When’s the Last Time You Updated YOUR Operating System?

Don’t you wish sometimes you could get a notification letting you know it’s time for a system update on YOU? Or that you could get all the current ‘fixes’ for the bugs that get in the way of fulfilled living? Or a security update to protect YOU from being vulnerable to hackers, viruses and threats; from those thoughts that hijack an otherwise brilliant mind?

What exactly am I talking about? In Preuss CoachLeader Academy (PCLA), when we teach leaders in the workplace about their Operating System (OS), we are referring to their values, beliefs and perspectives. These comprise a human being’s operating system. And, just like our computers, we occasionally need ‘updates’ on our operating systems…and, perhaps once in a lifetime, a complete upgrade!

We get ‘notifications’ on needed updates of our OS, which look like: a gut feeling, trigger, life event, a major decision or even a painful experience that necessitates some introspection. In all these situations, we are driven to our beliefs and values for guidance. This is often a time to ask, “What is important to me? What do I believe about this? Is that belief helping or hurting me?”

We are born with a UVP — Unique Value Proposition — we propose to the world. “This is who I AM!” Our uniqueness is the stamp of our essence. Our values are directly tied to who we are. However, we are also born as ‘meaning making machines.’ We constantly seek the meaning of everything around us; processing, making assumptions based on our experiences, creating beliefs. Our beliefs are learned, taught, inherited or made up by us. While our values rarely change, we can change our beliefs when we discover they are hurting us (a bug, a virus, a threat!) rather than helping us.

We are much more complex than a computer’s OS; however, it is important to check in with the part of ourselves that truly drive us (play on words aside). Effective learning includes ‘unlearning’ of beliefs and perspectives that may no longer be serving us. We all know processes of learning, but what does a process of ‘unlearning’ look like?

Because it is the month of February, I like to use the acronym LOVE: Listen, Observe, Validate and Empathize, for a process that supports a thriving relationship with self, as well as others. As an individual, exploring your own OS with LOVE is empowering and allows for continued growth and development:

  • Listen. Listen with all three brains: head, heart and gut. What are they telling you when you get a ‘notification?’ (In other words, a gut feeling, trigger, life event, major decision or even a painful experience.)
  • Observe yourself. Be a witness to your life, your behavior, your attitudes, you’re reactions. What are they telling you about you?
  • Validate. Acknowledge, recognize, and validate yourself! Know and celebrate your purpose, your strengths, and the gifts you bring to the table and to life. Don’t hold back — we all need validation!
  • Empathize with your human condition, because we are all a part of it! Know your story, empathize with it and then let it go. We are not our stories! Each story we tell is just a notification to explore our Operating System and run necessary updates!

For more on your operating system, click here to watch a video developed by one of our PCLA students, Lori Hellenbrand.

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