Seek Counsel from Trusted Parties
We all have people we consult with about important matters in our lives. Whether it is a personal or professional matter, it is wise to seek counsel from trusted parties.
I think it is important to be conscious about who has a seat at your table. There may be some people who do not belong! I don’t just mean the people you have actively selected. I am referencing the ghosts. The ones who haunt you and your best self!
These might be people that you feel the need to prove yourself to…or those who have actively doubted you, your skills, and/or your abilities.
Sometimes we give more credence to the naysayers. We decide to continue in a job or a relationship; not because we want it…but because X, Y, or Z didn’t believe that we could do it!
I think that this is one of the worst reasons to continue to pursue anything…because if you succeed you are not necessarily succeeding at something that is your true intent and desire. You could find yourself both empty and totally unable to identify with the person you had to become to prove others wrong.
Yes, some very successful people cite the incidents when someone said they would not achieve their goal. But they were were always going to keep going and succeed in their pursuits. They kept going “in spite of” not “because of” their naysayers!
My Own Table
At my table there are a handful of people with whom I consult on personal and professional matters. This does not mean that I don’t have a more expanded circle for learning and development. It means that when I want to make sure that I’ve sorted through my options on a matter of importance, I have some “go to” people for various perspectives.
These consultants reflect different aspects of what is important to me. They have a seat at my table because of their unique skills, talents, and perspectives…they help to expand the parameters of my decision making.
- For pure business consultation there is my sister who is a Stanford University MBA graduate and the CEO of a new credit card company. My sister is a no nonsense person and she is very practical. She tells me the bottom line and what makes sense from a financial perspective. She also believes in me and never doubted my entrepreneurship!
- For artistic, design, layout, and various day to day technology challenges, I consult with my brother who has a Master’s in Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He specializes in computer animation. But when I moved into my new office and had a tough time with arranging the space. He saw something I didn’t and helped head off what would have been a very poor decision in the layout of the space.
- For general encouragement and unconditional love and support I contact my best friend who is also a Counselor, Educator and Supervisor. She knows what I need to feel happy and not feel depleted…she always supports what is good for my heart and soul.
- For strategic marketing, wordpress, social media, and general tech tips the newest member of my core crew is a good friend I’ve known since high school! He is super smart and successful as a motivational speaker and an author on academic success. Interestingly enough, he actually worked for NASA as a Rocket Scientist! Yep, lucky me to have his expertise…I try not to abuse it!
Hey, I Need More Seats at the Table
There are few more people who have have seats at the main table as needed but who always have a seat in my soul or in my consciousness.
- If it is about spirituality I have three go-to therapist/mystic/adviser friends to select from based on whether it is a heart matter, a meaning matter, or both.
- If it is about a clinical supervision matter, I have three colleagues that I reach out to until one reaches back. All three are current or former instructors or professors in the Community Counseling Program at Argosy Atlanta. They are each just as engaged in counselor supervision and education as me. We are a nerd squad for supervision.
- If the matter is about health, I have my tai chi teacher, my massage therapist, my doctors of osteopathy and/or chiropractic, and holistic health providers.
- If the matter is about my own love and relationships arena, I have a trio of awesome friends who consistently do personal development in the area of feminine power. We talk about loving oneself, creating room for love, compassion, peace and so on…they each have different strengths and I love them for their generosity of spirit!
Make an Active Choice
The point is that I am actively choosing who is at my table. It doesn’t mean that unwanted guests never show up when I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
But it does mean that I’ve learned to remove their place setting and their seat! These unwanted guests may say things like “You’re not good enough,” or “You don’t know enough” or “You’re too disorganized” or “You’re never going to learn that!”
All things that my true companions and consultants would never say. My life and your life and your clients lives are too important to be hijacked by these ghosts and negative mindsets. Mindsets that can rob one of self determination.
Who has a seat at your table?
Who needs to be invited to the table?
Who needs to be asked to leave your table?
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