Locating Inspiration: Basic Needs
Over the years I have noticed that some of my new clients come to coaching in a state of urgency. They are chomping at the bit to address long-term challenges regarding focus and follow-thru. This is completely understandable and a well known characteristic of ADHD. Yet this sense of urgency can get in the way of doing the important work they want to do - Building a business, developing a new habit, shifting thinking, working on areas of personal and professional growth. Using a strength-based coaching model I have also noticed that inspiration and curiosity can be powerful antidotes to urgency. I'm not suggesting people give up their ability to be master responders. Both urgency and inspiration can be effective motivators and with a little forethought and skill global creatives can harness both for consistent and fulfilling work output. Here are a few ideas to take some initial steps away from a singular urgent mindset and begin to incorporate some elements of inspiration.
Urgency - the not so effective coping strategy.
Urgency is great for crises but not our items beyond the time horizon or what Covey calls Quadrant II (important not urgent) – quality items that rarely respond to time pressures
Why we do it
Urgency elicits an adrenaline response. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing that creates hyperfocus. I’m certain that I owe my college degree to my ability to tap adrenaline! But when we become overdependent on adrenaline it can create an adrenaline response cycle.
Break up the Amygdala Monopoly
In order to diversify motivators we can’t let the amygdala have a monopoly on motivation. This is where inspiration & curiosity come in – they are foreign agents with respect to the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) otherwise know as our fight/flight response.
Awareness, Awareness, Awareness!
Curiosity is also useful for creating a foundation of new awareness. Before you try to jump off the urgency train take some time to notice how it shows up and how it influences your thinking and belief system. A good place to start is your take on time. Not enough? Always behind? Your amygdala (fear) is likely influencing your perspective here. Also take stock of what creates real inspiration for you. Look no further than your own core values. I value learning and personal development. I get that every time I teach or mentor a class of coaching students.
Often we global creatives mistaken inspiration for something else. Once a long time ago I thought I was on a journey to discover inspiration but it turned out I was really seeking the safe harbor of safety and belonging. Global creatives will also mistaken adrenaline for inspiration. They think excitement and drama is inspiration when in fact it's just a stimulating event that produces adrenaline and a dopamine (attention, arousal and reward) response. Lastly GCs will think that inspiration is something to wait for. I've been guilty of waiting for inspiration. Really I was just procrastinating and, you guessed it, waiting for the adrenaline to flow.
Inspiration is not possible if basic needs are not met. Think Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Once I addressed my basic need of safety and belonging then I could seek sources of inspiration. Inspiration is born out of basic needs. So begin here. Start with accepting your unique wiring and moving forward to support your wiring’s needs. Consider your basic needs and take action to make sure your needs are getting met. Seek positive spheres which include positive and inspiring people who eagerly support your basic needs and honor who you are at your core (core values) and positive and inspiring environments. Zap the negative. Neutralize negative people who thrive on drama and keeping you off balance. You have the ability to, as my good friend Denslow Brown likes to say, upgrade your community and create an opening for leading a life full of inspiration.
Finally, you can’t get positive change from negative attention. Positive attention resides outside of the SNS and when we put our focus and efforts here then we can create the positive change we want. The positive rarely comes to those who wait. Develop a touchstone based in awareness and go out and seek out inspiration sources in people, groups and places.