The most important relationship that you have, and the one you can never run away from is the relationship with yourself.
Yet, it is often also one of the most neglected relationships in one’s life. After all, talking to yourself looks strange to much of our society, doing things for oneself seems selfish, and going solo is borderline crazy (just think of that ‘lonely’ cinema goer).
My argument is that it is important to ignore all of the socially enforced limitations and to deeply explore your relationship with yourself. Let’s begin with what is known as the “clearing exercise”, which was first introduced to me by Rein from Cocoon.
⚡ The Action
Have a “clearing meeting” with yourself. This is a process, where you ask yourself the questions: “What is not working for you?” and “What is working for you?” - out loud.
🤔 The Why
We are tasked with operating the deadly waters of having complicated relationships with those around us. However, most of the time - we are operating in the “blind mode”, for we have no idea what the other person is actually thinking or feeling in their mind.
To understand others, one needs to understand themselves: feelings, thoughts, emotions, goals, ambitions, values, principles, pains, gains, etc.
The clearing exercise will help you get a start, and give you clues on how to better your relationship with yourself.
🧐 The How - Full Version
For best results, make sure you have at least one hour of uninterrupted time, and that you have a mirror in front of you.
Begin by looking yourself in the eyes for one minute.
Ask the question out loud: “What is not working for you?”
Note: this can relate to your relationship with yourself or any other area of your life.
List everything you can come up with. Then, ask yourself the question: “Is there anything else?”
Upon listing the additional items, ask the question: “What IS working for you?”, and proceed to list everything that is working for you.
Finally, ask yourself: “Is there anything else?”
Upon completing the final list - look yourself in the eyes for one minute.
This completes the exercise.
You may write down the points you brought out after the meeting, but you do not have to. The idea is to simply bring the matters to the surface.
🐨 Lazy Mode
What is not working for you? Name the most important thing, in your life right now. What is working for you? Name the best thing in your life right now. Dwell on this.
💖 Personal Application
The next level of this exercise is to do it with others. The process is the same, the only difference is that one person asks the other the questions fully first, and then you change turns.
Important: You can not interrupt, comment (even with body language) or react to what is being said in any way. This needs to be a safe place to speak your mind.
Then you let the magic happen. This is one of the ways of how you can bring to the surface that, which is not being said in your relationships.
💸 Professional Application
Running companies, and working for them is tough. It is all the tougher when you have no idea what is going on in the minds of your colleagues, and they will not willingly come up to you and share this precious data.
There are many ways to get there, but you can also use a group clearing exercise at work, where you get your whole team in a circle, and first let everyone share openly what is not working for them, and then - what IS working for them.
Once again - no comments, questions, or reactions are allowed. Check out Cocoon Program, if you are an entrepreneur, as this is where this exercise originated from.
📱 The Meetup - Sunday The 25th
The meetup will take place this Sunday at 14:00 EEST. If you would like to participate - let me know.