An article by Anke Sommer
Using stress balance as a tool
My client was sitting there opposite me: a very competent man, holding an extremely responsible position in a large company. His name and rank are a burden to him, as are the many publications about him – in Wikipedia, in respected economic journals and in recordings of his appearances on radio and television. My client was very well known, but as he sat there my impression was that he seemed sad and lost.
This man has made it, at least in other people’s eyes. But what does he himself feel? Pressure, fear of the future, lack of security and the sense of being overwhelmed: that is what he’s focusing on, and he’s the type of person who can only focus on one thing at a time. At the moment he’s concentrating on the negative side of things.
We can cope with this negative focus for a time, but after a while it’s no longer just our focus that’s negative, as we ourselves become increasingly negative. No amount of success can help us to get out of that state. So success is not always experienced as positive if it’s linked with pressure and insecurity.
How can we escape this spiral and enter our inner balance?
Taking time out helps us to escape this cycle. We need to be touched in some way in order to understand; to stop for a minute and to realise that it doesn’t take a lot to change our focus. If we look at it from a position outside our busy activity, we see and realise that there are always two paths: one path shows our activity in a positive light, while the other reveals the same facts but in a negative way.
The sparkle and smile in this client’s eyes showed how deeply he was moved as he suddenly realised how his safe, sheltered career up to that point had aided his success and what opportunities he had to influence things positively.
Now his eyes no longer expressed sadness and loss – just the eagerness to carry on, to restructure and to continue wholeheartedly on the path along which he was already moving, but now consciously and recognising the positive.
If my life has a meaning, it was fulfilled on that day: enabling the client to be touched in some way and seeing his eyes light up again.
If you’re willing to be ‘moved’ and would like to find out more about the art of inner balance, you can take part in our workshop on stress balance that forms part of our LEADERSHIP Coaching series.