Navigating Through The Smallness And Into Our Own Personal Versions Of Supernatural
Yesterday afternoon I got fed up with myself and made a plan to step into my version of supernatural. This decision came as a result of my frustration coming off a very predictable and ordinary few days of beautifully engineering my story of smallness.
Does that phrase resonate with you?
“engineering my story of smallness”.
For me it means creating a sweet, but less than extraordinary story in my head and taking actions that confirm that story. Have you ever witnessed this in someone you love, or maybe in yourself?
At this point you may be wondering “what does this have to do with Noticing?” well, EVERYTHING!
Let me set the stage for you.
I have been working with a professional coach for the past few months. We have unpacked my content and expertise, as well as my hopes and dreams for this work and its impact on the world. I LOVE getting to talk about big ideas but inevitably the reason I have hired Michael is that I want to change, improve, & grow. And guess what? To change, improve, & grow I can’t just TALK about big ideas. I must do things differently, bigger, & better. I have to put myself out of my comfort zone. I have to feel Brene Brown’s V word.
Here’s what my expert ability to engineer my story of smallness and navigate through it to my own version of supernatural looks like IRL.
(I’m not proud of it but I am willing to share in case it may help shine a light on how using Noticing and other positive strategies can help us navigate through the small and into our own personal versions of supernatural.)
Amy’s Journey Through Smallness to Supernatural
Act 1- I share my ideas with my coach. I love this part! Michael has proven that he’s a safe place to share new ideas. He’s smart and he askes the best questions! So fun!!!
Act 2- Michael and I discuss next steps. I love this part, too. It’s exciting to think about the potential of this work.
Act 3- He makes a suggestion on next steps. I’m starting to sweat a little. We went from discussing (AKA talking about it) to ToDos (doing not just talking – really putting it out there).
Act 4 – We agree to my next action steps, and like all good coaches Michael gives me a powerful little pep talk. I agree that this seems like the best next step. My voice sounds positive and I say “I’ve got this. No problem. I’ll get right on it.” BUT that is just the perfectionist showing up in me. The more vulerable I feel the more likely I am to slip back into that old perfectionist way of thinking. So while on the outside I may appear composed, to the trained eye (or to myself if I’m being honest) I’m faking it. This only compounds the expert level of smallness engineering that is getting ready to take place in Act 5.
Act 5 – I am on my own. I have the necessary resources. I understand the task at hand. And now all that I need to do is DO THE THING. However … I want to make sure that I do this really well. I want to make sure that I am being very intentional and that what I’m putting out there is positive, authentic, and all the good things (of course it is, but what if it’s taken wrong? I might offend someone). I need to make sure that I make sure that there’s no way this could cause harm. I want to love the whole world and I need to make sure that what I’m putting out there doesn’t feel like it could exclude anyone. I don’t think there is anything out there that doesn’t offend someone. This task went from feeling like the best idea ever to feeling impossible. ☹
Act 6 – I take a break. I’m just going to watch an episode. Who am I kidding. I binge. (Seriously, could they make it any easier for me to watch “just one more” LOL)
Act 7 – While watching my 3rd, 4th, or 5th (whatever) episode I begin to think about the task in the back of my mind. That’s an important detail. It’s not in the front of my mind. It’s not intentional. I’m not using the positive tools, like Noticing, that I know serve me so well. It’s brewing in the back. It’s marinating in the place that houses all the worlds problems. A pile of spaghetti with marinara poured all over it. Problems and solutions mixed together and so hard to figure out.
Act 8 – I decide to give myself a break. I’ll deal with this tomorrow.
Act 9 – New day and depending on how many days it’s been and how vulnerable this task is making me feel I may repeat Acts 5-8 again OR I may DECIDE to bring this task to the front of my mind and use my tools to intentionally navigate myself out of the safety of my comfort zone into my own version of supernatural.
Act 10 – I use my tools. First and foremost I Notice. I Notice the task itself. I Notice myself. I Notice the people and other resources that are involved. Noticing here is as simple as really seeing, really acknowledging, each part and person. Most of the time I tend to Notice goodness as I truly believe that we get more of what we Notice. With Noticing comes an understanding of value. This is especially helpful when it comes to how I see myself. When I see my own value I can proceed more confidently.
Act 11 – I DO THE THING. Holy WOW!!! I put it out into the world and then I check in with myself… It feels good. It feels right. And strangely it seems comfortable standing here outside of my comfort zone. I am much more comfortable in my own skin when I confidently step into my own version of supernatural. (The truth about living in that seemingly safe place of engineered smallness is that at least for me, when I'm in that place I feel like what I'm doing isn't working and I am not enough.)
Act 12 - I celebrate my growth! In this case I write a blog about it :) I celebrate the self awareness, and the understanding of the natural human tendencies that are actually the things that help us relate and connect with one another. I Notice the goodness in myself and in this work, and I am so grateful that we don't have to wait until everything is perfect to Notice goodness or be supernatural :)
All this talk about engineering smallness reminds me of a time when the one and only Brene Brown posted a picture of herself in Times square with the caption "It's clear that the days of "engineering smallness and playing it safe to avoid criticism" are over". One of the reasons that I am a fan of Brene’s work is her candor. If she can admit to having engineered smallness on the journey to greatness, then I can too. As a matter of fact, Noticing it may be an important factor in stepping into our own versions of supernatural.