Imagine this: you woke up this morning and the change you want has happened.
What is different? Do a quick scan. How does it feel physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually?
In counseling we call this a miracle question. The intent can vary, but generally is intended to help a person visualize the change they seek, so they can then work backward in goal setting.
The point of this is to dig in a little deeper. This process is incredibly useful, even necessary. We will talk about this concept from this angle when we dig deeper into developing a deep and meaningful understanding of where we are.
For the purpose of this, which is developing a deep and meaningful understanding of where we are, we want to highlight that doing this can help us clearly identify and contend with the expectations we may have.
JP has noted that the brain is remarkable at overestimating what can be accomplished in the short term and underestimating what can be accomplished in the long term. When we visualize the change we want to make, we can actually feel what we think it will feel like. This becomes the litmus by which we end up judging what actually happens in the short term. This can set us up for all kinds of experiences, most notably that we don’t actually feel the way we visualized. We can become discouraged, frustrated, and even abandon the process we have started.
The concept of weighing our expectations can help us to adjust our mindset to the change as a process and not an event (mental flexibility), thus anticipating some frustration and sticking points along the way and being prepared to wrestle with them without seeing it as a failure or abandoning what we are seeking to change (emotional flexibility).
Next week we will dig into the value of identifying a larger or more meaningful “why” to serve as the glue that holds our change process together.