Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Permission to Fumble

You know when you know something but just can't find the right words to articulate it? Or the right thoughts? But, you know that there's something there - whether it's a feeling you can't quite place, or a hunch of a good idea. This post is about giving yourself permission to fumble through the thick of it so you can land in a place of improved clarity. The key to fumbling as elegantly as possible - is to do the following:

1. Identify a "safe" person(s) to fumble with. By safe, I mean someone who is a good listener, non-judgmental, and authentically has your interests in mind. Even better if they're not vested in the outcome of what you're fumbling with.

2. Ask your safe person(s) for permission to fumble through and request what you need of them. "I just need you to listen." "Tell me what you hear me saying." "I don't know what I'm getting at...but think there's something, can you help me clarify?"

3. Pay attention to the mirror, mirror, on the wall. Face the fact that you might not actually want to hear what's coming out of your mouth. So really listen to what your safe listener is playing back for you.

4. Take mental or physical notes and then let some time pass. Let your subconscious speed up to your conscious. Your brain has wheels turning that our out of your control - and those parts work wonders. It's what happens when the AHA pops up. The best way to let that happen is to switch your attention to something other than what you're trying to resolve. Take a break.

5. Repeat this cycle with another safe person (s), or advance to the party that may be involved in either developing your idea or working through the issue you have.

Innovation, growth, progress only happen when we give ourselves permission to take risks into the unknown.


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