conquering ourselves freedom fridays #57 with kristin taylor learn more from losses than wins valuable mental capacity what's an unanswerable question? Aug 21, 2022

Welcome to Weekly Whisper #68

We learn more from our losses than our wins

It’s been said that we learn more from our losses than our wins. What does that mean? Our struggles potentially teach us more about ourselves than our victories? Maybe.

I’m sure no one plays to lose. I’m sure no one turns up at work thinking they want to screw everything up today. I have inadvertently taken some of my losses out on my family whilst at home but that’s for another day.

However, sometimes we can play NOT to lose, particularly in sport. Notwithstanding the pleasure of victory - the result itself, the satisfaction of hard work paying off, the validation it can serve up – often our game can be NOT to lose. Not to lose face; not to lose out; not to lose significance; not to lose money; not to lose worthiness in the eyes of another; not to lose hierarchy over another etc etc.

Whether you learn from your losses or learn from not losing you don’t have to lose yourself. In fact, you might find yourself.

So, how about you? What’s a loss that’s shaped you?

What’s been taking up valuable mental capacity?

Our senses are bombarded with an excess of information and stimuli. It’s impossible to consume let alone process it all.

Our bandwidth to consume is also limited by a finite source of attention. When we expend energy and attention on something it depletes our stores of energy and attention for other things. Given a choice we’d prefer to attend to something novel, interesting, entertaining etc. However, when we sense something is a risk - real or perceived - we focus our attention on that. What’s at risk might be our psychological safety, our status, our control, our agency, our significance, or our certainty in a relationship. Whatever it is, our attention is often spent in trying to remain alert to the risk thereby depleting our source of attention for other things.

You can do the maths. If you spend an inordinate amount of time focusing only on risk and the possible threats then what’s left is less attention for the important things.

Yes, I understand we have to pay attention to the potential risks. But at the cost of attention on everything we have? At the cost of anything we’re grateful for?

At what cost do you spend your attention on scanning for threats?

Question of the week:
What’s an unanswerable question?

For fun I came across this link: Ice Breaker Ideas - Unanswerable Questions.

It stimulated some fascinating discussion over the dinner table.

Quote of the week:
It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves - Edmund Hillary

In so many areas and in so many ways the obstacle to overcome is ourselves.

Of course, you’d have to be fit and healthy to climb Everest but even that wouldn’t guarantee success.

How have you conquered yourself?

Freedom Fridays Podcast Episode #56?

An exploration of what freedom means. Through a series of conversations with experts and leaders in their field, we explore some of the ways we can be free from whatever is holding us back. We’ll share some of the ingredients – easy, hard, and almost impossible.

The lessons are hiding in open sight within the conversation – it’s up to you how you apply them.

In Episode #57 Pete chats with Kristin Taylor. Kristin Taylor, M.A. is a life and executive coach. She brings over 20 years of counseling and coaching experience and blends elements of neuroscience, nervous system and emotional regulation, mindfulness, and psychology into her approach, relying heavily on teaching self-compassion. Kristin specialises in working with leaders who are experiencing unwelcome levels of stress, anxiety and imposterism.

Pete and Kristin chat about nervous system dysregulation. What’s that I hear you think. The essence of it is that our body stores stress in various forms and when our body is in chronic stress mode – think pandemic and post-pandemic – it can activate stress chemicals that lead to burnout. Kristin offers some practical solutions and some fascinating sidebar references to handling the stress our body takes on and helps with some tips to align our mind and body.




That's all for this week. I hope you enjoyed Weekly Whisper #68.

Feedback is my fuel so if you have any comments please send me an email at [email protected] and let me know your thoughts.





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