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Thrive on Your Core Driven Path


June 17, 2014 | Issue 06.2014

In This Issue

Note from the Trail
Caught In A Bad Romance? [Feature Article]
Recommended Resources

Note from the Trail




Hello, Trailblazer!

As you are reading this, I’m in Orlando with my son to see the new Harry Potter features at Universal Studios. I took him to Orlando three and a half years ago when the first stage of the Harry Potter experience had opened. We’ve been anticipating the next phase for a while.

I’ve been talking a lot with people about their assumptions and beliefs lately – clients, colleagues, friends, and family members. It’s often enough that I’m seeing some patterns. One pattern is how persistent limiting beliefs and old points of view can be. They cling and won’t let go, and we hold on to them frantically, afraid of losing them.

That prompted the feature article for this issue. Being at Harry Potter world is probably going to prompt a couple of article ideas, too. Maybe some Defense Against the Dark Arts and learning how to conjure a Patronus!

Did you notice I put “Core Driven” back in the tag line? I like “inspired,” but it suggests something external is guiding us, something we have to wait around for and hope to experience. As Trailblazers, we are guided and powered by our core selves. We aren’t waiting around for anyone or anything else to tell us who we are. We are core driven.

Let’s cast off our old limiting stories and celebrate the truth of who we are when we meet on the trail!


Stephen Coxsey, MA, CMC
Leadership Development Coach

P.S. A very special Welcome! to those of you who have signed up since the last issue went out. I’m glad you’re here! As a subscriber to The Trailblazer, you are part of my Advisory Board. I count on all of you for feedback on what you want to see more of and what you want to see less of in future issues. As you read through this issue, please remember:

If you like what you see, please tell your family and friends.
If you don’t like something, please tell me!

Caught In A Bad Romance? :::::::::::: Feature Article ::::::::::::

Everything we think we know is a story we tell ourselves
Are you really fond of the story you tell yourself about the world around you? Are you committed to defending what you believe in spite of evidence to the contrary?

You and your story may be caught in a bad romance!

Everything we understand about the world around us comes from a story we tell ourselves. We have different conceptual frameworks that we use to make sense of events and assign meaning.

Some are obvious and easy to see. An accountant understands bookkeeping and tax reporting in the framework of tax law and best business practices. A physician might often catch herself watching and listening for diagnostic clues with people, even outside the examination room. A realtor driving through a neighborhood for the first time to go to a party is probably evaluating it in terms of property values and desirability.

Other people might notice we are using a framework but not know what it is for sure, or what its source is. That kind of framework may not even be obvious to us. For example, a person raised with a chaotic home life might have developed a framework that says that person is responsible for other people’s unhealthy behavior. It could manifest as tolerating mistreatment and holding on to relationships instead of letting them go.

The person with this framework might think this is just the way people “do life.” Another person watching that person repeatedly diminish herself to suit unpleasant people will know something’s going on that’s a problem, but probably won’t know what it is.

Some of our stories are pretty intense and relentless
We tell ourselves stories about ourselves and the world around us all the time. I have friends on Facebook who are certain that supporting a $15 per hour minimum wage is a sign of enlightenment and compassion, and any opposition is irrational and rooted in selfish greed. I have other friends on Facebook who are certain that raising the minimum wage is slogging towards communism and will take away people’s ambition, and anyone who disagrees is a communist conspirator.

Exaggerations? Only slightly. I know some passionate people! The liberal leaning people will post about angry conservatives calling them names and un-friending them. The conservative leaning people will post about angry liberals calling them names and un-friending them. People in both groups are sure it’s the other group that is intolerant.

I have experienced a version of the following scenario many, many times. Somebody posts a sweeping political proclamation and I respond with a question.

What would that cost? or
What is a possible solution to that? or
What if other people strongly disagree?

Sometimes you’re cast in someone’s story against your will
In response, another person I don’t know, a friend of the person who posted the proclamation, will reply to me, saying, “Well, obviously you’re one of those [defamatory words] who believes [the exaggerated caricature they use to justify despising people who disagree with them] and therefore you are [a string of character defects and moral failings].”

I’m not the exaggerated caricature that person is arguing with. Though I have moral failings and areas my character could improve, I’m not as derelict as they describe. And I don’t hold the cluster of beliefs and opinions they assign to me, either.

That person has told himself or herself a story about the world and is playing out that story. I’ve been assigned a role in the drama and don’t even know the character sketch, much less the script. I’m just there as a prop.

Sometimes we’re so infatuated with the story we can’t see real people
Someone giving a heated, descriptive response to a complete stranger is in a bad romance with his framework. He is so desperate to prove his story is true that he forces people to play it out, and probably does this in many situations. We can guess how commitment to such an impassioned, angry, critical story colors that person’s life.

Fortunately, forceful opinionated people make it easy for us to see an obvious example of irrational devotion to a conceptual framework. It’s a lot harder to see the affect of other, subtler frameworks on us.

We limit ourselves with the stories we tell about ourselves
Are you telling yourself that your role is to be a helper, and your value to other people (and to society overall) comes from what you do for others? Does this make your schedule erratic as you squeeze in other people’s requests? Does it drain your resources for things that matter to you when you take care of other people first?

Are you telling yourself the story that you have to get every detail right and be prepared for all possible questions when you have a project? Are you generating anxiety about feeling ashamed if something isn’t perfect in order to keep you working hard?

Are you dedicated to proving again and again that “people like me don’t catch breaks?”

And it takes its toll
Imagine what that’s doing to your mental calmness, your physical health, and your ability to enjoy life in the moment.

Application: Listen to the stories you tell yourself about the world around you. Listen to the stories you tell yourself about other people in general, and about how other people see you. Just notice them. Use a notebook or a computer file or a whiteboard to start keeping track of some of the more prevalent ones.

Question: Look at the dominant stories and ask yourself, “How do I know this is true?” And then ask yourself, “What if it isn’t?”

Maybe it’s time to end that bad romance. Break up with your confining story. It will try to convince you that you need it, but trust me, you don’t.

It needs you to exist. You don’t need it.

Recommended Resources

Overwhelmed and struggling to find balance?

Looking for a way to start moving forward?

Stuck in your comfort zone?

Sounds like you’re ready for a creative, dynamic, collaborative partnership focused on your dreams and your goals.

Experience the Unique Power of Coaching

Contact me to set up a 30-40 minute complimentary consultation where we design a strategy and help you choose your next steps.

About Steve


Steve Coxsey develops leaders who thrive on a core driven path. He partners with people who want to bring the best of who they are to their leadership roles in their personal lives, professional lives, or businesses. He helps people cultivate their strengths and natural talents so they can take ownership of their productivity and creativity.

Then they become powerful, breaking free of other people’s boxes and cubicles and living and working in alignment with who they really are. They design their lives around their values, their purpose, and their natural way of being. They tailor careers that use their unique strengths and talents and complement their life design.

Would you like that to be you? Get started with a no-risk 30-40 minute consultation. It’s complimentary, so all it will cost you is a little bit of time. You can schedule the complimentary call using this online tool. You can also call 817-416-8971 or e-mail Steve@SteveCoxsey.com to set up the call.

Click here for more information than you could possibly ever want to know about Steve.

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