A Coaching Power Tool By Chia-Hsin Chen, Life Coach, TAIWAN
When you hear the word power off and power on, what is the first image coming to you? Power as electricity makes light ball bright and dark? Or, in the fiction that superman owns the magic strength to fight with evil guys? Or, the horsepower for cars to present its capability how fast they can run? The answer is non of the above. In this coaching power tool, the definition of power off refers to reset yourself, take a break, do a pause, switch a role to reframe your mind whenever you feel it is necessary. Power on refers to start again and resume from the place where you take a break and pause last time when you are ready. Both power off and power on is an invisible tool but tangible mode for mindset preparation.
How often do you give up saying, let me do it later, and then make tons of plans, and none of your projects turn out into any action or, even worse, delay? Or, I would like to read more books or lose certain ponds or learning a new skill during the New Year’s wish list? Do these sound familiar and ring the bell? I want to say that it is okay to be imperfect in the real-life, accept who you are, and follow the flow you would like to proceed further. However, the issue causes you not to take any action or delay; maybe your mind is not ready for it. What can you do to help your mind is ready? Let’s try power off and power on tool.
Coaching Tool Power Off vs. Power On/Reset Yourself vs. Start Again
You can practice reframing your thought or perspective by intentionally change to a new location, a new environment, or a new role. With these changes, people will find more stimulation and fresh feelings on the things they are doing. Let us take a look at slash life-a a role change as an example. According to Marci Alboher, the book author of One Person/Multiple Careers mentioned that
more and more people are building careers filled with slashes. From lawyer/chefs to a police officer/personal trainers to mom/CEOs, these creative thinkers have discovered the antidote to boredom, burnout, job insecurity, and many other workplace woes.
Slashie life is an excellent example of power off. People switch their roles from A to B at a particular time, and they can benefit and enjoy keeping doing their work after this change. Why? By power off (switch the position), people have a chance to reset themselves (mind change) and experience and demonstrate their skills to earn more income, and earn a sense of accomplishment in a different role. In my own experience, I have a full-time job, and after work, I will switch my role as a mother. From time to time, I encounter dealing with people issues and conflicts across divisions or countries at work. I feel stuck when the situation gets complicated and tries very hard to jump to the problems and do problem-solving. The harder I try to solve the issues, the longer time I will figure out the answers. My mind is “trapped” into the problems, and a vicious cycle impacts my emotion even after work. Thus, I figure out I need to power off myself when I feel my mind is stuck or trapped right away. I will not do any work-related agenda after I get off from work to ensure I can give myself a break, a pause.
Another example of power off is athletes. Before the game competition, what do most athletes do besides warming up? I noticed some of them would go to a quiet place praying (reset their consciousness) to keep their minds calm and focused. Or, they do nothing particular but take a break and pause themselves at the best status to win the game. Whether the game result is winning or loose, the “power off” mode gives athletes space to embrace themselves and support them with positive thinking or belief to win a better result.
Either a slashie life or the athlete’s example, the critical element during the power off is mind reframe preparation between trust and doubt. Following are sample questions that you may ask yourself during the power-off mode.
- How do I feel now?
- What I am good at in this particular topic/situation?
- What is the best result under my control?
- If the same thing happens again, what will I do differently?
- Any other options I have besides the current one?
What is the biggest challenge when you do power on? Take a wild guess? There is an old saying that the biggest enemy is yourself in both Western and Asia societies. YOU are the biggest enemy to yourself when you do power on. So, what can we do with this enemy? Based on my experience, you need to pay attention to build up a habit to remind you of the progress yourself toward the goal you want to achieve, even if it is a small step. It is easy to say but maybe a challenge for some people at the beginning.
In the book Mini Habits, the author set up a goal to lose weight by doing a certain push-up every day. In the beginning, he did give up sometimes due to different kinds of reasons. One day, he laid on the bed and thought, why not doing “just one” push-up every day? He then flipped up from the bed and did one push up then went to bed. He did this one push-up the next day and the same thing for a while. Later on, he realized he had developed the so-called “mini habit,” which is accessible and achievable even though one push-up sounds silly at the beginning. Furthermore, his physical fitness is getting more robust, so instead of doing one push-up, he can easily do two or five more push-ups every day.
When you do power on, you can pick something you would like to achieve and break it into small steps, as the push-up example earlier. The purpose of doing so is to establish your mini achievement to increase your confidence level of success. I feel pretty helpful with the mini success when I started writing this paper. At the beginning of writing this paper, I was naïve and thought of spending a full day, and then I can complete this paper without worrying too much. Guess what? I failed. I felt a whole day is long enough to write this paper, but there were more readings and surveys I needed to do before writing. Also, I did not realize I do not have the luxury time to have a day off, even over the weekend. With this lesson learn, I kicked off this power off vs power on the tool right away. After power myself off, I was aware that I gave myself too much time pressure, especially setting a tight time frame that I could not fulfill. That is why I felt so frustrated and hesitated writing this requirement. With this new realization, I powered on again and expected to schedule my time more wisely and reasonably. Instead of putting a day as the deadline, I plan myself 2 hours of writing one to two paragraphs every other Friday until I finish this paper. Guess what again? I did it. I am happy with these new findings and feel much more energetic whenever I write. Meanwhile, I am proud of the mini progress even though I was busy with work and family all the time.
With my above experience, the mini step does help me to build up more confidence whenever I reach a small milestone during the power-on mode. However, during this process, I need to re-examine my time and resources, which are the doable and reasonable steps for breaking my goal into small ones. If I do not have this reflection first, I may fail again by accidentally break the big goal into the wrong steps. To avoid the wrong steps happen, you shall consider your priority more wisely. Also, to keep up this “mini momentum,” there are some sample questions you can ask yourself while preparing yourself to move on. Some of the sample questions are listed below.
- What is the ideal result for each min step?
- What resources can help you moving forward?
- Any obstacles that may stop you from moving to the ideal result?
- Who can be helpful to you?
- When can you start doing it?
- What are you waiting for?
Application Method for Power off vs. Power On
Power off vs. power on tools give people a moment of “me time” to rethink who they are and what they want. You can use this tool anytime when you feel it is appropriate to do so. There are many ways to apply power off, and power on tools depends on the time and resources you have. I often chose to do meditation or take a walk to apply power tools because those two are easy to access and free, not to mention you can do it by yourself. You can use some other ways based on your preference, and I just name a few here.
Meditation is a combination of mind, spirit, and body exercise. According to Wikipedia, “meditation techniques have sometimes been thought of in two broad categories: focused(or concentrative) meditation and open monitoring (or mindfulness) meditation.” What I do often is the later one- open monitoring.
You can find a place where you feel comfortable and sit down by crossing your legs positions. Usually, I will play light music (no lyrics) in the background and start to calm down both mind and body for meditation for at least 30 minutes. If you do this the first time, you may feel your legs get paralysis 10 minutes after. If so, you may stop here or stretch your legs to give it another try. Once you get used to the mediation, you can feel the power to calm down your heart and mind quickly. At that moment, you can start the power off or power on mode. The challenge here is you may be interrupted by something/someone when you do the meditation. Please remember to turn your mobile into vibrate mode and inform your family or roommates that you need a quiet moment for yourself. Any interruption for these 30 minutes will not help you reach the purpose of self calm down and self-reflection. Thus, it is highly recommended you secure the mediation environment before you start it.
Walkthrough in the Dynamic Application to Power Off vs. Power On
Unlike mediation, taking a walk in the dynamic application to power on and off. If I want to reset myself with a new view or switch my mood, I will pick a different route on purpose during the walk to get a sense of more stimulation from the outside environment. If I prepare to power on, I will take a walk slowly and indoors to get my mood ready, then start the work right where I pause last time. You can do the walk anytime you like, regular or irregular routes, indoor or outdoor. Last but not least, you decide the frequency you would like to kick this walk mode on and off.
There is no limitation regarding the weather, facility, or time frame for both meditation and walk. You can do it yourself or with friends at any time and any place at almost no cost.
You can find your comfortable way to apply power off and power on mode, mediation, and walk just the successful experience from me. Please note that there is no order to do either power on or power off first. All you need to do is follow your heart; then, you will know what you need then. Are you ready to experience this power tool? What are you waiting for? Let us give it a try today, shall we?