In Chapter Two of my book, DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, I discuss the transtheoretical model (“TTM”) of behavioral modification. Before I started researching the science behind the effectiveness of mediation and my Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, I simply understood that I was choosing many of the experiences I didn’t want, either actively by making choices incompatible with my values and goals, or passively by deferring to others, God, the universe, or magic to “fix” my life.
I now have scientific evidence to back this up, as one of the key components of the TTM or any successful behavioral modification program is self-motivation, rooted in positive thinking.
That makes sense doesn’t it?
Think back to when you first started driving, dating, playing a sport or an instrument, etc. How much better did you do when you envisioned yourself mastering the skill versus telling yourself how you could never do it?
Even when you were convinced, in your ever-so-dramatic scene, that you would never be able to overcome your inexperience, you got over it. You faced your fears, trusted a mentor or teacher, and took action–until you had experience. That’s basically how the Third Ear program and life work. It’s all practice, or as Geoff Colvin states, it’s deliberate practice.
I’m committed to you having extraordinary success in your work, your relationships, and your life. So, let’s look at deliberate practice of The Seven Choices. Which are you having the most difficulty making on a consistent basis?
Are you having trouble forgiving yourself for having conflicts?
We all experience conflict. In our relationships. With our finances. With our words. With our bodies and more.
I’m a bit frustrated as I write this post and think about my current conflict with my body. I got up last week, thinking about training for my first triathlon, which I will do in October with at least two of my closest friends. My body had another idea and was not letting me walk easily or without pain. It set me back with a rush of fears that I might not enjoy that experience with my friends and that I might become old, fat, frail, undesirable, single, unemployable, etc.
But I remembered that we all experience conflict, and we learn to resolve most of them in some way so that we can have great lives–if we’re willing to accept what is and create from there. I forgive myself and my body.
Can you forgive yourself for not jumping right in and magically fixing everything that ever goes wrong anywhere within your realm?
We are all doing our best under the circumstances that we have. You are not expected to be a superhero, and even if you were one, you might be robbing someone else of their heroism, if you jump in every time there is a need.
Give yourself a break. Now do it again, regarding something else. And again, regarding more things, until you can think of nothing you need to fix.
Despite all of the justifiable reasons you might have for hating the world and its may conflicts, can you set them aside for now?
You know that hating only makes you a hater, which doesn’t empower or inspire you.
Take a chance on being told you live in your own world. If you like it better there, why wouldn’t you live there?!
Are you holding onto emotions that don’t feel good because you’re afraid you might never stop yelling or crying?
I promise you that you will. There will be other things to yell and cry about, too, if in some weird way that worries you.
Find a safe place where you can dump all of the emotions you’ve been carrying around from a past that you think defines you. Then, give yourself some space to just be with who you are without them. You are not your past.
Do you have trouble clearing your mind?
I do, too. I am currently one of those “hurry up and meditate” people who has to disconnect from her thoughts many times in even a 10-minute meditation. But the more I practice, the calmer my mind and my days become.
Don’t expect to master a lifelong practice in a week. Just keep practicing. It’s the seemingly small actions we take every day that create the clarity and opportunities we want.
Are you making a donkey out of you and me?
You know what assuming does, and you know that there are huge amounts of things that you don’t know. You don’t have to pretend. There are nearly 7.4 billion people on the planet who don’t know everything, either.
As I tell witnesses I am preparing for trial, “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer, if you honestly don’t know something, and it’s okay to ask for clarification.
Is your third ear listening?
It’s not going to listen 100% of the time. Even with my years of training and experience, sometimes my heart hardens to protect itself, and I have to remind myself to hear what isn’t being said. I have to consciously recognize when I am not being my most loving self, step back from a situation, and look for the opportunities in situations. Sometimes, I have to take action toward reconciliation, even when I could be deemed “right”.
Again, it takes deliberate practice, especially when I am being triggered by past hurts that haven’t completely healed. Yet, the more I practice, the more powerful I feel in resolving whatever life sends my way.
Counterintuitively, it is when I open my heart and become vulnerable that magical solutions appear.
In the comments below, share which of the Seven Choices you struggle most to make.
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Nance L. Schick, Esq. is a New York City attorney and mediator who focuses on keeping people out of court and building their conflict resolution skills, especially in business and employment disputes. Her holistic, integrative approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, and United Nations representative. She is a 2001 graduate of the State University of New York Buffalo Law School trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM). She is also creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the New York Economic Development Corporation/B-Labs (Finalist, Best for NYC 2015 & 2016), U.S. Chamber of Commerce (2015 Blue Ribbon Small Business), Enterprising Women Magazine (Honorable Mention, 2014 Woman of the Year awards), and Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In (Finalist, 2013 Pitch Competition).