The incessant pressure that our clients and we have experienced over the last couple of months has pushed everyone to the limit.  A common feeling is desperation.  Our clients are often desperate because there isn’t an answer.  They have done what needs to be done to solve a problem, but the problem persists.  And what they know they need to do and is the right outcome is not being realised.  We have also noticed that desperation is the most effective repellent to manifesting.   

What is desperation?  Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines desperation as a loss of hope and surrender to despair.  A state of hopelessness leading to rashness.  While this definition suggests that people only experience desperation in severe situations, the truth is that we experience it on a daily basis in the workplace. 

When we talk about desperation, there are some common themes that present themselves. 

  • Our clients have a plan/goal they have set, and they are feeling out of control about how the plan is playing out. 
  • A pattern of anticipated actions and successes have not worked out and they lose self-trust and belief.
  • The unpredictability of the future leaves them feeling ashamed, angry and even fearful.
  • The more desperate they become, the less they lean into their strengths and the more the desired outcome eludes them.

If desperation is a repellent, what can we do to move out of desperation? 

At RainTree, we talk about moving from desperation to deserving.  Deserving is a defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as having good qualities that deserve praise and support.  We’d like to add that deserving is someone that has good qualities and deserves praise and is confident about achieving and realizing what they want.    

When we talk about deserving, there are some common themes that present themselves. 

  • Our clients have a plan/goal they have set, and they are feeling resilient and calm about handling the challenges to achieve them. 
  • They are flexible and confident about resolving the challenges.  They have very clear self-trust and belief in their ability to achieve what needs to be achieved.
  • The unpredictability of the future leaves them feeling curious, challenged and even excited.  This is normally because they have a deep and resounding belief in what they are working towards.
  • The more deserving they are, the more they lean into their strengths, find the resources to be resilient and the more the desired outcome is realized.

It is easy to say “hey, stop being desperate and be deserving”.  The shift is more difficult than that and requires some tools.  Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Recognise you are feeling desperate.  You will know this when you notice that what you want keeps eluding you and you are behaving with panic and limited self-trust.
  2. Before you can move into deserving, you need to neutralise.  Not desperate, not deserving, just neutral.  To achieve this, you need to take a step back and encourage your limbic system (deep brain system that reacts when in trauma) to calm.  This could include breathing, listening to calming music, praying, meditating or walking in nature.  Anything that soothes the “trauma” response and supports the deep brain to calm.  Once you are in a space of neutral, the brain is ready to step back into deserving. 
  3. Human beings are immensely powerful.  If we decide we aren’t worthy of deserving, we will emotionally hijack ourselves and keep ourselves in desperation.  Feeling deserving starts as a conscious choice.  A person operating from deserving is much more able to confidently (not arrogantly) support themselves and others.  To move into deserving requires that you define what deserving means for you.  Does it mean confident, calm, clear and skilled? Or Courageous, solution oriented, critical thinking and smart?  No matter what your definition is, you need deserving to reflect your strengths and personality in a way that feels good and supportive.
  4. Now, remember the times in your past where you have successfully resolved problems and challenges.  Reflect on what and how you solved the problems and managed to be your best self even though you faced challenges.  These memories trigger constructive and solution-oriented thinking to solve the challenge.  They also remind you that you are trustworthy and capably. 

Shifting from desperation to deserving is a superpower that all successful leaders apply.  They are able to operate from the best of themselves.  They recognize the problem as separate from themselves and a challenge they can solve.  Regular practice builds new muscle memory in the brain.  Operating from deserving becomes the default. 

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