Quit Wasting Insights

Insights, Inspiration (but don’t forget integration)

Insights and inspiration, we’ve all had them, and yet what do we do with them? They occur a lot in personal coaching because of the nature of the conversations. But, outside of the coaching session, we all have moments where we feel impacted, emotional even, about an insight into ourselves or inspired by the actions of another. 

The sad truth is that many, maybe most, insights and inspirational moments are wasted.

But wait! We are here to change that.

On this blog, I intend to share a couple of ideas of how to integrate these wonderful moments to ensure they create the lifelong positive changes they were designed to. 

Over the years, I have had many moments of feeling inspired by the actions of others. Perhaps you have too? I mean, I can tear up watching a social media video of an unlikely friendship between a duck and a dog. I look at them and think, if only we could all just get along like that duck and the dog, best friends forever. In other words, when we are inspired, we are often hopeful, encouraged, and often feel closer to others.

Insights are an occupational hazard for people like me. Insights are typically revealing, but more than that, they can be shocking, encouraging, saddening, angering, loving, confidence-boosting. In short, insights change perspective and understanding. 

The thing about insights and inspiration is that it is easy to feel the feeling they present and then do nothing with them. But I believe this is missed opportunity and an important one at that.

The reason this came to mind was that recently I was talking with a client and suddenly they paused, and they commented on how insightful the previous comment had been. In fact, it was so insightful that it really changed their entire perception of how they were seeing themselves in a previously upsetting situation, now they felt empowered and free. So much had altered in that very moment. 

We enjoyed the moment.

Then I brought us swiftly back to reality by asking if they had even had insights or felt inspired before. Immediately they delivered an enthusiastic affirmative response.  

What were they, and what did they change about your life? I asked.

Then followed a long stretching silence.

They couldn’t recall a single one or report on a change from it. 

I was still curious and asked if they remembered how it felt? 

This feeling could be more readily recalled. It felt good. That’s the thing with insights and inspiration. It elicits a feeling that passes. And we, simply being with the feeling, as is natural to do, often forget to dig into the ways we can take this moment to implement changes, changes which, would impact the course of our lives. 

Are insights and inspiration over-rated, or is this user error?

Perhaps they are over-rated, or under-rated…or just simply, missed opportunities.  

And so my client took this fragile new insight, and we started asking some more questions, and this is what I would like to share with you today. What do you do when you had that moment of insight or inspiration that means it can last longer than a moment. Here are 2 ideas.

  1. When a moment like this arises, write it down in your own words. Often I’ll have clients write these on post-it notes, or put them in their phone, or in their journal. They might even record themselves speaking the moment aloud. What we are aiming to do is to capture what has been experienced and felt as important so that we give ourselves a chance to integrate it into our psyche. 
  2. Ask yourself if what you have captured is telling you to do something differently. If so, identify what those things are clearly and begin to formulate how you will live into these differences. 

I hope the next time you have an insight or feel inspired that you will allow yourself to feel the moment, but to take the deeper learnings it is offering and integrate changes. 

Until next time,

Life Coach Rachel 

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