poor scores and eventually to a loss of place from the national team. Interestingly his place went to his own brother, Mark Waugh who was more talented of the two.
Steve Waugh went back to his cricket coach for some critical analysis about his batting. What emerged was that his skills on playing short pitch bowling were not supreme, however somewhere along the lines he also discovered that behaviorally he had abundance of grit, patience, determination, supreme will to succeed…
What Steve Waugh did was a revelation and learning, he first ACCEPTED his weakness. He ACCEPTED himself as a player and person with certain skills, strengths and weaknesses. He also ACCEPTED the burning urge in him to be best in the world, what he learnt was that if he didn’t ACCEPT his weakness on short pitch bowling, he would never be able to give himself a chance to become Australia’s captain and one of the best batsman of his times. He didn’t try to fight the weakness, but used his behavioral strength of grit and determination to overcome.
When he came back, he stayed away from short pitch bowling. So much to the extent in Pakistan and West Indies he had physical injuries in elbows, shoulders, knuckles, chests because of the ball hitting him. He relied on his grit, patience and supreme will to succeed.
Perspectives that limit us or allow us to grow. Acceptance vs Denial
Denial : refusal to admit the truth or reality
The subject may use:
- simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
- minimisation: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)
- projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility by blaming somebody or something else
Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.
Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.
So what happens during acceptance
- We are no longer fighting to change things, thereby losing our energy and focus.
- We are making a choice and hence decision. This is a hard one to do.
- By accepting, we are also willing to forego the momentary happiness to a more enduring happiness.
To summarise : can we let go and at the same time be willing to find solutions
Going back to example of Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh made a choice and ACCEPTED his skills on playing short pitched bowling were not good. He also ACCEPTED that he was not a typical Australian batsman with lots of talent. He had the choice to continue this DENIAL and keep fighting. In this process he would have spent a lot of energy.
So how did he overcome this weakness, he became more aware about his grit, determination and an extremely strong will to succeed. He was also aware that he had lots of patience. He compensated a functional skill, i.e. batting, with a behavioral skill.
A lot of times, truly we are not aware about our strengths and weaknesses. A lot of us are stuck in chasing what is primarily influenced by people around us. In this process, our awareness about ourselves takes a beating. This means that clients as well are trying to chase things depending on skills they do not have and at the same time not leveraging the skills they have in abundance. This is where my POWER TOOL of acceptance allows the client to change perspectives.
ACCEPTANCE is making a hard choice and thereby releasing our energy and giving oneself the best chance in moving ahead.
Above all, ACCEPTANCE is one more step in allowing yourself to be YOU.
Biblio & Acknowledgement
- Merriam Webster
- Free dictionary.com
- ICA forums