Like most of you, I’m reflecting upon the year that’s past.
2017 for me was a year of transformation.
From the outside, everything looks quite the same… Besides from growing and looking older perhaps 🙂 But from the inside, I have been taking a big leap!
I recognize this more, while the year is coming to an end. And now, I can call circumstances by their name, because of a book I discovered this month, The Big Leap, by Dr. Gay Hendricks. This book is about making it into your ‘Zone of Genius’. I’d recommend it as a great New Year’s gift to anyone!
I describe it by taking a big leap into understanding that transformation comes not just from taking (small) steps to change and improve my situation (career or life), but more from understanding that I won’t thrive until I take away the believe that I can only reach a certain level of success or life situation. My ‘upper limit’ as Gay Hendricks puts it! And understand where others put a limit on me. It allows me to see and act on a different level.
For decades, he studied the mechanism by which we sabotage ourselves and the way we can free ourselves up. The Big Leap is about that process.
Gay Hendricks makes it clear that it’s imperative to recognize when we are ‘upper limiting’: Sabotaging ourselves, worrying too much, arguing too much, bringing ourselves down …. In such a way that it keeps burning away our energy, where we could have used that for our creative endeavours….
My creative endeavours!
Spotting my upper limits and move through that, so that I can spend more time in my ‘Zone of Genius’.
When we break down any given day in activities, we typically see that our activities can be sorted in either of these 4 buckets:
- Zone of Incompetence
- Zone of Competence
- Zone of Excellence
- Zone of Genius (Our ultimate calling)
Zone of Incompetence
Where you should avoid being in long, is your ‘Zone of Incompetence’, or a situation where the blind leads the blind. Needless to explain that nobody likes to be clueless all the time. Often we do things we are actually not very capable of, but persist in, because it’s what we think we should do. Or perhaps, don’t know how to get rid of.
Zone of Competence
Getting into your ‘Zone of Genius’ is surpassing the stage where you feel competent (Zone of Competence). I am competent in many situations and in various skills. But that doesn’t mean this is where I get my energy from, and where many others are able to do the same as well. For me, a simple example could be making a (complex) project plan.
It can be part of my activities. However, I should not fill my days with that. Even though, in many jobs or life situations, you do need to be competent in different skill sets in order to support your larger goals.
Zone of Excellence
Getting into your ‘Zone of Genius’ is even surpassing the stage where you feel excellent (Zone of Excellence), where you bring more to the table than most people around you. Often we spend much time in this zone, because we might make a living from it, or deliver added value. It sounds like a good thing on the surface.
But spending too much time in this ‘Zone of Excellence’, can be a trap for us and can stop us from getting into our ‘Zone of Genius’. I think for me, another simple example is that I’m excellent at managing projects. It brings a lot of satisfaction, much less people are capable of doing that, especially the more complex it gets and the more experienced you become.
Indeed, it can be challenging and rewarding. But when you start feeling like more energy is taken away from you than you get in return, it starts feeling like a daily routine (to me that’s dreadful), you might need to move on to other environments, take on other skills, or do less of it.
However, moving on to another ‘Zone of Competence’ or ‘Zone of Excellence’ might not be doing the trick in the long run. Yes, you can improve your situation, but often we put a limit upon ourselves. Might be because of a manufactured feeling of guilt, stress, doubt, or worry.
Zone of Genius
Moving into your ‘Zone of Genius’ is getting into knowing yourself, your skills, your talents, your path, your energy, your gift. Your ultimate calling! The thing that you can do that hardly anyone else can, and that you LOVE! This zone is made up of things you are uniquely suited to do. Where even a small amount of it, brings very big results. And knowing how it can bring added value.
Gay Hendricks explains it by having an incredible ability to see down through the center of yourself, to the state where there is no programming upon you. Truly see why you have feelings of guilt, why you are uptight, why you are overweight, why… as you are in an ultra clear state of pure consciousness. Then have the ability to feed that pure consciousness, your spirit, with the right things. Create the kinds of relationships you want and be developing yourself the way you need to.
Side note: this does also make me reflect upon the Christmas period, this period of Love and Warmth, celebrating a miracle birth that brings inner peace.
Another way of telling you’re opening up to your genius, is when you enter the timeless, and operate in your flow. You are not in touch with the usual time constraints. You are just in the right place at the right time, so that miracles can unfold. In the book, it’s called Einstein Time. Pausing to savour the quality of life, instead of being pulled along.
Gay is spending 70% of his time in his ‘Zone of Genius’. I’d like that for myself 🙂
Wouldn’t it be great to spend most of our time in the genius zone? Question yourself: Am I doing what I love doing most in my working life? What do I love doing most and how can I do more of that?
Think about it. Highly successful people operate in their ‘Zone of Genius’ all the time! They don’t have an “inner upper limit thermostat” saying “no further”.
Often it is a “Big Leap” stepping into our ‘Zone of Genius’! We have that inner thermostat set on how good we can feel. And when we exceed that, we do something to mess ourselves up and bring ourselves back down.
4 Big Fears that Block Us
We block our ultimate success because of 4, often unconscious, big fears:
- Fear of outshining anyone. Often an old fear, picked up in childhood. We are often said to not shine too much in order to not make anyone else feel bad, like a brother, sister or cousin.
- Fear of being a burden to someone. We feel we are taking up time that somebody else should have. That the world does not need us, because “Who needs another …… (fill in)?” Often we get that message unconsciously. We don’t feel recognized for what we do, or for being ourselves.
- Fear that if we get to our ultimate level of success, it will be disloyal to and leave behind people that were there for us earlier in our life. We keep ourselves down, so we don’t leave that special person behind and disappoint.
- Fear that we are fundamentally flawed. That there is something wrong with us. And if we get more successful, somebody will spot our flaws.
Gay calls these Imaginary Crimes, because we got convicted for any fear in our head. But it isn’t our crime, it’s not something that we have done.
Taking the Big Leap means “The harmful part of the ego disappears and fear dissolves”. We become more honest, don’t find fault constantly, don’t blame, don’t feel like the victim. We take responsibility and start fulfilling our creative potential.
I’m very fortunate to be able to interview the people I am on my podcast, because they prove that you should peak at where you are naturally talented and get most energized by. Without saying that their choices have been easy journeys.
I encourage you to sit and think for 10 minutes without anyone bothering you. Your 10-minute creative time. What should you do more of and, consequently, less of, that would make you thrive?
Another concept from the book is: “I expand in Love, Abundance and Creativity every day, as I inspire other people to do the same”.
Love it! My New Year’s resolution is set!
I wish you a very happy and blessed 2018! I hope it is a year in which we all share our inspiring stories! 🙂