Little Shifts Mean A Lot

Quote of the Week

“Change is inevitable, growth is intentional.”
— Glenda Cloud

Little Shifts Mean A Lot

by Nancy Gerber

As we work on our development, there is a tendency to assume that only large and dramatic actions or events will be significant. The reality about growing is that it’s a gradual accumulation of small truths, subtle insights and skill practice that, over time, add up to a bigger picture of maturity and more consistent self-enhancing choices. One of my coaches used to say that little steps, taken consistently over time, yield big results. Today, one of my very wise clients shared some important distinctions with me that he has recently come to understand, and so, with his blessing, I pass them on to you.

Supporting vs. Fixing — When someone or something we care about seems to be hurting or “broken”, our tendency is to try to fix it. We invest a lot of effort to make things “better”. Generally, this is a large and frustrating expenditure of energy that yields minimal results. It makes more sense to let go of what we think is the “answer”, and instead ask ourselves — or the others involved — how we can support the person or system to grow stronger so that it can ultimately repair itself.

Doing Things Differently vs. Doing More — As we continue our “repair” attempts, we push ourselves to keep plugging away. We believe that, if we just try hard enough, and work long enough, we’ll eventually arrive at THE solution.

Without realizing it, we become so single minded that we’ve fitted ourselves with blinders. If we jump off the treadmill and look for other ideas and possibilities, we’re more likely to move towards the results we’ve been trying so hard to achieve. Doing things differently usually requires less effort and hence we have more energy in reserve for other important things — like our own self-care.

Self-Correction vs. Self-Flagellation — As we continue doing more and more, struggling vainly to mend what we believe to be broken, we beat ourselves up for not doing better. We get into the cycle of blaming ourselves for our “remodeling” failures. We make excuses, wrestle with constant guilt, or become increasingly disillusioned and bitter. This behavior keeps us stuck in quicksand. Once we eliminate the drama, accept ourselves as imperfect humans, and own our mistakes with less of an emotional charge, it’s easier to figure out realistic ways to improve.

Copyright 2008 by Nancy Birnbaum-Gerber. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Nancy Gerber, Professional Certified Coach and President of Stepping Stones can be reached at

Coaching Call to Action

Which of these distinctions resonates with you? What’s one little shift you can make today that will have the greatest rippling impact on your life?

Pounce on a Project IV – 2008
April 24, 2008

Last month we worked on drafting articles, marketing projects and starting income taxes. We got through our projects and shared advice for getting projects done. What project would you like to get on top of and accomplish this month? Come to Pounce on a Project IV. Join Coach Andrea on Thursday, April 24th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Eastern. We will join as a group by phone and declare what you want to accomplish: completing a presentation, working on your monthly newsletter, finding the top of your desk or reaching out to clients.

During the morning, the group will gather by phone a few times to check progress and get any support needed to finish with a bang. At noon, the group will celebrate their accomplishments. Who says projects have to be boring and tedious? Bring your lightness and fun and join us for the energization.

To sign up or learn more, call or e-mail Andrea by noon on Wednesday, April 23rd. Feel free to share this with friends and co- workers, the more the merrier. (Cost of the program is only the cost of long distance phone calls.)