Ecology has always been a subject close to my heart. Last month, I touched upon our global responsibility for the future of our planet. As I understand it, this means making sure that our individual actions, indeed our very existence, impact as little as is practically possible on the environment. Simple things, such as using eco- friendly washing products, not taking the car on short trips, recycling and composting our waste and picking up litter are all ways we can help to reduce our carbon footprint (use the CAT calculator to calculate yours).
Last week, on my NLP Practitioner’s training, I learned a new slant on the definition for the word ecology. In NLP, ecology is the study of consequences – the results of any change that occurs. Just as we (hopefully!) are concerned about the effects of our actions on the natural environment, we should also look at the effects of our actions and decisions on our social environment and within ourselves.
Making decisions based on personal or social ecology can sometimes be obvious: a sporty two-seater won’t work as a family car, however sexy it looks in the showroom. Not every decision is so clear-cut though. I often hear clients struggling with a goal they have set themselves which may look good on paper but, after a bit of digging, turns out to be incongruent with their values or beliefs. In short, their goal is not ecological for them.
If you find yourself struggling to manifest a goal you have set yourself, try this exercise* to discover the hidden fears, beliefs and values that might be holding you back: write down all the reasons why you DON’T want that goal in your life. Let your darkest thoughts surrounding your goal reveal themselves on paper and keep writing until you can’t come up with any more. These are some of the fears, beliefs and consequences surrounding your goal or decision and they might include the one(s) that are holding you back. Once they are all out in the open, you may find some issues you need to work through before you are ready to achieve your target. Reframing or redefining your goal to address the conflicting value or belief could also work to integrate the goal with your personal ecology. Of course, working with me as your coach and NLP practitioner would help you enormously here, but you knew that already, didn’t you? 😉
*with thanks to Lisa Wynn and associates