As a result, I grew up very depressed and became rebellious against social norms. In middle school I was that quiet-angry-punk-rock-goth-girl who only wore black, kept my head down and only listened to The Cure. That was me trying to be different, but ironically, only as different as all the other “punk rock new wavers”.
I just really scratched my head at what I thought was a "horrible" world I had been born into. Think about it, from racism to melting ice-caps to sex-trafficking at Walmart, the world humans created is complicated.
Even if we choose to not talk about it, we all feel the impact of these things in hearts each time the next news flash goes by.
My chronic linear focus on what was "wrong", drew me to an equally linear conclusion.
I concluded that we must have
reached our potential as a human race and
we were now headed downhill.
What I discovered is that my conclusion was sorely short-sited.
I discovered that we are only a fraction towards reaching our human potential. Furthermore, things were so “off” because we haven’t even experienced true success on a larger scale yet.
Most people, and most company teams, operated through linear thinking. This linear thinking was delivering equally linear results. The problem with linear results is they don't yield truly successful outcomes. Let me share an example.
If I say to you, “Hey, guess what!? I achieved my goal and created this stellar million dollar company!” Most people would be like, “Wow, congrats, that is amazing! Good work!” followed by a high-five. And if my goal is linear, like going from zero to a million, and I hit that marker, then I can consider myself a true success, right?! I can even call my company “stellar” because it met my limited criteria.
Ok, let’s look at the broader truth. What if I came to you and said, “Hey guess what?! I created this stellar million dollar company! Our products pollute the ocean and our employees are all unhappy and overworked, but that’s ok because we moved our base across seas and employ children as young as eight years, on the cheap, to keep our costs down.”
To you I ask, have I reached true success?
Is anything a true success if it also initiates negative impact?
I say no. True success doesn't include failure.
Wouldn't true success encompass successful outcomes in all areas an endeavor reaches? For example, "Hey guess what?! I created this amazing million dollar company! Our products are 100% biodegradable, our product line is run on 100% solar, our employee base is like a large supportive family and our turnover is lower than any other company in our sales bracket for over a decade. We have so much left over after all the high end profit sharing that we donate all the excess to support families struck by poverty."
Again, most companies want to be successful in all areas, they just started out with linear goals and gotten themselves limited solutions. Time to pivot.
Understand this. Even the way success is defined in the dictionary points directly to this unintended limitation we've placed on human potential.
1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2. a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
Can you see the singular focus? Interesting isn't it.
If true success doesn't include failure then the dictionary might read:
1. the successful outcomes created as a result of an accomplishment or purpose.
2. surpassing desired aims and attaining prosperity, for self and others, as a result.
Can you see the movement from the linear into the expanded? It is a huge difference in implication.
Linear thinking creates limitation, intended or not. Linear solutions are prone to unintended consequences because they are, by their very nature, short-sighted solutions.
I have good news though! The problems we face nowadays are not due to a lack of intelligence. We are highly intelligent, but we are not yet integratively intelligent.
I am willing to bet not one company team started out saying, "I want to cause damage to the environment and take more for myself than I want to provide for my staff."
Yet, they may have started out saying, "Let's create a million dollar company!" and then got lost in the excitement, cut corners, and sold out their values for venues.
Not one person would say, “Yes, I want to swim in a disgusting polluted dying ocean!! Wooho!” Not one. Yet, that is very sadly what is happening.
So, we've failed to see through the lens true success. That is ok. We can start now.
So, we've forgot to choose the outcome that made the millions and left positive impacts in multiple areas. That is ok. We can expand our vision and engage our full potential.
So, we've settled for the money goal and ignore, justify, or numb out, the guilt each night. That is ok. We can align with our values whenever we choose and touch people's lives in positive ways as we do so.
Envision a global company that solved more problems than it created economically, socially, politically, relationally, environmentally and fiscally. You can’t tell me we are not intelligent enough to pull this off. Yet, if we don't include aspects of the whole, we can and will miss the true mark of human potential.
So do we have yet to tap into our human potential? Heck yes we do! And I'm excited to be a part of the movement towards integrative thinking and true human potential.
This is the good news!
Integrative coaches are one way humanity is helping humanity shift into more positive and impactful solutions in all areas, not just one or two.
Integrative means to include all aspects. This lens of intelligence helps people see farther, dig deeper, include their core values into their work/life, remove obstacles and minimize limitation. As we do so, people start to truly thrive.
What I challenge our politicians, leaders and companies to say is... "Challenge accepted! Yes, let's create the solutions that only have positive impact in all areas we reach!"
It has been said we are living in pivotal times. So let's pivot!
Are you with me?
The key word here is “access”. Possibilities are all around us at all times. We do not create possibilities. They are already there. We create access to the possibilities when we respond in ways that grant access. In essence as coaches we help a client clear the blockages to their potentials, and this process naturally grants them access to the possibilities surrounding them.
For example: If I’m stuck in a self-deception cycle of “I’m limited” and as a result I am reactive with my co-workers, I’m less likely to get that promotion I wanted because my capacity for being fluent with my team was so low. The possibility is there, but I'm blocked from accessing it.
In essence, our potential correlates to our ability to increase our capacity, opening the door to opportunities and granting access to more and more possibilities. Life gets exciting at this point because we then get to choose which ones we want to step into.
Also, there is an irony in the definition of potential. When we define it, we limit it.
What I mean by this is that by defining potential, we then put a box around and can unintentionally limit it. Yet, ironically we need to define it to head in the direction of it. Head scratching!
In masterfully approaching our potential then it is best to not attach to our goals for our potential as if they were the end all. Then, when we reach the goals of our potential, to redefine them in new ways, or not at all.
The other key is to unfold in the direction of our potential and not away from it. This is where teachers and coaching comes in. They ensure we are unfolding in the correct direction. This sounds like a no brainer, however, it is a common error to completely “go it alone”. (I say completely, because part of our work is on, and of, our own.)
This is especially important when we
go through the phase of growth
where self-deception is harder to detect.
Anytime we enter completely new territory we are more susceptible to self-deception because it is harder to detect.
The tricky thing about self-deception is that we often can’t see we are being clouded by it. This is where a teacher or coach steps in to help counter illusions we face during the growth process.
Coaching is a very key short-cut to our potential.
We can't fix what we don't see.
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty