The dream, the promise and the consequence

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off on The dream, the promise and the consequence

The dream, the promise and the consequence

I just returned from a weekend long immersion into the Handel Group method in New York City.  While I did go into the weekend with some hesitation over the entire concept of “life coaching”, I had heard enough great things about this particular program to commit myself to the process.  So with a mix of trepidation and curiosity, I walked into that crowded room and took my seat.  Much of the rest is private, complicated, remarkable.

The basic idea of the Handel method is that you need to develop a clear dream for yourself.  So many of us have lost touch with what it is to dream that we go through our lives not even really knowing what we want and unable to look to the future and believe we can do better.  And many of us that have our dreams, that can vocalize what we want and need, have no idea what to do with them to set the positive change into motion.  We learned a lot about how we unconsciously set up obstacles of self-defeat, how we avoid and make excuses and even lie our way around our dreams.  I had to face a lot of difficult truths about the particular lies I tell myself and others, the excuses I’ve become comfortable with, the false theories I hold onto dearly as truths, and the lack of integrity that I carry in my life.  In other words, I have a lot of mud.

One particularly helpful aspect of the course was on building personal integrity.  When we say we want something and we tell ourselves we will take steps towards that goal, and then we make excuses to let ourselves off the hook, we end up not only feeling badly about ourselves and our ability to stick with a plan, but we remain so distant from the place we wish to be.  Here’s the plan of action according to the Handel Group.

  1.  Design your dream.  Keep it simple and clear, write it in the present tense. (i.e I am healthy, lean and vibrant.  I take care of my body and exercise regularly.)
  2. Set a small, achievable action that you can take that will move you in the direction of that dream.  Make a promise to yourself and tell other people about it. (ie. I promise to engage in some kind of movement-based activity every day for at least 20 minutes).
  3. Create a consequence for yourself every time you do not keep your promise to yourself, and let that consequence also serve the dream.  (ie. If I do not fit in my daily exercise quota, I do not get a coffee the following day– or no sugar, or I must add an extra 10 minutes of exercise on the next day– your “failure” is still serving your dream!)
  4. Work with this promise/consequence method for at least 2 weeks before wondering whether you need to go changing the consequence!  Give your success pattern time to establish itself.

One dream I had for myself was that I wanted to get back into writing and take my writing forward this year into the land of freelancing.  But… I’m feeling stuck and unmotivated, am lacking confidence and direction and have trouble setting aside time to write each day.  I just haven’t been making it a priority, so I’ve been creating excuses.  Here’s my dream/promise/consequence:

  1. I am a creative, inspired and disciplined writer who shares my work with the world.
  2. I promise myself to write for at least 20 minutes each day– if the work flows longer, that’s okay, but I must sit and write for at least 20 minutes.
  3. If I do not make time to write one day, I do not get to use the internet the following morning while I enjoy my coffee (a highly valued consequence– also works towards my goal as I’m not wasting more time on the internet).

There are many other areas of my life that need attention and careful reworking, and I’ve set up dreams, promises and consequences for those as well.  The theory is that when you begin making small promises to yourself and begin moving in the right direction, you will feel proud of yourself and build confidence.  When you feel confident, capable and have integrity in one area of your life, these qualities will naturally bleed over into the other areas that need accountability and change.  Everything shifts.

If you’ve been feeling stuck, uninspired, dull or far away from the kind of life you imagine yourself living, I’d highly recommend looking into this program.  But you don’t need the whole weekend to take a look at how you structure your time, to notice where you lack accountability and integrity, to see where you make excuses and hold yourself back.  Flex the muscle of trust in yourself and see how these small steps begin to create shifts in your life.  One major take-away message I’m spending a lot of time with is that we are all truly authors of our own lives.  We chose this path for a reason– we are with these people, in these jobs, even born to these parents because we have lessons to learn and we need to grow in very specific ways.  I’m feeling less like a victim of my circumstances and more prepared to step into the role of author.  From all of this mud, step by step, promise by promise, I’m hoping to grow the lotus.

All content by Lisa Veronese. Please do not publish or copy my material without my consent.