I was in a training seminar with 125 other people and we were given a piece of paper with 9 dots on it and told to solve this puzzle given a certain set of instructions.  Those instructions are “join all 9 dots with 4 straight lines without taking pen from paper”.  Well, that’s simple enough.  No problem.  I have strengths…no kiddin’…I do have some strengths but solving puzzles like this has never been one of them.  (Is that self-limiting?) The class was told that as you solved the puzzle you were to have a staff member approve your solution and then you were to step to the side of the room watching the remaining participants until everyone had finished.

My internal dialogue began to come alive as more and more people finished the game and watched me and a few others begin to pull the hair out of our head.  “I could use a life coach right now”, I thought as the game went on endlessly.  “I am going to be the last person sitting here figuring this cotton pickin’ thing out.”  “My wife is going to laugh her head off at this one”, I began to muse.  Fortunately, the facilitator ended the game before the last few of us were finished and spared the remaining contestants some pain and embarrassment…but not much.

What was the point of this exercise?  Well, there were a couple of things that shook out during our debriefing afterward.  First, acknowledge your internal dialogue and how you treat yourself.    OK, got that one for sure.  Secondly, think outside the box.  There is more than one way to do something.  Frequently, as I coach business executives there is a “right way” to do something and some rigidity around change and evolving models of productivity.  I was speaking the other day to a client who wants to lose some weight.  However, they just can’t “find a way to do it”.  We searched Google for “weight loss” and came up with over 333 million results.  “How to” is never the problem.  There is always a solution, always a way to accomplish something you truly intend to achieve.

OK, maybe what we need “most of the time” is clarification around what we truly need to achieve or what we truly WANT to achieve.  I’m going to throw out a principle here for you that I believe to be true.  You may or may not accept it.  That’s fine.  Here it is: You have in results what you truly intend.  I want you to respond in the comment section for this blog …right now…how are you reacting to this claim?  I realize this next statement and corollary is pretty hard, but I’ll say it anyway.  Perhaps, you do not have what you say you really want because you have not set your mind and intentions to “gitn’erdun”.  Maybe you would like to have the life of your dreams if it was not so “difficult” to achieve.  Honestly, I do not know if it is hard or easy.  I don’t even know what it is you want. I do know we have a lot of self-limiting beliefs around things we say we sincerely desire.  This is a common human experience.   I am not going to go into “why” at this point but just make an observation.  Would you like to change the paradigm through which you see yourself and build the life of your dreams?  It’s possible but you will likely need help.

The 9 dot exercise hangs some of us up because we can’t see past the apparent box the 9 dots seem to form.  However and in actuality, they do not form a box.  We add framework to the instructions that go something like, “join all 9 dots with 4 straight lines without taking pen from paper…within the square formed by the outer dots.”    We add rules, form, framework and /or context and actually prevent ourselves from “winning” or finishing the game.  What if we had said in the original instructions “join all 9 dots with 4 straight lines without taking pen from paper… and feel free to use the entire page outside of the apparent square formed by the outer dots.”  Would this immediately have you thinking differently about the possibilities?  What we think and what we believe whether it is real or not will design, refine, define and confine who we can be in this world.  Think outside the box.

A Comment on Christian Life Coaching

Are you considering a life coach?  Perhaps, you are past consideration and actually thinking about life coach certification.  Well, whether you want a life coach in Birmingham, Alabama or Australia or Canada or the UK…we would be glad to talk to you about being a life coach.  Personally, my introduction to life coaching came through a family crisis.  It moved my wife and me to take committed action for our child but also for us.  Frankly, we believed we were saving a child but it turned out that we were saving ourselves…and a child.

Everyone seeks to conquer what challenges their life in some fashion.  You may address your pain or limiting beliefs with determination to change by planning a new strategy, asking a friend for support or seeking power from the divine.  Perhaps, you are tired of being so tactically aggressive about your personal development and are seeking a new attitude through meditation or relaxation.  Whether you are looking for more money, wealth or are going through a career transition…don’t give up.  You can be happy, successful and build the life of your dreams.

Can you acknowledge that you may need help?  My training allows me to coach people from all backgrounds.   If you would like to talk more, please comment on this site and register for a FREE coaching session.