A Coaching Power Tool Created by Erwin Cwiek
(Change Coach, NORWAY)
The idea of the «Ignoring vs Connecting» Power Tool became clear once I have realized that I have been using it originally as a coping strategy to handle chronic stress. As an ex-pat entrepreneur, I have been suffering from it in my business and life. I believe the idea of ignoring vs connecting is continuously present in most of the life aspects of modern entrepreneurial reality on an everyday basis and this power tool is putting more attention on the deeper aspect.
Thanks to modern technology it seems like you might be strongly connected to external environmental factors than ever before.
Environmental factors having the largest impact on your entrepreneurial life are external and internal. The market you operate in and your relationships are external factors. Your internal environment is represented by the key areas of your life that I have used as a foundation for creating the EVER CHANGE Coaching Model that you can learn more about.
The amount of entrepreneurs feeling continuously stressed, lonely, anxious, and not understood is rising dynamically at the same time when technology allows them to stay connected with the outside world much easier and faster.
What is the opposite of connecting? The concept of ignoring appears to play a major role in how to be connected, with whom and with what? Being connected with your true self starts to be difficult when the connectedness with the outside world might dominate over your daily life while ignoring turns to be a coping strategy to handle difficulties.
Living in the remote group of islands far in the arctics brought my understanding of connectedness to another dimension. Being privileged to live in such an amazing and highly changeable place I use this opportunity to leverage and grow my understanding of the entrepreneurial reality. This is why I always turn to mother nature to see how things work. Being curious enough I tend to observe connectedness in nature around and compare it to connectedness in business and life and its impact on us.
Perspective on Connecting
How are you connected?
To answer this question let’s have a look at the definition and according to vocabulary.com connecting is «be or become joined or united».
It’s no wonder that nowadays in most cases we are considering connecting on the level of communication with the world around us. Understanding connecting in terms of communication starts to be exclusive in the world of multimedia international corporations. Have a look at how they are using the word connect in their advertising campaigns, vision statements, or slogans.
«Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook»
«Nokia – we create technology to connect the world»
Understanding global connectedness through technology is just a tip of the iceberg, however, it seems like quite a large group of entrepreneurs stays at this level and never dare to look at what is below the surface. Living in a world with push notifications gives little to no room for connecting with yourself if you are not leaving space to gain enough awareness of it.
The development of technology went much faster than it could ever be expected not so long time ago. It has also turned the world upside down in the last decade. Now there are so many exciting opportunities to connect. Science is supporting this development with exponential growth and the number of smart solutions is also growing faster than any entrepreneur can learn.
Having high-speed internet available in a continuously wider geographical range in the world and the number of devices makes it much easier to stay cross-connected throughout the living areas. It seems like in the modern entrepreneurial reality you might stay connected 24/7/365 if you choose to.
What is it that people often are doing as the first thing in the morning and the last thing before they fall asleep?
I will not be far from the truth saying that checking the smartphone and especially social media accounts is the thing for quite many. And even considering the developing countries, having smartphones and access to the internet has boomed despite the well-represented poverty in terms of the basic needs.
Isn’t it amazing that every third person on the planet doesn’t have access to clean drinking water and at the same time have access to the smartphone with the internet despite the economical limitations? This simple and very general statistic only shows how the definition of connectedness has changed in the pace of development of modern civilization.
Staying connected to the near social circle might not be very different from connecting with the big world. Just have a look at the teenagers and their way of staying connected and how fast it is changing over time.
Considering this perspective many entrepreneurs believe that they are highly connected to other people and the world around them.
At the same time, there is a growing amount of entrepreneurs in the world having awareness about the importance of being connected to their true self before they are going to connect with the world around. Simple and powerful truth known throughout the centuries seems often to be «rediscovered» by those who left a little bit of space in their busy life to download the new meditation app or grab a best selling self-help Amazon book.
No doubt connecting inwards requires much more awareness and effort – like working with self-development. There are 4 key areas of life: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual that, when well balanced, support connectedness with your true self. The challenge with connecting to your true self often might appear when the vision for your life is vague, unclear, or even missing.
Modern entrepreneurs tend to be focused on the key areas of life that are easier available for the conscious mind, like physical or emotional aspects. This is what most people are occupied with daily.
However, it requires more effort and energy to get balanced in the mental area of life and conduct the process of self-development. Self-growth leads to bigger awareness and shows closer the importance of the spiritual area of life. Spiritual practice is strongly connected with the remaining 3 key areas and when all 4 are present and well balanced in everyday life then it is a great starting point to connect to your true self.
Observing arctic nature shows obvious examples of how we are experiencing connectedness to the ever-changing environment, especially in terms of the outside environment with earth, water, and wind as a dominant element over here in the North.
Having this opportunity to experience the impact of the elements on my life in the arctic environment it didn’t take much time to be certain that everything in nature is connected.
Everything that appears solid is in fact energy vibrating in different frequencies. And energy is changing it forms all the time and it is always there. If everything that already exists is also connected then everything must also be connected to you. That is how connectedness in the universe and The Law of Attraction fits into Quantum Physics and confirm cross-connectedness in the universe.
Living in a remote group of islands I have personally experienced all types of connectedness. The distinctions between different ways of connecting are very strong in this environment. Connecting to the big world happens almost entirely through technology – like the internet. Connecting with the outside world in the arctic environment often means getting out of your comfort zone and exposing yourself to the ever-changing arctic weather. And finally connecting with yourself means often first ignore everything else to make enough space for the inner journey.
Perspective on Ignoring
According to vocabulary.com to ignore something is to disregard it, refuse to acknowledge, give little or no attention.
So what happens if you start to ignore? There is a risk of being disconnected from yourself, your internal environment if you do not put enough attention to how you manage to ignore it. Ignoring one thing leads often to put more attention on another one. It is like narrowing the focus. It might be both positive and negative, all depends on the desired outcome.
The threat of using ignoring without consciousness is using it as a distraction from something important. The trigger of getting very much involved in something might be at the same time an indication of turning the head away from something that needs attention yet might be difficult or uncomfortable. This is how I applied to ignore it as a coping strategy to handle chronic stress.
On the other hand, ignoring is an opportunity to be used as a powerful tool to gain focus on the important aspects. The responsibility and the ownership of the decision what to focus on is the foundation of using ignoring as leverage for the desired outcome. In other words, ignoring unimportant aspects might work like connecting with important ones.
It seems that the more entrepreneurs are connected to the external environment the less they are connected to the internal environment.
At the same time, the more entrepreneurs are ignoring the external environment the better they are connected to the internal environment.
Above variations lead to the equation: «more we ignore the better we are connected». The point is to consciously choose what to ignore and what to focus on and keep it balanced to optimize the results.
The challenge in coaching application turns to be in bringing the client’s awareness on ignoring and connecting to create an understanding of how to progress from the fixed current perspective to a new one that serves better.
Whether it is ignoring or connecting that the client is more aware of, it all depends on the client’s current perspective on the topic that is brought. The goal would be to create awareness so the client can choose what to focus on to achieve what is desired.
Timeframe plays an important role as well and it would be beneficial to explore whether the focus on the particular perspective is fragmented or continuous.
The first stage after the coaching agreement would be to explore deeper the vision of the desired outcome to introduce a positive emotional attractor. From the place of joy, curiosity, and gratitude the client will have a better chance to observe different perspectives on the topic. Establishing a positive and future-oriented platform will be a reference point that will help the client to see the contrast between perspectives.
- What is most important to you?
- What is the powerful desire that you have?
- How will you benefit when you have this?
- What will that look like
- How will that feel like?
- How will you enjoy it?
- How do you see the details?
The next stage would be to explore what is the client’s current situation and creating awareness about the dominant area that might be ignored, without anchoring the client in his potential fears.
- What is the current situation like?
- What do you need to resolve?
- What is most troublesome to you right now?
- What is it that you might be afraid to face now?
- What topic are you avoiding to discuss?
- What is the opposite of what you put most attention to?
- What makes you feel uncomfortable?
After the current perspective on what is ignored is being explored the next step for the coach could be to help the client define how the client is connected to this perspective:
- What is it exactly that makes you believe that?
- What is the motivation behind your actions?
- What thoughts triggered your actions?
- What is the worst that can happen if you stop ignoring..?
Once the perception of what is ignored and connectedness to the reasons behind are explored, the coach could challenge the client to explore how it is connected to what the client wants to achieve:
- How ignoring… can help you to achieve what you want?
- How your life will be different if you could resolve what you ignore?
- How resolving what you ignore will get you closer to ..?
- What would you do differently than?
- What if you stop ignoring… now?
The next stage would be to challenge the client even further and turn the attention to the positive connections with what the client wants to achieve:
- What would you like to be fully connected to?
- What if you start to be fully connected to it now?
- How would it feel like to be fully connected?
- How is connected to it that will help you to achieve what you want?
When challenging the client reaches its peak, the coach could invite the client to reflect on the learning that happened:
- How your perception of what you have been ignoring so far has changed?
- How your perception of what you have been connecting to so far has changed?
- How do you understand the reasons behind now?
- What has become clearer to be connected to from now on?
- What have you learned about yourself in this situation?
- How are you going to apply your new perspective?
- How will this support you go forward towards your goals?
The nature phenomenons such as midnight sun or polar night in the arctics challenge the definition and understanding of the difference between night and day. Nothing is obvious and perspectives are changing. You might never think that it is possible to enjoy the sun shining at 2 am in the middle of the night or to walk in the complete darkness at 2 pm in the middle of the day. Yet, this is a reality I’m experiencing on an everyday basis. It might not seem real or even possible until you will experience it.
The same happens when questioning the understanding of ignoring vs connecting helps to choose the perspective that best serves the purpose. Both ignoring and connecting, if used wisely, might get you closer to become united with yourself and the world around you. It is entirely up to you to choose how and what are you going to focus on to achieve that.
Inspirations and Recommended reading:
«The Power of Subconscious Mind» Joseph Murphy
«Helping People Change» Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, Ellen van Oosten
«The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People» Stephen R. Covey
«The Code of the Extraordinary Mind» Vishen Liakiani
«You Are What You Believe» Hyrum W. Smith
«The Awakened Millionaire» Joe Vitale
«Supercoach» Michael Niel
«The Magic of Thinking Big» David J. Schwartz
«Extreme Ownership» Jacko Willink
«Co-Active Coaching» Henry & Karen Kimsey- House
«Burnout» Emily & Amelia Nagoski
«Change Leader» Michael Fullan
«The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k» Mark Manson