The Power of Shifting (Make Sure You Hear That Word Clearly)

Funny story: I was working on getting my negative thinking under control and asked someone to help me.  You see, it’s hard to do anything totally alone and I know the power of relationships can make a tremendous difference.

I found my power person to help and I found my power word.

I asked my dearest, best friend, who also happens to be my husband, to support me in this not-so-easy task of changing outdated behavior patterns.  I asked him to simply say my power word whenever he caught me reverting to the victim behavior, that I must say, I really can get into sometimes.

I asked Herb to use my power word to remind me to stop my blaming, judging or attacking another and find a more positive way to handle my upset.  I want to give up the “poor me” and “life’s not fair” attitude.

Now, I don’t go there often; however, I want to have this behind me totally.

I teach others to be better leaders and to stop whining and get going.  Yet, there are times when my old survival responses seem to take over and I sound lame and ineffective.

Herb and I made the agreement.  He would use my power word, and nothing more, when I would start up with a sob story.

So, one afternoon, someone who had promised to complete a project for me, called with tons of excuses.  It was going to set me back several weeks and that meant promises I made to others would get caught in the back water.

I was pissed.

I started out with anger and then moved to revenge, and finally ended up wanting to get in bed, pull the covers over my head and retreat into sulking.

Herb stopped by my office and asked what the problem was.  I started to give him not just the facts; I began a story filled with drama and discontent.  Did I mention that along with being a first-class victim I am also a darn good drama queen?

Anyway,

He listened for, oh maybe a minute, till he got the drift of my fury and said simply, “SHIFT.”

“I agree,” I responded.

“Then do it,” he stated.

“Huh, what do you mean, do it? I’m furious and yes, I’m glad you agree that what Edward did was sh*tty.  I want revenge!”

Herb stopped and made me look at him, look at his lips when he spoke again.  “I didn’t say, ‘Sh*t,’ I said ‘Shift’.  You know, shift from your negative thinking, just the way you asked me to?  Remember, your power word is ‘shift,’ not ‘sh*t’!”

We had a good laugh.

Make sure your power word is clear and when you are in a crappy place that you listen for the cues to change.  We know what makes a good fertilizer, however that’s not a great power word.

Choose one that will quickly help you change the course of your thinking and find a coach, friend, colleague, lover who will be there to support the changes you want and need to make to be in charge, as you navigate to a more productive and proactive place in life.

Sylvia Lafair

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