2011 A Year of Yes
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Upsets: Altering the Dynamic
We have this underlying way of thinking and being that there is a certain order to things–and we often take that idea to imply that a certain predictability and control are possible. What happens, however, when we attempt to bring order to things inherently unpredictable is that we get upset. And upsets for us seem to carry a particular baggage—they stop the flow, interrupt our game, often leave us feeling frustrated and ineffective. We disempower ourselves in dealing with upsets by orienting our conversations around “something’s wrong.”
Upsets are real, but the reality is they exist “inside” language. If an upset stays with us, circumstances have the power, not us. In being upset, we both limit others as well as ourselves. When we shift the source of our reason for our upsets from something “out there” to which language can only refer, to something that is located inside language, something remarkable can occur. With that recognition, we’re able to get at the actual facts of the upset and have them exist as facts—not as all the meanings, interpretations, conclusions, and stories we add. Seeing and engaging with upsets in this way alters the dynamic from being thwarted or frustrated, to an occurrence that’s an invention, a making up—an opportunity to operate outside the upset with seniority and real power.
Landmark Forum leader
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