The essential reason people seek coaching or training is because they want to get to somewhere other than where they are now. They are ‘here’ and they want to be ‘there’. They want to overcome a challenge, see a new perspective, learn a new skill/capability or enhance one they already possess. For whatever reason, this is not something they feel they can achieve on their own, or perhaps it’s more about speeding up the process. Whichever, help is enlisted, the desired destination – the ‘there’ is clarified – and off they go along what is hopefully the right the path: the most direct route with the least difficulty and fewest obstacles.

We have always been big fans of the ‘start with the end in mind’ approach and our experience is that taking time at the outset to distil as much clarity as possible on where ‘there’ is, is critical for galvanising teams around a common goal. But what about the ‘here’?

Given that ‘here’ in this context is the very place we want to get away from, it’s possibly not surprising that aside from checking to ensure we have the right starting point from which we will now focus on getting to ‘there’, we’re not terribly keen to hang around. Years of experience in helping companies to manage crises is testament to that. In a crisis, all efforts are focused on the quickest possible resolution and the natural tendency is, understandably, to jump straight into solutions mode. However, the first step and indeed the only way to find the right solution, is to start with the here and now so the facts can be established. 

At the Vibrant Company where we view vibrancy as being the energy of potential, we have observed that the biggest inhibitor to people, teams and organisations being their most vibrant selves is ‘resistance’ – to the here and now. That’s a problem because now is the only time that ever actually exists and the future, however exciting, is only ever hypothetical.

The phrase ‘it is as it is’ is perhaps overused but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. In fact, it contains the secret to how much dissatisfaction we feel, how much stress we experience and ultimately all of our suffering. Simply put, suffering occurs as a result of a reality gap in the moment – when the reality we have is not the one we want but we remain attached to what we want and in resistance to what we have.

Experience tells us that some people will find this explanation enlightening (‘I’d never quite seen it like that’) and others will see it as a statement of the outright obvious (‘dur, something awful has just happened and of course I’d rather that it hadn’t and yes, you can bet I’m resistant to the way life is playing out right now’). Either way, seeing that it is, in fact, true is the first step in being able to change things for the better.  All we ever have is the current moment and if our experience of it is compromised by our resistance – by our thinking that it should be otherwise, then we will suffer.

At a personal level, we will experience stress, anger, sadness, frustration, etc. When this is multiplied in a team setting then it causes dysfunction, confusion, conflict and it lowers morale and productivity. When extrapolated to an organisational level, the potential to compromise success is huge.

If this sounds like we’re suggesting that you have to accept sub-optimal situations, then we are and we aren’t. Confused? Well, it’s all about timing and what we mean is that your current situation – the ‘what you’ve got now’ is what you’ve got. Contrary to the way we’ve often been conditioned to think, getting what you want in the future is not contingent on resisting what we have/where we are now. We might not like it, but the more negative thinking we have about it, the harder our path out is going to be.

The saying goes ‘resistance is futile’ and it turns to be right. If you’re interested in finding an easier way to get to ‘there’ – your desired destination – then discovering how to reduce resistance to the ‘here’ is crucial. We suggest you start by examining your thinking in the now – and If you need us, we’re here to help you get beyond it.

We love to have vibrant conversations so if you want to chat about how we can help you go beyond your thinking and discover the path of least resistance, please get in touch.

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