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Coaching Conflict Consultation Couples' Counseling Publications Psychotherapy Parenting & Self- Parenting Talks, Workshops & Programs Favorite Resources and Links

Empowerment Systems

"........When Change is the Challenge."

Conscious Evolution

Empowerment Systems Newsletter, #5


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 central theme.

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. (Click HERE 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, USA.


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Littleton · Colorado · 80120
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800.594.4594 · Toll-Free
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"Committed to helping people use all of their inner resources
to create satisfying and fulfilling lives."