Self-Coaching Challenge: Significant Emotional Experience (SEE) and Personal Development

We all have a story to tell..What is your story? Below find your Self-Coaching challenge for the month: Exploring your personal story and the concept of seeing how a “significant emotional experience” (SEE) effects your present thinking and action will be a challenging assignment. A SEE may come at any point in your life. It could result from a positive or negative experience or a missed opportunity at any age. But as much as we all want positive experiences, transformations for many people result only from going through them and then facing the repercussions of the SEE event. SEE is an experience that shapes your personality and outlook on the world and impacts people’s thinking and character development. This type of experience can be triggered by events such as confronting a difficult boss or authority problems at work, receiving critical and devastating feedback, or losing your job. Or it may result from a painful personal experience, such as abuse, divorce, illness, physical or mental health issues or the death of a loved one.

Your SEE tests you to the core of your being. It forces you to look at your beliefs and values, examine your character and your behavior in a new light, and come to grips with who you are. Examined in retrospect, your SEE may become the defining experience in your life, even if you do not recognize it when you are in the middle of the experience.

Passing through the Cycle of SEE–or reframing it later with the benefit of hindsight–you will see the world differently, and thus you will behave differently as well. It is during such a passage that you recognize that your life not primarily about your own success or about getting others to do what you want them to do. Rather, you understand that the essence of being an independent and constructive person is supporting yourself to find more self-belief through self-awareness.

An example, of SEE in the work place, we hear a great deal about downsizing in modern-day organizations or about unengaged and poorly motivated employee or the midlife crisis of an executive. I believe that except for downsizing which is a euphemism for out sourcing jobs overseas, these events show that many people are bored at work. Also, they have loss their passion for what they are doing. Or are trapped in a dead-end or boring job. Dr.Peter Drucker, the management guru of the 20th Century, in the March-April 1999 issue of the Harvard Business Review, an article entitled “Managing Oneself” (reprinted in January 2005 as Classic in Management literature weigh in on this issue when he said: “At 45-50 most executives have reached the peak of their business careers, and they know it. After 20 years of doing very much the same kind of work, they are very good at their jobs. But they are not learning or contributing or deriving challenge and satisfaction from the job… That is why managing oneself increasingly leads one to begin a second career; typically by moving from one kind of organization to another; by developing a parallel career, often in a nonprofit; or by starting a new venture…”

It is a given and known fact that no one can expects to live very long without experiencing a serious setback or some kind of SEE experience in their life or work… At such times, a second major interest–not just a hobby–may make all the difference…In a knowledge society…we expect everybody to be a success. this is clearly an impossibility. For a great many people, there is at best an absence of failure. Wherever there is success, there has to be failure. And then it is vitally important for the individual, and equally for the individual’s family, to have a “plan B” in place which will support them in these times of crisis.  That means finding a second area–whether in a second career, a parallel career, or a social venture–that offers an opportunity for being a more constructive person who is respected for who and what they do in life.

Self-Coaching Challenge: Try the following exercise to examine how you have dealt with “significant emotional experiences” in your life. This exercise is straight forward but will provide information which is powerful:

Pair and Share Exercise: Stop and reflect on an SEE in your life. Write your story-up and share it with a friend or colleague to get feedback on your decision-making and behavior in this critical moment in your life. Ask them to give you feedback on how this event stacks up with your present behavior. What are your strengths in this situation? How does this event display characteristics of your present outlook when interacting with others, your attitude toward authority, need for fairness or status in life?

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