Lately I’ve become aware of a strange paradox in my daily routine, such as it is. I have, on the face of it, a massive workload. My diary is maxed out, not just months but years ahead. I currently have commitments scheduled here and in the States, many of them ongoing. I have courses to run and a website to maintain. I regularly sit down with clients to discuss whatever problems they may be experiencing or just to catch up with them. And with my clients numbering in the tens of thousands there is never a day when I’m not called upon to answer emails. (Did I say ‘day’? ‘Hour’ would be more appropriate). Plus of course I have a family that I deeply care about and want and need to spend time with.
But here’s the paradox. I’ve never felt less busy in my life.
I feel a deep connection with my self and my work, as though I’m floating above it all somehow, looking down contentedly, pretty well immune from the traditional pressures of the workplace. I feel intensely comfortable in my own skin, more so than at any other time in my life, and I’m beginning to realise why that might be.
I began my career in sales, and my first experience of the world of personal development was exposure to books like ‘Sell Your Way to the Top’, by Zig Ziglar, and ‘Unlimited Power’ by Tony Robbins. Not long after reading the latter book I travelled to Belgium with a friend to take part in a seminar by Robbins in person, (the idea of ‘unlimited power’ being something that I found quite attractive at that time for some reason). I was blown away. That seminar lit a fire in my belly that has burned brightly ever since. After that I read everything I could get my hands on about NLP, discovering about Milton Erickson, John Grinder and Richard Bandler, and of course the man who started it all with his revelations, the man behind the Three Principles: Sydney Banks. I learned about the various tools that highly successful people used to further their own careers and also help others to reach their goals, freeing themselves from their personal hang-ups and limiting beliefs.
One of those tools was hypnosis. The first thing you have to say about that naturally occurring phenomenon is that it doesn’t immediately appear to sit very well alongside the idea of ‘unlimited power’. Everything I had learned from the world of sales up to this point had been all about dynamism, self-confidence, self-belief. In a word: power. What did sitting in a comfortable chair and slipping quietly into a deep trance have to do with power?
When I started my coaching practice, as a result of being inspired by Bandler and the rest, I was understandably nervous, and anxious to get results. It took a long time but my study of hypnosis helped me to understand that my thinking was getting in the way. Hypnosis is nothing more than a technique we use on ourselves and others to quiet our thinking so that our unconscious minds can put us back on the right track. Remember, the Three Principles teach us that thoughts are not ‘real’, and cannot influence us unless we allow them to. They only become a problem when we invest them with emotions. ‘Thinking about our thinking’ is what holds us back, every day of our lives, preventing us from realizing our true potential.
So am I saying that I have hypnotized myself into believing I’m not busy, even though I clearly am? No, it’s much simpler than that. I’m now at a point in my personal journey where I have given up a lot of thinking, both positive and negative. I go on instinct these days, allowing my unconscious to do the work. And things do get done. So as it seems to be getting results I have decided I will ‘busily’ pursue this strategy from now on!
We tell ourselves that we are under too much stress, that we are overwhelmed, that we can’t cope. And of course all these things become our truth. But take away that self-induced pressure, take away all that thinking, and you suddenly see that ‘busy’ doesn’t have to be a debilitating, anxiety-driven state of being. Perhaps after all it is just a state of mind. (Our conscious mind, that is).
How busy are you right now?