Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Helping our patients to integrate the “outer and inner compass”

In counseling or coaching work, I often explore whether someone is making decisions based predominantly on the feelings/values or thinking of others/society vs making decisions based predominantly on one’s own thinking or feelings/values.

A good question to reflect might be, in this context, do I need to be more “outer compass” or is it better to be more “inner compass”. 

“Outer compass” is more for “normalizing”, socializing, workability in the real world, outer harmony and “outer success”. “Inner compass” is more for integrity, inner conscience, authenticity, inner harmony, and “inner success”.

Some folks are more “color blind” to the “outer compass” and may end up with labels like social anxiety/ASD/neurodivergence perhaps. Some folks are more “color blind” to the “inner compass” and may get confused with who they are, and their meaning/purpose/passion in life.

The flexibility around “zooming into” the “outer and inner compass” is important.  The ability to integrate them is also very important for both “inner and outer success”.  At a more practical level, having trusted others in our lives to scaffold for our “blindspots” is the good additional strategy.  Often we have to cover for their “blindspots” too.  

Life is a team sport isn’t it?

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