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Who you are is what makes the difference. Tuesday February 11, 2014

"Nothing you will ever do, will ever improve who you actually are." Hans King.

Who are you? This is a question I often ask people as we start to dig deeper than the normal intellectual attempts, when doing some work around changing teams, as you can only help teams change, by enabling the people as individuals to change FIRST. (The resistance to this individual focus and consequent failure to change, is to my mind, why most change processes fail).

What would you write down right now to this question.

And if you are moving quickly to read on - you are not really up for change are you? So stop, get some paper or bring up a blank document and start writing.

Are you, by NOT challenging yourself to write down who you are, simply staying comfortable? Only through discomfort of some sort, will you change your life - by doing something you have not done before.

Discomfort is to be embraced positively. It is not a negative thing like pain, you have to be comfortable with discomfort for your own growth.

Because once you distill the many thoughts that will appear to something that 'feels' right - right to you (no one else), you then at least have a starting point of authenticity and authenticity is THE key to doing some work on yourself.

The most powerful and swift experiences I have ever had in working on leadership and personal growth was working with horses.

Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is just the greatest experience I have had in my life.

To see a horse who has been totally avoiding you and completely frustrating you for up to 45 minutes suddenly come to your side to support you, as you break into tears, as the layers of protection and insecurity fall away - is just spellbinding. The horse will only work with you if you are REAL - truly you.

This is the crucial 'inscaping' journey and not the 'escaping' route that most take due to societal pressures. The journey in, is the only real journey we will ever take.

If you are seeking yet more answers externally, looking to the supposed experts, then find someone who loves you enough to truly 'listen' even when you are not speaking.

Their role is to help you discover yourself, not to 'tell' you anything.

So what are you going to do today - to look inside - to inscape - to establish who you are, as only from there can you start? Who are you?

A Moodscope user.

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Julia Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 9:48am

Your blog as usual throws up some interesting things to think about Les. One is the difficulty in finding someone who might help me discover myself and does not "tell" me how I should behave or react. I think for some people, even though they love the person who needs help, they are not capable of truly listening. Also I have yet to find a therapist who really has the time and energy to find out who I truly am. In fact I am not looking for one anymore.For a start I wouldn't know where to begin!
Your points about changing teams at work is valid but I think managers, including and particularly those at the very top (Vice Chancellors of Universities, CEOs etc etc) need to look at themselves and change as individuals before their teams do.
I love the idea of an animal responding to our sadness.What a lovely story about the horse.
Thank you Les. I do like your blogs. They stay with me all day. This one is very helpful.

Anonymous Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 9:55am

What if I hate who I am ???? That I was born wrong ??
People see me differently to how I see myself ??

Judy Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 2:48pm

I think that's the point of Les's blog. What you hate isn't the real you, it's all the external stuff. Most people feel that others see them differently to how they see themselves. How could it be otherwise? You are inside looking out, they are outside looking outside. You say you were born wrong. What does that mean? What does born right mean? Either way, you can choose how you lead your life.
DNA only accounts for some of who you are.

Anonymous Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 4:43pm

I find the horse bit difficult to follow. How can I find a sympathetic horse?

Lostinspace Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 6:07pm

I'm very surprised not to see more posts on the blog. Are people just uncomfortable with this subject and quickly move on as Les suggests? How you perceive yourself and what others see is a topic for endless discussion but I don't think it matters as I realise that everybody's reality/truth is different. This has led me to be quite comfortable saying I may be wrong when I know I am right, if you see what I mean.It's taken years but living abroad has in the end made me see that it's not where you are but who you are, although this is still a work in progress. I love that Les talks about discomfort. Accepting discomfort is something I have only recently come to terms with, mostly because I avoid directing my brain power at the really important stuff and allow myself to get tangled up in the mundane day to day things. I know that wonderful work is being done with horses and the disabled and more recently with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gardening is good too, I benefit just by listening to Gardeners' Question Time and I don't have but one plant in my home. How is Gardeners'Question Time possibly relevant? Well, I just took a moment to think about it and in my view it's the total focus these people have on caring, tending and making things grow which I find calming. Maybe I should apply some focus to Who Am I?

Anonymous Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 6:40pm

Like you no garden but I love Gardeners' Question Time too.

Anonymous Tue, Feb 11th 2014 @ 11:04pm

Thank you for this Les. I'm in a very "who am I?" place right now, from complications with a loved one involving mental health issues, saying goodbye to a beloved family pet (may seem trivial to some but that dog stole my heart, and was around for more than half my life) and from job hunting and sending out cv's supposedly telling the world "who I am", in a very cold and corporate way of course.
I'm already quite uncomfortable so will endeavour to take on a little more discomfort in the hope of some positive change.

Judy Wed, Feb 12th 2014 @ 6:22pm

So you've been through-and still going through- some tough challenges.
Already you're acknowledging you love Gardeners Question Time, possibly for the same reason as Lostinspace. And while you're listening to these people talk about the plants they love, you're in a different place than your "problems".
So maybe instead of saying you were born wrong, you could rephrase it to my thoughts were born wrong. Find some more simple things you love.

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