|People submitted numerous examples on how they are Finding Steady Ground through the 7 behaviors. Here’s a sample:
Read more testimonials on how implementing these behaviors helps.
Welcome! We have been encouraged by the dozens of people who wrote testimonials and shared with us how this list has been fruitful for them. We believe a list should be lived — so this week we are offering thoughts on implementing behavior #2.
#2: I will get together with some people face-to-face to support each other and make sure we stay in motion.
Why is this important?
When we feel overwhelmed, we may shut down entirely. The support of others can help us find balance so we can take thoughtful, compassionate action.
However, the quality matters. If our conversations center only on how bad things are or what else we should be doing, this rarely helps. Heaping guilt on ourselves for everything we’re not doing isn’t a great long-term motivator (just ask anyone who has ever tried a diet!).
Noticing steps we are taking and affirming that motion makes it more possible for us to keep moving ahead. Motion breeds motion. We want to clear a path for moving forward, rather than blocking it with lots of worries and “shoulds”.
In the face of large scale problems, holding on to our own agency is key. We may feel scared and upset and mad. But together we can help each other notice our resilience, brainstorm new possibilities, find our way to larger efforts, and stay in motion.
So what to do?
If gathering some friends together face-to-face as a way to help each other stay in motion seems like a nice idea, but you don’t have a clue what you would actually do once you gathered, here’s a simple model that works well in a wide variety of situations. The key is taking turns.
- Brief check-ins on how people are doing (with an invitation to share good news, since we tend to be overwhelmed with the bad)
- Time for each person in the group to share about successes and accomplishments in their work/activity for the last period of time
- Open time for sharing about what we see as the challenges and opportunities of the larger situation we face (probably not too long, because some of us are talking about this all the time, and don’t really need more)
- Turns in which each person gets to focus on directions/intentions/goals/next steps for themselves, with the intention of supporting that person to gather clarity and courage for moving forward. This may involve people expressing emotion and frustration, alongside courage and conviction. Instead of judging those feelings or trying to fix them, allow them to have their space, alongside encouragement to keep moving forward.
- Any brief closing thoughts or appreciations that members of the group might have.
Common pitfalls to watch out for, and how this model can help:
- Problem: One or two people dominating the air-space. Solution: Even though it may feel forced, a clear decision to divide the time so everyone has a turn.
- Problem: A focus on revisiting bad news, paralysis of analysis, and spinning out doomsday scenarios. Solution: Focus on remembering successes and accomplishments, and on opportunities more than challenges.
- Problem: The feeling that we should all be doing the same thing–preferably what I’ve chosen! Solution: Support each person in their own path forward, trusting their own innate wisdom.
If you keep in mind these few important elements, and watch out for the pitfalls, this model is very flexible and resilient. You can use it with one other person as you wait for the bus or work out at the gym, it can frame the conversation of a few friends over coffee, or it can form the agenda for a more formal meeting.
Try incorporating #2 into your life and please let us know how it goes!
You’re not in this alone. Keep sharing! Keep loving!
– Daniel Hunter and Pamela Haines
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En Español! Finding Steady Ground in Spanish (Buscando terreno firme): es.findingsteadyground.com. Por favor comparta con otras personas!
Missed the introductory e-mail on Commitment #1? Find it here.
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