Introducing Possibility Thinking part 1: How to find the way to win when you think there is no way to win

When I'm talking to personal clients about what they need to do to get into the relationship they want that conversation is about what they are doing in their head, how they think about the problems they have and what they have been doing that works and what they have been doing that doesn't work.

Where people get stuck is where they think things don't work, or will never work for them.

  • They can't imagine themselves in an intimate relationship with someone who is truly extraordinarily. They know that's always going to be a fantasy.
  • They literally freeze, it's like part of their brain has switched off, or where they can normally be perfectly coherent conversationally they are now talking like they are are retarded.
  • Or they get part way there but being able to be the person who can actually have a long term relationship never works out.

Often these people are quite unhappy and while I'm passionate about the work I do I try not to be too motivational because I know the most important thing is that people find their own motivation. Because motivation powers you. It's like plugging into the mains when you were almost out of charge.

When you're motivated your state changes you literally feel better and possibilities that didn't exist before are now visible to you.

So what's happening here?

Is it just that you need to go and listen to some motivational speaker to get yourself charged up?

This is what many people do, they rely on someone else to manage their state, to manage how they feel.

This is dangerous in intimate relationships, if you are dependent on someone else to make you feel good and they leave or just don't want to have to do the work of making you feel better you are stuck. And stuck feeling miserable.

Unfortunately this type of relationship a dependent or transactional relationship is too normal. We grow up dependent on our parents or carers. We're rewarded for being a good little boy or good little girl. We get the cookie or toy for doing what we are told. Then we go to school and learn to play the same game of dependency, but this time it's getting the gold star not the red crosses, then passing exams, and fitting in with the group. Having to raise your hand and ask permission before you are allowed to go to the toilet. We are taught from our earliest days when our brains are developing to be dependent. So that's the most deep wiring we have.

And because we trust our own thinking more than anything else, we don't see how the state we are in biases or primes our thinking. We don't see that when we are feeling bad our thinking also becomes bad, we don't see that when we think there is no way to win, we are right, there is no way to win when we are feeling like this.

Your state affects how you think.

It's like you are typing something into a Google search and you don't see the other part of you typing all this other search criteria: "Sort for the bad shit only and don't show any positive results".

One of the most useful things I do as a coach is hear the negative stuff my clients say and I hear what they have deleted or added in. The "bad shit" and where they can't see the possibilities. The things they can't see for themselves.

But this is also a learnable skill, to see what you can't see because you are in a bad state. And I don't mean you have to be little Miss or Mr Happy. You can rewire your brain and become dependent on yourself not on others, the foundation of leadership, leading yourself.

It's like riding a horse or an elephant or mammal of your choice, which is a how your brain works, personally I think about riding a tiger or large wolf. The human brain on top of the mammal brain on top of the reptilian brain. That's the physical structure. Getting everything in line starts in your head, if you can't lead the team that is you, you won't do very well leading anyone else. Whether that's at work with a team of people or in your personal life and being the person someone wants to be with.

So we've started with state, but there's a lot more here to talk about.