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Falling into Self-Judgment

December 8, 2011

Something happened the other day that triggered old fears and I fell head long into the little, tight, strangling circle of self judgment and degradation. It happened so fast! It took a couple of  hours for me to climb back out and once again hold a bigger view of my life where I could see the richness of my experience and expertise, and all the goodness I am grateful for. (does that ever happen to you?)

My own inner work as well as my work with coaching clients these days centers around simultaneously holding the dichotomy – feeling, owning, and honoring just how wise, smart, and ready we are to lead while also being aware of and including those parts of us that lack confidence, feel afraid to take a risk, and hold back. This is a core capacity of women who are wise!

The image I’m using is a BIG circle – that I am not the little circle of my fears and timidity, nor the little circle of my judgments and concerns. Instead I view myself as a big circle that includes all my experience, gifts, talents, and essential self – and that includes the little circle. If I drop into the little circle, I can acknowledge her tenderness and concerns while keeping one foot in my wholeness. (rather than jumping head first and getting lost in the morass of the little circle.)

Does that make sense? This is my first time writing this up so I’d love your thoughts. This is a key skill of small business owners – it seems that everyday something happens that they can use to question their capacity if they let it happen.

Of course, this applies to organizations as well – the most powerful strategy for effecting change focuses everyone on all that is working so that any change builds on that and then finds the resources to address the small area of issues or problems.

How do you stay centered in the big circle that is really you? What do you do to get back there when something happens that lands you smack in the middle of the little circle and it’s about to swallow you whole?



P.S.  I’m so excited about the upcoming Next Octave Women’s Leadership Program that starts in January where we’ll absolutely “get” this Big circle and Little circle process down. Does one of the places in this small circle belong to you? Contact us for an application today.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 8, 2011 5:01 pm

    This makes complete sense. Getting into the habit of noticing when I am in that “little circle” has been huge. It gives me immediate perspective. I may still be wobbly, but I have more distance from the emotional tug because I can say “Oops. I am thinking things and feeling things that mean I’m operating with too much influence from the “little circle”.

    I’ve always liked the idea of meditation, tried it here or there a couple of times in the past, but in the last few months I have felt the most compelling comittment to meditate. Barbara Marx Hubbard’s book “Emergence” kicked that off, but I am even more grateful for all of the coaching I’ve gotten from you. Without the incredible foundation of feminine wisdom I built for myself with your guidance, I don’t think I would be as fertile a ground to adopt meditation.

    I am building a company that is offering a product that has never been offered before to my market. I have never taken on a project of such huge proportions. I have never risked so much in my entire life. I consciously put effort daily to keep waves of inspiration washing me, waving me, back towards the fullness of my circle. It seems with each wave that shepherds me back towards the outter perimeter, I am able to keep myself in that perimeter area a little longer than before…

    It is an absolutely fascinating concept and experience to behold. I can’t even imagine how much extraordinary content is in your big circle Karen. I’ve seen you change so many lives first hand…and I know that’s only a weenie teenie smidgen of the effect your energy and spirit has had overall. As you can probably tell, I LOVE this dialog, this topic. Keep it comin’ 😉

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