“Holding space” is not that mysterious is it?
As Doctors, we hold space for our patients everyday. We listen non-judgmentally and with curiosity. We hold space for their feelings and thoughts even if it goes against ours.
But for some reason, it seems much more difficult to hold space for our own colleagues, our own families, and most importantly, ourselves.
Have you noticed that?
And can we change that intentionally?
“Holding space” will allow us the pause to perceive with more clarity, and the “pivot” to act more assertively and compassionately without being aggressive, self critical or avoidant (fight/flight).
Lack of holding space may make us vulnerable to being “sucked into” the fight, flight, or freeze response, and subsequently, be fused with an unhelpful narrative.
Fear and not being present enough are the usual enemy for not holding space isn’t it?
When it comes to dealing with colleagues, families and ourselves, more fear and a lack of presence may contribute to lack of “holding space”.
One possible solution is to be more aware, more present, and intentionally holding more space when dealing with our colleagues, our families, and ourselves. Listen more with curiosity and non-judgement. Listen to understand rather than to respond. Acknowledge more rather than being critical or defensive. Being more self acknowledging and self reflective rather than self critical. Being more self accepting rather than self loathing.