One of the ways to do this is to pick a quality that you don’t currently have much facility with and to develop it in yourself. But how do you do that? Well, here are ten places to start.
Also, the quality I’m using as an example is “Acceptance.” You could also think of this as unconditional love, giving people space, giving room for people’s garbage while continuing to stand for their greatness, etc.
So, if this is a quality you’d like to develop, this list will serve double duty.
1. One of the first ways to developing a particular quality is to do exactly what I’m doing — create a top ten list of ways to develop that particular quality.
While these ten ways are intended to provide good general information on quality development, making a specific list will be beneficial in its own way.
The examples given on acceptance will illustrate this and will serve as an example of a top ten list on a specific quality.
2. Notice what is automatically present in your life that tends to block out the quality you desire. You can get at this by thinking of it this way.
Imagine that there’s something already taking up the room where the desired quality could fit in your life, so once you’ve identified what that is you can start to set that aside, freeing up space for the desired quality to come into play.
For example, one of the things I see that gets in the way of acceptance is being judgmental, so each time I catch myself being judgmental I have the opportunity to set my judgment aside and try being accepting in those moments.
3. To take a little deeper look at number two, take a moment to identify the background assumption that gives rise to the undesired quality that you want to replace.
Often it will be some version of “there’s something wrong here,” something wrong with you, with the other person, with the situation, etc.
Once you’ve identified this baseline assumption, you can shift to a more constructive assumption, perhaps something like, “life is perfect.”
For example, can you see if you are coming from the assumption that something is wrong, that will naturally give rise to being judgmental, and when you shift to “life is perfect,” that allows for being accepting to arise instead.
4. Pretend. That’s right, just like you used to do when you were a child.
Pretend you are a person who is already masterful with the desired quality, then ask yourself how would such a person act differently, what would they say, what would they do? Then, go and be, do and say those things.
For example, pretend you are a master as acceptance. How would you behave differently, what would you say differently, and what different actions might you take?
5. Closely related to #4, identify someone in your life who already possesses this quality to a large degree, then interview this person about the quality.
What has owning such a quality made possible in their life, how did they develop it, what are the obstacles to watch out for in developing it. Then, use whatever seems of valuable.
For example, if I’m interested in being more accepting in my life (which I am), I would interview my wife, who has a far better handle on this quality than I. In fact, I’ll be doing that right after I finish writing this.
6. Acknowledge every little place where you already see that quality in yourself. Most of us don’t start with our particular quality bank account at zero, and it’s helpful to acknowledge wherever we have exhibited some of the desired quality.
For example, I tend to be more accepting with my coaching clients than with a lot of people in my personal life, especially when I first start working with them.
I think this is because I realize that people start at a lot of different places when they hire me as a coach and I’m fine with wherever they are.
Realizing this allows me to then carry that over to the other areas of my life where I’ve not be as accepting.
7. Let other people around you know what you are up to. Now, on this one be selective. Pick those people who are “in your corner” and positively supportive; people who will encourage you and give your positive enforcement.
For example, I’ve already told my wife and daughter that I’m working on being more accepting because I know they’d love to see this happen (they’ve already told me that) and they’ll support me.
8. Use your coach. If you’ve hired a coach to support you in your life, be sure to include them in this “quality control project.” They can help you keep the project in existence, and coach you in different ways to take ground in it.
For example, this is one of the topics I’ll be discussing with my coach, Michele Lisenbury (www.lisenbury.com), my project to developing the quality of acceptance in my life over the next 30 days.
9. Consciously stop at least one undesired quality to make room for the new quality. I know, this is similar to #2 but a little different.
You may find there are more than one undesired qualities that could be replaced with the new, desired quality. If so, stop as many of them as possible which will create a lot of room for the new quality to be put.
For example, besides being judgmental getting in the way of being accepting, I also see that getting angry can get in the way as well. So, I’ll be working on ways to redirect the angry so that energy can be more constructively used.
10. Make a list of the top five benefits you and those around you will receive from having developed the new quality.
We work on stuff that is in our best interest, so take the time to figure out what that is. It will help motivate you when the going gets a little sticky.
For example, I know that being more accepting will strengthen my relationships with my wife and daughter, that it will make me a more effective coach, it will help me in my relationship with the magazine editors I work with, it will make me more attractive to others which will undoubtedly have many benefits, and it will give me more room to be with myself when I’m more accepting of myself.
No wonder I’m so excited about developing this new quality.
Thanks go to Thomas Leonard, creator of the Attraction Operating System, for inspiring this article.
C 1998 Brad Swift. http://www.lifeonpurpose.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828.697-9239 for more free information. This material may be transmitted freely with this contact and attribution information. Enjoy!
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