In both The Tailored Quill and my second company, The Axon Program, apart from my mission statements and value propositions, I assist people with three life-changing elements:
Boom. There you go. There is a nugget for you. Now go off and thrive with that, if you can. If you want to learn more, keep reading and stay tuned. These will come up a lot.
See, you cannot have acceptance without awareness, nor accountability without acceptance. There is a logical order to it. Just like the order of the universe, though, the order consists of chaos.
Clients come to me when they are in some inner crisis of ambition. Their external world may seem ordered but inside everything is in total disarray. An unfortunate majority of people in the world wait until the chaos begins to boil over before they reach out beyond themselves for some kind of assistance (see post #2). Even though I wholeheartedly promote the vulnerability it takes to ask for help, I understand that a lot of people do not know how.
No matter what, there is such great awareness and acceptance already there when someone chooses to ask for help. The person is aware that they are stuck, stressed, or helpless and subsequently accepts that they themselves do not have the resource knowledge necessary to ameliorate the tension.
That is huge! People do not realize how impressive it is that they have that awareness and that they are able to accept that they do not know something. The reason people do not see how impressive it is is because the sensation of helplessness and the vulnerability needed to ask for help feels TERRIBLE to most people.
I am working with one client now who without fail will give themselves a mini pep talk and then preface a question they are about to ask me, all because the experience of asking for help in any way and showing that open vulnerability has always been severely unfamiliar. It is like the setup routine a professional weightlifter displays before attempting a lift.
Once the stress response subsides and the endorphins sift back in to their blood stream, most people are able to stop and think "Huh, I did that!" and hear me when I tell them how impressive their self awareness in that moment was.
That is why my work is collaborative. I present the space for you to be safely vulnerable. You take the risk of asking for help. I label how impressive your capacities for awareness and acceptance are. You revel in your new personal glory. We set goals as a team for accountability. Then we repeat. Over and over and over. In every kind of way.
I took a cellular biology course during my sophomore year of college and during one lab session we learned how to run analytical tests of data we had collected. I entered in data, a graph appeared in the report, and I had absolutely no idea what the graph meant. I stared at it for a so long, one eye on the obnoxiously loudly ticking clock on the wall, knowing that I had to understand this one piece if I was going to complete the assignment. As I began to sweat and panic, I felt helpless.
Then I acknowledged how many times I had stared at the graph in that previous ten minutes and I knew that I did not have the answer. I took in an exasperated breath and asked the TA for help. I recognized her supportive way of guiding me to come up with the answer on my own, and we both relished the epic flood of epiphany that I felt when it all clicked.
Now translate that to your life at work. What if you have an assignment due at the end of the workday and you are staring at the materials with wide eyes, seeing no where to start?
What about if you feel stuck in your job and want to change careers but have no idea how to go about it?
What about if you want to start your own company?
We all feel that panic and we are all aware that it is panic. But it is what we do at that moment that determines whether we remain helpless and slip into despair or learn something new and grow. Maybe you have already felt the despair before, so I walk on the wild side: take the same exasperated breath I did and ask someone for help. See what happens.