Present State, Desired State, Blocking: The Power of Intention

Aug 07, 2023



It is amazing how often when coaching someone, a shift happens before we truly get started on any of the deeper work that was intended.  It was surprising initially, but upon reflection, it isn’t all that surprising. 


Our focus is so precious. As humans, we are genuinely overwhelmed with life activities, entertainment, work, family, and more.  We tend not to prioritize quiet time for self-reflection or slowing down to consider where we are and where we want to be.  Instead, we tend to default to our ingrained habits, thoughts and behaviors and keep marching almost unconsciously through our days. This is shown to be true and adaptive by neuroscience. 


Novelty and attention are calorically expensive.  30% of what we consume feeds our head brain.  In the biological world that is a heavy load. The desire to not use any more calories for thought, change or novelty comes from the millions of years that creatures and humans have had true food scarcity. Burning energy for thought could potentially decrease one’s chances of making it to the next meal so we naturally default to habitualizing anything to preserve as much energy as possible for survival. 


Modern life is decidedly different. Creativity is often needed to live authentically and abundantly. A resourceful adaptation is one where we intentionally choose to bring to our attention to exactly where we are presently in a situation and pause to consider what we truly want. 


A simple frame for any coaching session is to look at your present state (what is happening that you’d like to change) and your desired outcome (how you would like things to be). Take a moment to notice what your habitual response would be, and be willing to be creative about novel alternatives.


For example: 

“I’m so tired right now, I should go to bed early so I can have a good day tomorrow, but I am supposed to go to my dear friend’s birthday party!” (PS)

“What I truly want is to take care of myself and I want to make sure that my friend feels how much I care for her.” (DO)


Then we pause……..let the creativity come in……


…..”Oh, I see, what I truly want is quality one-on-one time with my friend. I would much rather take her for a special lunch this week or ask her to have a walk in the park to give us some treasured time together.  I’ll call her and see how she feels about that….”


Sometimes that’s enough, just framing it and seeing what our hearts truly want.


We invite you to try it!! (Daily). Give yourself some moments over the next week to frame your Present State, Desired Outcome and then ask yourself:  What do I TRULY want to feel or do? And pause for engagement and creativity….


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