It has been an interesting week. It started in a fairly gentle mellow sort of way really, before taking on an entirely different pace altogether, something akin to white water rafting. Or perhaps more like exam week; one where no one let you know it was coming up, and after the History exam you had to do Maths and French simultaneously before finishing off with Physics while your neighbour asked you random questions from their Geography paper! And that was just Wednesday.
I know, like you, that I dream, although I'm rarely aware of it, and even more rarely remember what I dreamt about. But this week I dreamt about a letter. Now I'm certainly no expert on dreams. I'm not actually sure that it is possible to be an expert on dreams but I feel sure that any experts out there will be able to explain it. What I do know is that our unconscious mind likes to work in Metaphors and symbology. We all love a good story. And the power of metaphors and stories comes from the way in which we all extract our own personal meaning from them. So if dreams arise in our unconscious mind, which we sometimes become consciously aware, and then you wonder what they mean, surely an expert can offer you only one of many possible explanations. A guess.
So I dreamt about a letter, that had been sent by a colleague to a lot of customers, that gave level of detail that would be most unusual. It was definitely a dream because I'm not aware of a letter ever having been written that contained this information, and recall thinking in the dream how odd it was and wondering why it had been sent. It wasn't anything I had been thinking about, or worrying about, which made the dream seem really odd. But it was also really vivid. I mentioned it to my colleague in passing. By then end of the week she asked me if I thought it was a premonition, as we found ourselves drafting exactly that type of letter together. The details were different but the letter was to the same customers.
In the same way it would be easy to have described last week as stressful, rather than interesting, it would be easy to get caught up with the idea of premonitions, but I won't. My unconscious mind offered me a story, a very realistic story, but a tale nonetheless. It didn't mean something specific, and it didn't mean nothing at all, it was just there. And I have the choice to dwell on it, or simply notice it and let it drift away. The week was full of pressing deadlines, hectic meetings, complex problems. They took up all the processing space my conscious mind had available. And I realise there is perhaps something of a learnt skill in noticing that is how the week was, acknowledging it, and letting it drift away.
I love a good problem to solve, don't really mind crashing deadlines, but what I really like is getting under the surface of what appears to be a people problem, and helping them realise it is not quite as impossible as it appeared to be. And last week had some of those too. I had the honour of talking with some colleagues in a team I don't usually work with. They were sharing an issue that had been causing a problem for a number of years, and it was leading to stress and an increasing reluctance about work. You know, that feeling you can get on a Sunday evening that builds up in readiness for Monday morning. Your unconscious telling you its time to worry about the week ahead.
Now, I know you know that this doesn't actually make anything any better, don't you? And even though you know it won't help, it happens anyway, seemingly beyond your control. If I'm describing your Sunday evening, its time to reach out and talk to someone.
To find out more about their issue I was asking some questions about how they knew there was a problem, and how they knew who or what the problem was with. It was a fascinating conversation because in describing what they believed the problem to be, they kept describing an issue with communication that was based on some assumptions. There were assumptions about how people would feel, mind reading what their response would be, and they were acting in accordance with the assumptions they were making. Trouble was that was preventing them from taking small steps to control their situation and make improvements to how they felt. Like so many situations there were plenty of actions they could choose from, ones they knew how to take, and the only thing getting in the way, were the assumptions.
After the conversation I left with with choices about what they wanted to do next. The choices included doing nothing, and accepting the situation; talking again and accepting some support to change the situation; or taking action themselves. They chose the last one. And a week later report feeling much happier and realising that things they thought they couldn't change, in fact they really could. They didn't need any new skills or training, they didn't need anyone else to help them, they just needed to look at reality in a different way.
Often our assumptions about other people, or about situations, get in the way of us taking control. Stop now and ask yourself what assumptions are getting in your way. What if those assumptions were only one interpretation? What if you already have all the resources you need to make your life different, better? If all you really need is a conversation then get in touch with us about our life coaching. Or if you want to effect some real change in your 'people problems' ask us about our NLP training, to get under the surface of the issue