A Coaching Power Tool Created by Dr. Sangharsh Daithankar
(Life Coach, INDIA)
Poem on Cognizance:
My mind gone haywire
By standing in this hour
Knowing I should be running
Rather then continuing my life the same
Self speech after speech
Yet no action takes reach
The longer it goes the more it grows
Is that whom i’ve come to be
Weakness taking over me,
Darkness without light is insanity
I must overcome the dark side
Temptations, mind influence manipulation
Masters of Puppets invasion
Acting lika sheriffs of a nation
Tempting only to control
Having their way through war
I’d rather keep strong
I’d rather stand tall
I will not break
I will not fall
Existing without living
I’d rather stop breathing
The above poem sets the foundation for my Power Tool – cognizance v/s obliviousness OR simply put, from ignorance towards awareness.
When we say the word, “cognizance”, numerous thoughts flash before our mind and senses such as – observe, in the now, today, clarity, light….every thought has a unique connection with some experience that we have lived through.
Yet the “cognizance” that I refer to in this Power Tool is the inner light of knowledge, potential, understanding, awareness … a desire that leads to awareness and helps discover the answers that lie within.
When we are kids, this cognizance shines brilliantly through our curiosity, doubts, our questions and our ability to always be in and enjoy the moment.
As we grow, our cultural upbringing, environment, beliefs, inhibit this awareness from shining through and thus our curiousity and questioning and process of constant discovery gets hampered.
Thus, over a period of time, there are “Obliviousness” places / spaces within us caused by our ignorance and our reluctance to explore our true potential. The reluctance could be on account of our limiting beliefs, our fears or our perspectives or our constant self-doubts.
Cognizance = knowing = Exploring +Inferring +acceptance
Obliviousness = ignorance = Assuming + Mirage
Most of us go through life as a series of actions that we need to take day in and day out. We get so engrossed and absorbed in these actions that we get into a comfortable space that is safe and nice and cozy.
We believe that this is our potential and so the saying, “ignorance is bliss” applies.
Until, one day, we reach a tipping point and are faced with some really difficult situations or our mind communicates to stop thinking and start exploring – maybe with respect to our life, our job, our relationships.
Sam had just finished his MBA-HR and had joined a course for training. The Company that wanted to recruit him sponsored this course. While Sam was happy to be one of the few who had secured a job, he was constantly assailed by self-doubts.
All through his childhood, he had been a top performer. However, in college, though he continued to be good in studies, he was not able to make any friends. All the friends that he did make, always had something negative to say about him. Not being able to take this feedback or understand their perspective, he ended up breaking the friendship and relationship and distancing himself from his friends and social groups. The result was that he was alone and lonely.
Sam knew that an Organization was all about people networking and he was really worried how he would fare. The result of this constant worry was that he had sleepless nights and was unable to focus on the training at hand and constantly lived with a feeling of Complexity issues (Inferior complexity).
Being able to accept one-self is truly empowering
Once we are able to reflect quietly, look within and understand ourselves, we are then in a position to accept what we are and thus there is self-acceptance and self-love. This self-love is empowering and prevents us from self-doubt and self-criticism, which in turn leads us to a really dark space.
Exploring, Inferring and Accepting creates Knowing
With the help of a coach, once Sam was able to Explore different facets of the situation, infer the learning from a rational perspective and accept his true self and potential, his strengths and limitations, he was able to use this knowledge to work on his strengths. By reframing his perspectives about himself and about what others were saying, he was able to move from the obliviousness space of self doubt to a place of cognizance, i.e. self belief and self love.
As Coaches, we need to be constantly mindful of the space from where the client is coming from and believe intrinsically that he/she has all the answers and we are here to just nudge them from obliviousness space to a space of cognizance (the aha moment).
The obliviousness could be caused due to some self limiting beliefs, perspectives, fears, feeling of helplessness or any other thoughts / doubts.
The Coach needs to listen for these oblivious spaces and believe that by powerful questioning, the client can see the light:
- What is the belief that is causing this ?
- What will help you reframe your perspective about yourself ?
- Do you have a sense of what you want to do, and want to explore that with me?
Sam – The Case Study
In the case of Sam, the Coach needs to be aware from the conversation about the oblivious spaces within Sam – him self doubt, his self criticism on account of receiving constant negative feedback, his body posture, his way of talking.
It would be necessary for the Coach to listen to Sam and acknowledge his successes as he is in great need to belief in himself. The Coach would also need to ask Sam about the strengths that he sees in himself and to take a moment to reflect on them and acknowledge himself about them. By doing this the Coach would be instrumental in leading Sam from oblivious (ignorance about himself) to cognizance (Awareness about himself).
The Coach would need to then gently nudge Sam to reflect on how he can reframe his perspective about himself? What actions he can take to improve his self-belief? How can he accept feedback positively?
- What aspects of your personality represent cognizance and what are the oblivious spaces?
- How do you think you can become aware of the ignorant spaces and move towards your Awareness and exploration?
- Is it important for a person to move from ignorance about oneself to knowledge about oneself? How will this help?
- Please share few applications of this Power Tool in your coaching process.