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  • Writer's pictureAscent Leadership Program

Thanksgiving Challenge - A Special Invite to your Table

We all likely have a significant internal negative voice known by a number of references: Saboteur, Gremlin, Inner Critic to name a few. For the purposes of this newsletter, we will refer to them as Exhibit X. Exhibit X is a normal part of being human. In fact, Exhibit X has very real neuroscience behind it. It can trigger fear or aggression, which activates the flight or fight response (aka: flipping your lid, amygdala hijack). Its hidden purpose is to try to keep us safe. Unfortunately, this can shut down our most creative parts of our brain that are truly needed to do our best problem solving. Exhibit X can ultimately prevent us from reaching goals, seeking greater levels of success, and/or being happy. It can also zap us of our courage and energy.

The first step is recognizing Exhibit X. This can be pretty tricky as it can come in many appearances, styles, or methods like Hyper-Vigilance, People Pleasing, Controlling, or Judging.

So what can we do about this Exhibit X? What about inviting it to your table? It’s a scary thought right? However, we know that the more we try to shut down, ignore, or turn-off anything, the more power and energy we give it (which is precisely what Exhibit X thrives on – your attention). When we acknowledge it fully, start to recognize its many appearances, even create relationship with it (gasp!), it neutralizes it – releasing its invisible control.

We can label it, name it, identify when it shows up and lean in to learn the lessons Exhibit X is offering us. After all, we are human "becomings" and this relationship is a life-long one, so the more we are aware and notice, the more at choice we are.

We grow to recognize its voice: I should, I must, I ought to, or other “beware” messages. We can pause, see it and replace thoughts with a more empowering one such as “I choose to” or “I choose not to; making a more conscious choice about how you truly and courageously want to proceed.

We challenge you to invite your Exhibit X (aka saboteur, gremlin, inner critic) to your table and get to know them at a deeper level. What a better time than Thanksgiving, being thankful for their lessons and the blessings of choice.

Possible reflections:

1. How do you see your _______ (Exhibit X)? What is your relationship with it?

2. What is it trying to keep you safe from?

3. What does ______ (Exhibit X) give you?

Wishing you all health and wellness this holiday season.

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