Increase Your Impact

Kirsten Blakemore's picture Submitted by Kirsten Blakemore April 7, 2022 - 3:51pm
Increase Your Impact
A heart-shaped lake in the middle of untouched nature - a concept illustrating the issues of nature conservation, bio-products and the protection of forests and woodlands in general.
 

Many people, including coaches and coaching clients, want to increase and expand their positive impact with their business, their work and in their relationships. Doing this work makes us feel good. To know we are having a positive impact on others as friends, leaders or partners gives us purpose. The next question is: How? This article will address how to increase your positive impact, starting now.

Working with people as a coach and group facilitator, I have observed we live in a spectrum of energy, frequency, thoughts, emotions and behaviors. The research about the connection with energy, thought and emotion is clear: Energy is a personal composite of ever changing and individual factors such as biology, thoughts, emotions and internal state (Dai, G., & Ferry, K. 2021). On one end of the spectrum is love, while on the other is fear. The love frequency can include emotions such as gratitude, recognition, appreciation, caring and thoughts, which are focused on acceptance, forgiveness, appreciation, compassion and love. Fear emotions, on the other hand, include feeling a lack of, less than, not good enough, anger, jealousy, revenge and hate. Thoughts could include, “I am not good enough,” “I am bad,” “they are bad,” “they are trying to hurt me (or I want to hurt them)” and/or judgments. Neutral is in the middle of the spectrum. We may not even notice this as it does not necessarily capture our attention. Contentment with “good enough” dwells here.  In a meta-analysis of positive emotions at work, the authors concluded positive emotions, such as those mentioned above, along with our thinking, beliefs and experiences correlate with outcomes. If the emotions, thinking, beliefs are positive, then so shall the outcomes be (Diener, et. al., 2020).



I see the love-end as full of color; the fear-end as an absence of color. When we give compliments or well wishes to someone, even if only in our thinking and heart, we are coming from the love end of the spectrum; we are giving and being in-service. When we withhold love and/or focus our intentions and thoughts on perceiving others in a negative light, then we operate from fear. Each end of the spectrum has with it a ripple effect of energy, or in other words - consequences (this article is focused on self-empowerment, not judgment of others’ actions).



Recently, my friend was on the fear-end. His energy and frequency were low and very hurtful (towards himself and others). He was thinking, feeling and acting from fear with the consequence of hurting his partner. While she was coming from love, and wanting to help him, she was hurt by his attacks. She felt she couldn’t reach him with her words and emotions. She was right. He had to raise his energy and frequency before they could meet to discuss and find resolution. She could not bring him there, save him or heal him...he had to find his own way. When he finally raised his emotions to a more positive place, she embraced him and they were able to discuss, resolve and ultimately choose emotions and thoughts from the love-end of the spectrum. 

How do we apply this with our clients?

As coaches, our role is to see beyond the words spoken. We must have a highly functioning radar. I describe this as the ability to see energy, frequency, and the slightest movements of body language. An example of this, in my practice, I see leaders who have a lot of responsibility (and many have high visibility which is an added pressure).  

One of my clients came to our session with extreme high frenetic energy. She had been burning the candle at both ends so to speak. It was obvious she had intense stress and within ten minutes she went from extreme intense energy to her brain shutting down. Her energy went from one end of the spectrum to the other right in front of me. She said very few words but I noticed her energy. When I asked her what just happened, she said her brain just shut off. She couldn’t think anymore. I shared what I witnessed and she agreed she was numb. At that point, we both agreed the best course of action for her was to go outside for a walk.  I could not “coach” her back to even a neutral place on the spectrum. She needed to find her way there.

Another example of “reading the energy” of our clients: My client and I joined our video call. She said hello with a big smile. I asked her how she was, she said “good”. But her energy told me something different. I said to her, “really?” She proceeded to break into tears after realizing she could not pretend with me.  After we had spent about 30 minutes processing what she had just found out, we agreed she needed time to process on her own. She needed to elevate her own state before she could go to her next meeting.  


How do we elevate our emotions to a more positive state?

In every moment we can ask ourselves: am I thinking, feeling and acting from love or fear? Where do I want to start? Depending on how deeply rooted our fears are, it can take effort to weed through the fearful thoughts. Nonetheless, we can arrive at a place where it becomes possible to make a choice of where and how we want to be. The research suggests aligning positive emotions with positive cognition can elevate one’s state (Diener, et. al., 2020).



This is made easier when we have clarity around our thoughts and emotions. Why, what, when….this provides clarity of thought and emotion and a path to full choice. As a coach, it is helpful to our clients when we ask probing questions so they can create clarity for themselves. When we or our clients do not have clarity, then much of our thoughts, emotions and actions will come from our subconscious and that is when we believe things “happen” to us. But we are still in the process of choosing every moment. We just may not recognize that we made the choice because we are acting from reflex, reaction, subconscious motivations/positions. After we react, the end result is that we may feel bad. This is an indicator that we are not making clear decisions or choices, but rather having a knee jerk reaction to our subconscious pain. Elevating our emotions links to a positive state or result (Diener, et. al., 2020). To elevate our emotions when we feel angry, sad, depressed etc, find something to raise your feelings to a place of gratitude, appreciation, love. Watch a movie, YouTube video, call a friend, read a book or an article to lift your spirits. Then you can begin to shift your negative thinking. 



As coaches, we must go through these internal exercises that increase our own awareness so we can hold space for our clients to do the same (or rather, their version of the same).  

How do I feel better?

Redemption of pain and regret comes from the awareness that we have reacted in a hurtful way. At that moment we can make a choice to bring the energy or frequency closer to the love-end of the spectrum. We redeem our thoughts, emotions and actions by choosing thoughts, emotions and actions that are generated from all the possible positives. Our positive emotions increase our energy and wellbeing (Dai, 2021).

Examples of this are self-forgiveness, acceptance and courage. The question we can ask ourselves or our clients at this moment: What do I need to do to make myself and the other(s) feel better (closer to love)?  Do I need to give appreciation, gratitude, support, help? What will make me and them feel better (Fredrickson, 2004)?

When we feel better it is because our intentions come from love rather than fear. From our intentions, we generate higher levels of thoughts, emotions and actions. This too has a ripple effect. This wave or ripple effect creates the feeling of love, safety, support, appreciation - good. This is the indicator that we have raised our thinking, emotions and actions (and energy) towards love. From this place, everything is possible. We are empowered.  

From the fear side we feel limitation. We feel victimized – stuck.  It is so hard to get out of feeling stuck. We can, but only through intentionally generating thoughts of love (the broader word and meaning). From the dark we must create, with discipline, beautiful and loving thoughts that bring our energy level up “enough” to then continue to raise our thoughts, feelings and actions towards a more loving place of self-love first, then towards others.

Coaching can help by diluting the power of negative thinking.

When we find ourselves or our clients in a negative loop in mind and emotions, this is when coaching can be critical to healing. As coaches, we hold space for our clients to analyze their thinking. Being a sounding board for our clients to listen to what is transpiring in their heads, gives them the ability to talk out loud to hear those damaging thoughts. When a person can process aloud these patterns of negative thoughts that have kept them prisoner, they lose their power. From this place, empowered choices are made.  

When we support our clients choosing to be positive, we help them direct their thoughts (instead of letting the thoughts direct them). They are then able to create a stronger positive impact on those around them. This has a powerful impact and influence on all.  



References:

Dai, G., & Ferry, K. (2021).  Optimizing Personal Energy: 5 Pillars to Sustain Wellbeing and Performance.

Diener, E., Thapa, S., & Tay, L. (2020). Positive Emotions at Work. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 7(1) , 451–77.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences, 359(1449), 1367–1378.