Time to prune
Two days ago, I wrote about the need to do some pruning.
Pruning is the practice through which farmers remove certain parts of a plant, typically in autumn, so the plant can grow stronger and more flourishing after the winter.
It's a practice human beings learned from nature. Deciduous plants drop their leaves in autumn through a process called abscission.
What do I need to subtract?
That was my first question.
I could feel something holding me back, but what was it?
There are many ways to identify what we need to let go.
In my case, I needed to understand why I kept repeating the same mistakes. I want to do things differently; I genuinely want to. But it was clear that wanting something was not enough. There were some stronger factors at play. Luckily, I've been playing with the Immunity to Change framework in the last few weeks.
It's a concept developed by psychologists Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. In short, over time, we create an immune system that is activated anytime we try to change something. This immune system is built on what the authors called "competing commitments, " which contradict what we want. And these commitments are rooted in a series of hidden beliefs about ourselves and the world. Change will be almost impossible Unless we uncover these beliefs and challenge them.
So, I did that.
And it was even more painful. But that's for another day.
Many online pages explain how to do the process; just search Immunity to Change or Immunity Map on Google. I follow the one from their book. Let me know if you want a more detailed article on this method or if you want to try it out in a coaching session.
P.S. I learned about abscission from my friend Silvia; we wrote together this little essay in which you'll find some lessons on subtraction we can learn from nature.