"........When Change is the Challenge."
Trying to decide whether to sell her small business
to a much larger organization, Irene made list after list of
the pros and cons of the sale, but still couldn't make up
her mind. It would certainly relieve a lot of day-to-day
stress if she had the financial resources of the larger
organization to back her up. On the other hand, she liked
the autonomy of being her own boss.
I asked Irene to imagine her business as an animal.
She thought for a moment and told me it was a mouse. When I
asked her to picture the larger organization as an animal,
it looked like a tiger. Imagining the interaction between
the tiger and the mouse, she immediately saw the mouse (her
business) being quickly crushed and eaten. Her intuition had
given her the critical information she needed, and she
decided not to sell.
Sometimes a picture, especially one you create
yourself, really is worth a thousand words. Logical thinking
is quite useful for many types of decision making. When you
are feeling stuck, though, you need your intuition.
Creating images will help you understand patterns that may
otherwise be eluding you.
Six months after Frank's retirement, we discussed
his boredom with his current life. Although he had chosen
early retirement for very good reasons, he missed many
things about his former job. When I asked him what animal
his former job reminded him of, he immediately choose a
buffalo. As he described the buffalo's power, he realized
that one thing he missed most was having an impact on
others. As he redesigned his life, having an impact became a
Creating images of situations allows you to include
information you may think is irrelevant or politically
incorrect. It also helps uncover "secret" information about
yourself that is blocking your progress.
Once, in a workshop, I drew a picture of a drooping
plant to represent my current life. When I drew another
picture, of how I wanted my life to be, I drew a stick
figure (me) carrying a stick figure baby. I almost
immediately realized that the baby was the book I had been
thinking about writing, and that I needed to get started.
for the expanded story.)
Coaching tip: If you want a new perspective on any
situation, PLAY with picturing it as an animate or inanimate
object. Draw the object (you don't need to be an artist) and
step back and describe it. Have fun.
Copyright 1999, Empowerment Systems. May be
transmitted or reproduced in its entirety only, including
this copyright line.
Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D. and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. have
helped thousands of people make significant changes in their
lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 28 of
their 39 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching,
consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton,
· Colorado · 80120
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"Committed to helping people use all of
their inner resources
to create satisfying and fulfilling