How to Challenge Interpretations

Are your interpretations sabotaging your relationships, your life or your success?

Energy Block #2: Interpretations

What are interpretations?  They are your unique set of beliefs about a given situation. Often times they limit are chances for success if we don’t challenge them. An interpretation is the meaning, or story, we attach to people, events, or experiences. Most times we are not even aware that we have such an interpretation, believing in fact that the story is true, when in fact it’s just one of countless possible perspectives.

Our ability to create meaning from different situations and experiences has helped us to not only survive, but thrive on this planet. Everything has meaning, yet everything we believe, understand and think to be true is just an interpretation. Once we become aware of our interpretations, we can then change focus, raise our energy and discover new possibilities. What are some of the stories you’ve made up to explain the events or people in your life? How are those interpretations impacting you and those around you? Which of your interpretations sabotaging your relationships, your life or your success?

How to Challenge Interpretations

How to Challenge Interpretations

Just realizing that there are other perspectives can lessen the limitations your interpretations have on you. There are many ways to challenge interpretations including the following:

  • What’s another way to look at that?
  • How would someone who could easily accomplish the task you find challenging see your situation?
  • What would an opposite point of view about the person or situation you are struggle with be?

Now look at your “Things I Haven’t Achieved Yet” entry above. See which of the items you listed might be due to interpretations you’ve made, then use the questions above to challenge your interpretations. Which experiences from your past are the one’s you find most catabolic? What was the meaning or story you gave it? What is a new or opposite perspective?

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How to Challenge your Inner Critic

Energy Block #4: Rogue Inner Critic

Do you ever hear a little voice inside your head that says, “This isn’t going to work,” or “I’m not good enough, smart enough, or experienced enough?” Say hello to your rogue inner critic. That little voice wants us to always play small and play it safe, and when it speaks it’s very hard not to listen. Your inner critic is so personal that it often doesn’t even sound like a voice, It’s just there in the background. That voice is very limiting which means that too often we won’t ask for that raise, or try that new challenge because we think were not good enough or experienced enough to accomplish it.

Some typical inner critic statements are:

I feel like I am impostor.

I don’t deserve to be truly happy.

I’m not that smart.

I’m not cut out for this.

I don’t deserve real success.

What does your inner critic keep telling you?

How to Challenge your Inner Critic
How to Challenge your Inner Critic

How to Challenge your Inner Critic

The first step in dealing with your rogue inner critic is to acknowledge its presence. Then you will want to listen to exactly what it’s saying. Keep in mind your inner critic is a coping mechanism that was created a long time ago to avoid any and all pain. When it appears next say “Thank you for your support, but I can handle it from here.” Or, “Whatever, now watch this!” and prove it wrong (Especially effective if you answered completely true to the ELI Assessment question “Being right is important to me.”) Now looking back to the section where you listed three areas that you haven’t had success in yet: which were a result of listening to your rogue inner critic’s commentary?

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How to Challenge Assumptions

Energy Block #3: Assumptions

Assumptions are beliefs that since something happened in the past, it will repeat itself in the future. Because assumptions are based on our personal experiences, they have more catabolic energy associated with them than either interpretations or limiting beliefs.
The assumptions we have often come from personal experiences filled with pain and/or failure. They hold us back because we avoid situations that we think are painful or will result in failure. For example, if you once had an awful experience giving an important presentation it would be completely normal to not want to ever give another presentation.
What is a catabolic experience from your past that you think might be repeated in the future?

How to Challenge Assumptions
How to Challenge Assumptions

How to Challenge Assumptions

Because assumptions are more personal, and consequently more emotional, they are more difficult to challenge. When challenging an assumption simply ask “Just because that happened in the past, why must it happen again now?” You could also look to a similar, yet successful, past situation and ask yourself:
What worked well then?
How did my strengths help me succeed then?
How can I take my strengths and apply them to my current situation?
Which items on your list above might be a result of an assumption? Use the above process to challenge them.

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Employee Engagement Training for Leaders

The most successful leaders know that their job is like that of a great coach: unleash the full power, energy and potential of their team members. They know that people, even the best athletes, are only ever limited by their own mindsets. They know that attitude is altitude and that the difference between a champion and a runner-up is often determined before either team sets foot on the field. The best athletes use every tool at their disposable to become masters in their field and so should you.

<h1>Employee Engagement Training for Leaders </h1>
A glut of indisputable research now shows that there is no greater return on investment than unlocking the full extent of your organization’s human capital. Our employee engagement training for leaders focuses on giving your team the tools to raise their energy as well as the energy of their colleagues. Their level of performance is directly correlated to their level of engagement , which in turn is dictated by their level of energy.

Success is a byproduct of that energy: the more energy you have, the more successful you and your organization will be. The greater your ability to raise the energy levels of those around you (and get their Buy In) the more effective you will be leading others and having them perform at their best.

What could your organization achieve if it could access its workforce’s full potential? What would stand in your way if your employees showed up at work with two, three or four times the energy they now have?

What would be possible if your entire team adopted new “Anything is Possible!” perspectives? A perspective not filled with new-age, wishy-washy, positive thinking but a perspective that is grounded in knowing that now: whatever was limiting you before is no longer present; you have a set of new tools to shift your perspective whenever you need to; you and your team can raise your level of energy when needed.

Studies prove that higher Average Resonating Levels of energy are associated with higher levels of satisfaction in all areas of your life: leadership, finances, relationships, personal development, achievement, etc. Your current overall energy (or state of consciousness, awareness or engagement) consists of every thought, feeling, and emotion you’ve had up up to the present moment. Each of these experiences are like tiny filters that form the lens through which you view, interpret and experience the world today. That lens is your perspective, and it determines how readily you are able to tap your full potential. Most lenses are clouded with filters that limit our potential, however continuous awareness eventually brings increased power and freedom.

Imagine you wake up one day to discover that you are living in a home that is seven stories tall, with wrap-around balconies on each floor. As you ascend your home you find that each story has a different view of the surrounding neighborhood. Every balcony gives you a unique perspective and a new choice that allows you to respond in a way that you might not have previously considered. The higher you rise, the more expansive the views- and the more you’re able to tap into all of your energy. For example, from the third floor you have three views and three different choices, but from the seventh floor you now have seven unique options from which to choose.

We all live in these seven-story buildings, but few of us ever venture off the first few floors. This limits our potential since the first few floors are catabolic (draining and destructive). Living on the bottom levels means we tend to react to our circumstances, not realizing we have other options available to us. Each higher perspective gives us increasing power and freedom and new ways to respond to any given situation. Our employee engagement training for managers will help your team view the world from each of these seven stories, so they can raise their energy when needed, and lead more productively by consciously choosing the most advantageous approach.


Ascanio Pignatelli is an employee engagement expert. He is an award winning speaker, seminar leader, coach, and author of the forthcoming book Lead from Need: Raising Employee Engagement from the Core. He is the founder of ApexCEO, an executive coaching and leadership development group that helps executives develop the leadership and communication skills to create more engaging workplaces. To find out how Ascanio can help your next speaking event or executive leadership / employee engagement workshops please call 310.913.2313.

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