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THE END and THE BEGINNING

Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash

The last month has been pretty intense with the preparation of our move, a 3300 miles RV Road Trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks, which by the way was amazing, and eventually, our move back to Europe, all this in the midst of Covid-19. I’m currently in transition in France before going for our new adventure in Prague during the summer.

All this has impacted my usual routines, including my writing routine and I won’t get back to a normal writing practice until mid or end of August. For now, I just want to share what I am present to as we just ended our chapter in the US.

 

THE BIG LEAP

5 years ago, I took a big leap when I decided to quit my job to follow my wife to live in Michigan. As I reflect on that move, I did what I usually don’t do: jump into the unknown without any clear plan (or some ideas that actually didn’t end up fitting), just trusting that the next step would come naturally if I was willing to create some space and time for it to come. There was a mix of fear and excitement, a sense of freedom, and overall a sense of POSSIBILITY. I discovered the concept behind that word later in my coaching journey, but that’s what is was: jumping into the field of possibilities without knowing what would come out of it. As we end this chapter, I’m so grateful for what came out of it. Being away from home helped me reinvent myself, as a coach. I am still in this process of discovering myself and excited by what is coming, which I feel will be beyond just coaching. I had the opportunity to meet amazing people in this journey and am looking forward to developing further these relationships.

On a personal and family level, we got to discover more in depth a different country, a similar culture with differences (or a different culture with similarities), different ways of doing or being, new perspectives. What did I take away? We are all part of Mankind.

I am grateful this was made easier by the safety of my wife’s income. And I’m not suggesting you to do the same. However, if you are at a point in your life with more questions than answers, I’m inviting you to trust that there is something different possible outside of what you know. The unknown is the field of Possibilities, outside of our comfort zone.

 

THE END

Creating something new in our life requires to make some space for it and to let go of other things: our comfort, our routines, some beautiful places and pleasant moments, some work opportunities and much more. And that’s hard. But it’s part of the game of life. And counter intuitively, putting an end to something give its more power. It gives it its wholeness. It’s like with a good book or TV show: you don’t want it to end, and yet it wouldn’t be so powerful if it never ended. Feeling the heartbreak of ending something makes us more present to the fact it was wonderful, which is easy to not see or take for granted when we are into it. Leaving the quality of life that we had and the friends we made during these 5 years is heartbreaking. And it also means and emphasizes that it was beautiful.

 

THANK YOU

Eventually, I want to thank each and every one I had the opportunity to meet in Michigan, friends, business owners, community people. Thank you for welcoming us in your world. If you happen to visit Europe someday, let me know, I’d be happy to help you prepare the trip and why not see you over here.  Anyway, I hope we can stay connected virtually.

Thank you also to those in France who stayed connected and followed our adventure, and even shared a bit of it with us for some of them. We are happy to come back closer to you.

 

THE BEGINNING

The next chapter is about to start, a new leap into the unknown. It feels less unknown as I will stay on my coaching journey but the less I try to imagine how it is going to be, the more I surrender to whatever is going to show up, the more exciting it is. I’ll continue to share and hopefully inspire some of you to create the life you really want. By then, I will be in this “In between” space, working AND enjoying my time in France, my move and my vacations.

Take care,

Once there lived a village of creatures

pikrepo.com

“Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.

The current of the river swept silently over them all – young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.

Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

But one creature said at last ‘I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom.’

The other creatures laughed and said, ‘Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!’

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath, did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried ‘See, a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!’

And the one carried in the current said, ‘I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure.’

But they cried the more, ‘Saviour!’, all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Saviour.”

— From Illusions, by Richard Bach

What are you clinging to?

What if you dared let go?

Take care,

 

 

 

What’s getting in the way is … THE WAY

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

“What’s getting in the way?” is a common question that can help identify what is preventing us to bridge the gap between where we are in our life, career or in our business and where we would like to be. While this question is very useful to identify roadblocks, internal limiting beliefs, and move more efficiently toward our goals, it shouldn’t hide the fact that, primarily, what’s in the way is … THE WAY.

To get where we want, we have to travel on the way. We might be able to run, find ideas and support to go even faster but we still have to travel on the way, we can’t just teleport directly there.

I am not so much pointing to the motivation part of this, like “creating something takes time” or “don’t give up, you just have to continue moving forward”.

I am pointing to the transformation part of it.  No one else can take us there. We need the internal process and sometime struggle that go along the way to create the internal transformation that will allow us to see what we couldn’t see, to do what we couldn’t’ do, and to become who we need to be to eventually move closer to our end game.

Receiving the information from someone who has already been there is not enough. We have to experience our own journey, go through the ups and downs, be scared and still move forward, enjoy the landscape, fall into holes, go sidetrack, get back on the way, and FEEL every part of it.

THE WAY can be frustrating (“If only I had understood this before…”). It’s just human.

As tempting as it can be to want to jump straight to the destination (“Just tell me how to do!”), there is a minimum distance to travel and a minimum transformation to happen to get there.

Because, intrinsically, what’ in the way IS THE WAY.

Take care,

You don’t need a lot of confidence, You need a little act of courage

sammie-vasquez-Zdf3zn5XXtU-unsplash

Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

In one of my recent coaching sessions with a client, the fact that he was lacking confidence showed up. My initial reflex was to think “how can we build up his confidence?”, but I knew this would not make a real difference, this was not impactful coaching.

And then I remembered a phrase I read last week. I had probably heard that quote or a similar one in the past, but either I had overlooked it (meaning I had understood it intellectually/conceptually but it hadn’t clicked deeply and I had moved on without doing anything about it), either I had had an insight but then it had gone back into my own blind spots again (the second tricky part of blind spots is that after they became visible, they can actually become invisible again…). Last week, for some reason, it clicked.

You don’t need a lot of confidence; you need a little act of courage.

In any situation where you feel you lack confidence, you can work on building your confidence, with some positive affirmations or by listing all your past successes and that might be helpful, but will probably be limited (by the way for this to be the most efficient, you need to really FEEL (not think) that confidence deep inside).

Or you can shift your entire perspective of the situation and realize that you actually don’t need more confidence to take action. Instead, you can just act, and this will require some courage. It will feel scary and uncomfortable in the moment, which is why aiming at a little act of courage can help. This will be way more effective than to try to convince yourself that you are ready and confident enough (because chances are that you will never be), and, as a result, guess what, this will build your confidence.

It’s usually quicker and more efficient to act your way into a new way of thinking than to think your way into a new way of acting, but for overthinking/overpreparing people like me, it’s not natural and more challenging. That’s why I get some support from my own coach and why I’m also good at helping people like me do the same.

Now you might read this without deeply clicking and that’s OK. Maybe one day, you will, maybe not. The bigger picture here is that it is possible to shift how we see the world and this allows us to move more effectively toward our dreams, one small act of courage at a time. In a sense, that’s what coaching is about.

I’ll leave you with the following questions:

  • Where is a lack of confidence holding you back at the moment? What if you didn’t need more confidence but instead a little act of courage? What would that act of courage be?
  • And to open up to more possibilities, where else do you get stuck? How could you reframe the situation to move on?

If, maybe counter-intuitively, you think that now is the time to invest in yourself to get unstuck or move more efficiently toward creating the life, business or career you really want, reach out. I have a couple of 1 on 1 spots available. Maybe that’s the little act of courage that would make a difference for you.

Take care,

Covid-19 : How to mentally deal with the situation as an athlete

Photo by Joshua Jordan on Unsplash

Photo by Joshua Jordan on Unsplash

The current situation is unprecedented in modern history. If the global situation and the health crisis are of course the priority, the impacts in the sport arena are immense and of a level never seen before: suspension of most of all leagues and championships in most of sports, some of them completely cancelled, the soccer European championship and the Olympic Games postponed to next year, cancellation of certain major tournaments like Wimbledon and so on…And in addition, the lock down or shelter in place in many countries prevent the athletes to practice and breaks their routine. All this tends to create a significant anxiety and uncertainty. The goal of this article is to offer a few tips in order to move forward in a constructive way during this troubled period.

 

Recognize your emotions

It is important to recognize and hold space for your emotions, including the emotions often presented as negative like sadness, frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, boredom, etc.

We usually tend to react in one of the following two ways:

  • We let these “negative” emotions overwhelm us and take control and we become their victim. For instance, we see everything in dark, we feel powerless and find all the reasons why we can’t reach our objectives.
  • Or we pretend they are not here, avoid them thinking that they are “bad” and we jump into excessive positivism right away. In this case, the unaddressed emotions stay in the back of our mind, in the background, and prevent us from moving forward in a liberated, constructive and healthy way. A saying resumes it brilliantly, which says that “we can’t leave a place we haven’t been to”.

The goal is therefore first to recognize your emotions, to name them in order to better understand them and accept them, not as a fatality, but just as an observation, without judgment. Hold space to feel them, of course ensuring that you don’t harm anyone (oneself or others). This doesn’t mean you are passively accepting a situation that you don’t like or agree with, just that you accept your humanity and how you feel in the moment in a compassionate way. Only then is it possible to move forward in a positive and constructive way.

Breath slower and deeper to better release stress

In a future article, I’ll share more details about some stress management techniques. For now, I am inviting you to use a very simple way to reduce the anxiety generated by the situation: focus your attention on your breath, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual (without exaggerating or hyperventilating), imagining the air coming in and out of your chest area. You can repeat internally: “I inhale calm (or serenity, or any word that feels good to you), I exhale tensions (or stress, anxiety, or any word that represent the negative impact you are undergoing)” and feel more and more relaxed after each breath. After a little while, your thoughts will go somewhere else, whether on what you did previously in the day, or what you have to do after, or on a physical sensation or some sounds. That’s OK. When you catch yourself, don’t judge yourself, just bring your attention back on your breathing and start again, breathing slower and deeper than usual. Do this for 1, 5, 10, 15min depending on your needs and your constraints in the moment, when you feel stressed out, but also when you don’t, in order to build your resilience capacity in the face of stress.

Focus on what you CAN control

In this crisis, the most difficult to manage may be, in addition to the fear that the virus harms us or our closed ones, the associated uncertainty of the period:

  • How long will the lock down last?
  • When will the competition start again?
  • What will be the impact on the physical fitness?
  • What will be the mental or psychological impacts?
  • How to adapt one’s objectives accordingly?

An efficient way to deal with this uncertainty and anxiety it generates is to constantly ask yourself the question of what you can or can not control. If something is in our control, then you can focus on it, if you can not control something, then it is useless to spend mental and physical energy on it. Constantly asking oneself this question enables to simplify and choose more easily how to respond to our thoughts and emotions and where to focus our attention and energy.

We can’t control all that is happening to us, but we can control the way we respond to it.

For instance, the lock-down is not in your control. It is therefore useless to ruminate about it (even if we can certainly feel frustrated about it at times). Keeping in physical and mental shape is on the other hand in your control (see next paragraph).

Keep in physical and mental shape in order to be in a better place when all will start again

For those who might get back to competition, it is important to maintain as much as possible a physical, mental and technical fitness. Everyone will have been impacted and those who will be able to regain their best level the fastest will have an advantage.

  • The first thing is to analyze your motivation and to commit to do all that you can to keep in shape. This might be obvious for professional athletes but it is not for others who don’t have any obligation and have to find a personal strong motivation. Find a purpose, and commit in order to overcome the down times. It’s also OK to decide to let go and not push through this season. It’s a personal decision.
  • Set up a routine. Athletes usually have structured days with specific habits. If these have been broken down with the situation, it is possible to set up new routines and to hold on to them during the crisis, in order to take back control and not be a victim.
  • Keep in Physical Shape (important: the intensity should be seen with the coach and doctor as it is apparently possible to have one’s respiratory capacity impacted if being infected by the Covid-19, even without clear symptoms), with some fitness or core strength exercises (many available online), going for a run when possible, going up and down the stair multiple times, etc… When motivated, we can accomplish incredible things, like a guy who ran a marathon and then a 50K on his 7m balcony. Without going to extremes like this, you can get creative to find fun ways to keep in shape.
  • Practice your technique when you can (technical gesture, drills, precision, reaction time, etc.)
  • Do some Mental Training. For instance, you can practice visualization (of work-outs or competition) to strengthen your neural pathways and keep a competitive mindset.
  • Review some strategic or tactical aspects of your sport by watching some videos, games, races, etc.
  • Make the most of it to do what you usually don’t have time to do.

 

See the bigger picture and adapt your goals

Just like in a race, an objective of victory or Personal Best can transform into limiting the setback and doing one’s best when the body doesn’t respond as expected, the objectives of this season will have to be reviewed and adapted. There is nothing dramatic about adapting one’s goals although it can feel like it. And the situation is the same for everyone.

Projecting yourself in the future (at least next season) and building new objectives and plans will help to not stay imprisoned in the gloominess of the present. By doing so, you will build a bridge from an uncertain frustrating and stressing present to an exciting and motivating future.

 

Look for the opportunities

It may sound like a cliché and if we haven’t acknowledged how we feel and allowed ourselves to feel frustrated, angry, sad, or whatever, we may resist this idea, but in any crisis, difficult period, failure, some opportunities are hiding. Looking for them helps to switch from being a victim of the circumstances to being the creator of one’s future. For instance, the current situation may be an opportunity to:

  • Develop your resilience. In general, it is healthier to not compete against others but to use adversity as a way to surpass yourself and become better. This period is definitely an example of adversity and can be used to develop your resilience, your ability to adapt, bounce back and find energy in encountering obstacles rather than being demoralized. This resilience, when developed, enables to stay mentally focused and competitive even when being down in a game, to believe in one’s chance even with a disturbed preparation, to fight and move on no matter what. This is a crucial skill for any athlete who wants to go far and high.
  • Develop your self-awareness. Many champions share that what has been most important in their career is not their medals but their journey of self-discovery, the fact that they grew through their sport and became a better version of themselves. What does the current situation teach you about yourself? How can it help you improve?
  • Realize that what you may usually take for granted is not, realize that sport is eventually only one piece of your life, be grateful to be able to practice a sport you love. And, when everything starts again, when the new normal is there, keep this in mind as a way to put things in perspective, to lower the absolute stakes of a competition, to reduce the pressure and the stress and increase the fun of it.

All the best in this difficult period, stay safe and healthy, take great care of yourself, and prepare for the recovery that will be even more appreciable.

Take care,

SHOULD WE

Photo by Louis Maniquet on Unsplash

 

Should we be afraid, should we fall into depression

Should we see the silver lining in the situation

Should we be looking for and offer direction

Should we just feel and offer more compassion

 

Should we lower the bar to flatten the curve

Should we raise the bar so as to better serve

Should we just allow ourselves to take a break

Should we seek to provide the ice on the cake

 

Should we follow the steps to go through adversity

Should we just ignore and go in total normality

Should we demonstrate much more humility

Should we just BE in the face of our humanity

 

Should we step up and dive into the swirls

Should we just watch the birds and the squirrels

Should we become the leader we aspire to

Should we listen to the reasons for not to

 

Should we feel guilty, should we feel proud

Should we feel differently and say it loud

Should we cry, should we shout, should we laugh

Should we speak or stay silent when times are rough

 

Should we take control, should we just let go

Should we be able to accept that we don’t know

Should we focus on what will come after

Should we just be in the present with whatever

 

Should we just stop looking for an answer

Should we live with a question that is better

Should I even have written this unpretentious piece

Should I trust that you’ll get whatever you need from this

 

With love,

 

Thoughts and Support

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

You might have had enough emails or social media about coronavirus so far. Before writing this one, I really asked myself: do I want to add more to this? There is already so much out there, some I find very good, some I find not so good… And I also wondered “who am I to reach out and speak about this?”.
Then I remembered that the purpose of my blog is to share my coaching journey, my reflections, and whether I want it or not, Covid-19 is part of it. And I also realized that I was happy to hear from people that I trust and value in my coaching community, and if you haven’t unsubscribed, I assume you value what I have to say and might find some food for your own thoughts in my writing. So here we go with some reflections and some support offered at the end.

What I noticed
For over a week, I have been observing, reflecting, wanting to respond rather than react. That’s my default mode.

I noticed my own reactions, the waves of gentle frustration, fear and anxiety (not panic) at each new disruptive announcement (major events cancellations, then flights ban, then boarder closing, then school closing, then confinement, etc…), or when reading news about how serious the situation is, each wave then going away, like the water going back into the ocean. And the cycles will continue for a while I am sure.

I noticed that I fell into some sort of apathy. Apart from serving my current clients and the mandatory things I had to do, I felt a lot of resistance to follow my plan and achieve my tasks. I just felt like taking a break, maybe that was my own way to cope in this crazy week. I am now in the process of setting some actions in order to get back on track, get back to find some purpose, to serve others and keep working on my business with new rules.

I noticed a lot of judgment out there, including my own. It’s so much easier to judge how others respond than to acknowledge our own vulnerability and humanity. Fear is showing up in different ways. Its expression might be piling up an excessive amount of food, supplies, … and Toilet Paper. It might be denying the severity of the situation. It might be arguing on Facebook (although we don’t need to be scared to do that). It might be judging others for how they respond to their fear. Recognizing and acknowledging our own fear counter intuitively helps to be more serene with the whole thing and to be more intentional and empowered in how we want to act.

Switching from judgment to curiosity
Often in meditation or mindfulness, we practice observing without judging. This helps differentiate ourselves from our thoughts and emotions rather than “being” these thoughts and emotions. And this tends to naturally calm down and bring clarity. Right now, I found that observing and coming from a place of genuine curiosity about this unprecedented situation was helpful to stay grounded.
What have your learned so far from the situation? About yourself, about the world, about adaptation, about trust, about stepping into the unknown?

What do you Need?
We all need different things at the moment. Some need to take action, some need to be reassured, some need to reassure others, some need to serve, some need to laugh, some need to connect.

What do YOU need right now?

Offering some support:
I want to offer some support at no charge to anyone in my community (yes that means you) who needs it or just wants it:

  • 1 on 1 coaching call: I won’t tell you what to do, I don’t have answers, I have questions, paradigm shifts, distinctions that will help you be more empowered, figure out what you need to do and who you need to be in this period. I feel it is a great time to trust that each of us has what it takes to go through this and to draw out our best and unique ways to move on. If you’d like to have a coaching call, just reach out.

  • I’d like to start a weekly group coaching call on zoom to support entrepreneurs, small business owners and professionals to process,  brainstorm, get clearer on how to adapt, get out of their own way, get into action, and get some support from others in the group. If you are interested in being part of this, just reach out and I’ll keep you informed.

Eventually, I am sending you some warm thoughts to you and your families.

Take great care,

Intuition

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

 

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about this week. So, I sat down, for 10min, 20min, 30min, closing my eyes at times, trying to be present to what was there for me to say. Some ideas came, that I had in mind for a while, but it didn’t feel the right things to talk about. Eventually, what felt good was to talk about this process of listening to my own intuition, or to what feels right.
I have been listening more and more to my intuition lately, both in personal and professional situations.
Using intuition in coaching can be very powerful to uncover roadblocks and clear the path to what the client wants to achieve, providing that it is just offered as a way for the client to explore and not to analyze them or to be right about it.

Here is what was said in a class I took about intuition:

Intuition is the human capacity to know without the use of rational processes or concrete information. For some in mainstream society, anything that cannot be verified by our six senses is viewed with suspicion; and intuition is sometimes understood as being aligned with spiritual things. Intuition may be the subconscious mind’s ability to take all the bits and pieces of information we absorb through our senses, process them through our mind and spirit, and refine them into a singular “knowing” about something. I personally like that possibility because it is still understandable by my scientific and rational brain.

Everyone is intuitive. We may call it something other than intuition, but we all have experienced and benefited from this form of guidance.

Intuitive muscles are further strengthened by recognizing, trusting, and acting on intuition. Keeping an intuition journal is one way to collect evidence of intuition working in your life.

Intuition is blocked by poor self-care, distractions, fear, impatience, judgments, attachment to an outcome, and worry about others’ perceptions.

With practice, you can learn to discern intuition from intellect or emotion.

INTUITION OFTEN HAS TO COMPETE WITH OUR PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT HOW THE WORLD WORKS, OUR BIAS IN FAVOR OF LOGIC AND OUR OVER RELIANCE ON THINKING.

While intuition is quite often correct, there are so many influences that can affect our interpretation or our understanding of what intuitive messages may mean. Never assume your intuition is always correct. Test it, offer it for review, but don’t insist on it being right.

What you may receive and relate through intuition about someone else may not always resonate with them. While sometimes it takes time for the other person to absorb what you intuitively tell them, it is possible that they never will. And, it is possible that your intuition does not match the other’s. Be prepared for this possibility, and merely offer your intuition. The other makes the final decision to accept and act upon it, or not.

The way I use my intuition is not so much a «what is this situation trying to tell me ? » sort of  way, but rather creating some space and time without forcing anything, to get a feel about a situation.

When I have an unclear situation, like a blur painting, or a decision that is difficult for me to make (which is often the case based on how indecisive I am…), I sit down, eyes closed. I try to feel things, or options. Sometimes I let my thoughts go away and come back. I try to narrow in on what is getting in the way, what feels or doesn’t feel right. And then the painting becomes clearer, I see things that I didn’t see before, or, in the case of a decision, a natural option emerges. And if not, then I switch to another activity and let go of this topic for a while, and then come back to it later using the same process. That has appeared to be very efficient, even more than to make pro and cons lists in the case of a decision, which is pretty much a thinking process.

I noticed that while I am becoming more and more comfortable to listen to my intuition about myself, I still struggle to trust my intuition about others or to trust the intuition others have about me (when I am being coached for instance). The voice in my head is saying: “Who am I (are you) to know more about you (me) than you (I) do?”. So, when someone is sharing something they see for me, even and especially when my first reaction is to not see what they are talking about, I practice being open to it, without being attached to it being right or wrong, just as a possibility that will help me explore. And I practice sharing what I sense about others without being attached to be right either.

I’ll leave you with a few questions to reflect on:

  • What experiences of intuition have you had at work or in your personal life?
  • What judgments do you hold about intuition?
  • What fears do you have about using your intuition fully? What holds you back from acting on your intuitions? (For me, it’s clearly to be wrong and then beat myself up for not reasoning more)
  • What will others in your in your world say if you reveal that you are acting on intuition?
  • Is there something that you are tolerating that is keeping you out of integrity or blocking your intuition?
  • What is synchronicity?
  • What experiences/evidences of synchronicity have you noticed in your life?
  • What messages do you need to pay attention to now? What are you stepping over or distrusting?

Take care.

«Forget about me!» the leader said

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

I love sport and part of my activity is to coach athletes to overcome their mental roadblocks to perform to their full potential. I recently wrote a post to my “sport mental training” community and I thought I would extend this post to leadership in general.

I came across a video (sorry for a lot of you, it is in French) of the speech former San Antonio Spurs basketball player Toni Parker gave to his teammates during the half-time of the semi-final of the Euro in 2005 when France managed to beat Spain for the 1st time. At half-time, France was down by 14 points. In the locker rooms, Toni Parker, captain and leader of the team, had to find the words to motivate his teammates. “We are playing like if we were afraid, we are not physical enough …I don’t care what happens in the second half and if we lose, but we are going to fight”.

But most importantly, after other words, he eventually said: “Nothing to lose, let’s play. Antoine, if you have a shot, take it, Alexis, if you have a shot, take it”. And you know what?” he ended saying to the playmaker of the team, “announce plays for Nico, for Bobo … just 1 out of 5 for me … forget about me!”.

France made an amazing come back in the second half and managed to beat Spain.

Not only did Toni Parker motivate his teammates, but he also didn’t let his frustration and ego take the wheel and want to save the whole team on his own.

Instead he trusted his teammates and asked them to forget about him, not because he was afraid and wanted to run away from his responsibility, but because he felt everyone needed to step up. So, by stepping down in a way, he created the space for them to step up, for them to take their responsibility. This is great leadership.

This applies to leadership at work. Great leaders create more leaders, not more followers.

Now this requires Vulnerability and Courage, because it is taking the risk to be seen as weak or escaping one’s responsibility, it is facing the fear of losing one’s leadership role.

It requires Trust. Trust that you are doing the right thing, trust your teammates and that they can step up and save the game.

And it requires to let go of the need to control everything, which is very counter intuitive for most leaders.

In his book Leading with Emotional courage, Peter Bregman says something similar and goes even a step further, by inviting leaders to do something most them fight so hard to avoid: being overwhelm, the ingredient to draw out leadership in others. Here is what Peter Bregman says:

Leaders like to be in control. They want things to turn out right and feel, often mistakenly, that if they have control over them, they will…. The more control you have over something, the less room there is for others to step into their own leadership.

Designing chaos into a process is the antithesis of what most leaders do. We try to focus on 1 thing, 1 concept, 1 conversation, 1 task. But in real life, in real organizations, nothing happens one thing at a time. And no one can be on top of it all (Evan speaking here: Yes, I know, that sucks to admit that. It is both very obvious and intellectually understandable, and yet, for people like me, the internal pattern is to act as if we could be on top of it all. Take the time to check in how that lands in you).

 If everyone followed their own impulse, stepped into their own leadership, wouldn’t that lead to anarchy? Maybe. It depends on the strength of their organization’s container. How clear is the big arrow, the vision, the values, the culture? If we know what we’re doing, why we’re doing it, what’s important to us, and how to operate then there will be trust, focused energy, and abundant, unified leadership. If not, there will be anarchy.

 No matter how much leaders would like to, they just can’t control everything. Trying to control the uncontrollable just makes things worse. People check out. They feel no ownership. They work minimum. And things fall through the cracks.

 Here’s the hard part: leading without controlling. Stepping into your own leadership while leaving space for others to step into their own leadership as well.

So, if you are a leader, what would Toni Parker’s request “Forget about me” look like for you? How can you step into your own leadership while leaving space for others to step into their own leadership as well? By doing so you’ll become a greater leader and your whole team will become better.

LETTING GO OF THE NEED TO PROVE ANYTHING

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

Here is what I noticed lately.

If I come from a place of fear and want to prove myself, then:

  • My breathing is shallow,
  • I am only partially present,
  • My energy is one of debating,
  • Yes… But…,
  • I try to make my point,
  • I try to fix, advise, provide answers,
  • I try to reassure the other one but it’s actually just to reassure myself,
  • I please,
  • Less Connection,
  • Less Trust,
  • Possibilities are limited, or nonexistent
  • My impact is so, so.

Instead, if I let go of the need to prove anything, then:

  • My breathing is nice and slow,
  • I am fully present,
  • My energy is one of flow,
  • Yes… And…,
  • I am not attached to be right,
  • I am curious and OK to NOT KNOW,
  • I don’t need to reassure the other one, he/she is already reassured,
  • I serve,
  • More connection,
  • More Trust,
  • Possibilities are abundant,
  • My impact is increased.

To let go of the need to prove anything, I can ground myself, connect to my inner power, focus on the other one, practice all sorts of things and find all sorts of good reasons why I have nothing to prove, but in the end, I find it all comes down to TRUST.

Letting go of the need to prove anything requires a huge amount of Trust. And Trust is not something you have or give once you have all the data to prove you are right, it is something you do without any certainty which is why it is often hard.

And you, do you need to prove something? What would be different if you let go of that need? What is necessary for you to let go of that need?

Take care,