A Coaching Power Tool Created by Shuchi Sahai
(Transformational Coach, INDIA)
Purpose of the INTENT Power Tool:
To minimise the influence of the conditioned self and increasingly live through the natural self.
An adult who may be overwhelmed by one or more circumstances in their life; they would have a fairly strong determination or desire to end the stalemate and free themselves of it even though they may not know how to do so or have a clear vision of the result they want.
What is the Conditioned Self:
The conditioned self is that part of a person’s being which arises from influences of others in the environment, especially of caregivers in the growing-up years. A particular type of stimulus will evoke a certain response in a person.
A niece who was told interesting stories by a particular aunt right through her childhood continued into adulthood to associate that relationship with pleasant evenings of story-telling even when the context changed, when it was somebody else’s relationship with their aunt being reviewed.
Till a generation ago in north India, left-handed children were smacked on the hand to stop them from using it and thus forced to use their right one instead as the latter was considered to be the ‘proper’ working hand and the other the ‘inappropriate’ one. Such children grew up to associate working with their left hand, even though it came to them naturally, with guilt, pain and humiliation, and the right one with social and professional acceptance.
A woman always cut a certain sized piece of meat into two before putting it into the pan to cook. Someone asked her why she did that. Her response was, “I don’t know. My mother always did it too”. Her lack of awarenes led her to call her mother and ask her why she always cut her piece of meat before cooking. Her mother clarified, saying, “Because my pan wasn’t big enough”. The daughter then realised that she did not need to continue following what she had seen her mother do because her own pan was large enough to accommodate a similar meat portion whole.
Why the Conditioned Self is Unhelpful: A person whose responses in a certain situation come from conditioning is prone to repeatedly seeking approval of others to take decisions. Their own voice may not have developed sufficiently and they may have come to recognise the voice of others as their own. Functioning through the conditioned self can be a confusing experience that affects self-esteem and confidence. It inhibits the individual from trusting their own feelings and perceptions, and also creates beliefs about oneself and life that would not have otherwise existed. It holds the individual’s attention on dynamics of their external environment rather than their own inner motivations. Such a person is usually not at peace with oneself.
Identifying the Conditioned Self: COACHING APPLICATION:
- What is your experience of the (presented) situation?
- Describe that feeling.
- What does it mean to you to be experiencing this situation in this way?
- What reservations do you have about beginning to make changes?
- How do you believe they will affect your relationships?
- How do you imagine others would feel about you if the relationship-dynamic began to shift?
- What does it mean to you to realise that you may be judged by people you hold dear?
- How has it been for you to be in this relationship-dynamic so far?
- How has it influenced how you feel about yourself?
- How much of what you imagined yourself to be a certain time ago are you able to be at this time?
- What made you alter your course?
How the INTENT Power Tool Works: The intent of a person is the most potent force they will ever know. It can be used intent to create change – the shift from functioning less through the conditioned self and more the natural, true one.
The INTENT Power Tool, therefore, helps restore that inner balance and creates filters that would not entirely reject helpful ideas from others but use only what may be required by them.
The INTENT Power Tool creates room for the possibility of choice between the conditioned and the natural self.
The INTENT Power Tool at Work: COACHING APPLICATION
- How do you see yourself as a catalyst for bringing yourself to the present moment?
- Creating readiness for change: How much longer would you like to continue this way?
- If there was something you could be, have or do differently, what would that be?
- How does it feel to be expressing your truth so far?
- If you listened to your spirit (or instinct), what would it be saying to you?
- How are you hearing its voice (words, feelings or images)?
- If you were to align with each other your intellectual capabilities, physical energy and wisdom to create the change you want to make in your life, how would you use them?
- How could we find a way to prepare for the (now familiar) contingency next time?
- What about the vision of the future feels right?
- How do you believe it would work for you?
- How do you see the changes you bring affect your personal and professional lives and relationships therein?
- Finally, how do you feel about yourself now?
- What beliefs do you hold about yourself now?
- What relationship with your self and life do you have now?
There are four premises that the INTENT Power Tool makes:
- Every person desires to live through their natural self.
- Everything that a person learns from their care-givers or other influential persons cannot be categorised as conditioning unless that influence blocks the individual’s natural instinct, voice or judgement, partially or fully.
- The conditioned self may never get eliminated fully but its recognition helps in choosing not to act on it.
- When an individual intends or desires to live through their natural self, then even the strongest hold of conditioning on them can be loosened.