Instead of me having a breakdown, I’m focusing on me
having a breakthrough.
~ Terrell Owens

If you are an adult, you likely realize there are always “two sides to every coin”, or, as Dr. Phil says, “no matter how flat you make a pancake, it has two sides!”  In most, if not all cases involving personal interaction, they are likely to be even more than two sides (consider the edges, for example).  Think of these “sides” as the perspectives, opinions and attitudes we use to color our world in a very personal and unique way.

I would like to share some powerful steps I have learned over the years of my own personal work to turn your breakdowns in communication into breakthroughs. If you are willing to use them, these steps will work regardless of your circumstances and situation.  As you move through the process, it may help to think of this as a way to use everything – even events we regard as “negative” – in order to learn, uplift ourselves and others, and grow. You can apply this at work, at home or with your friends.

Before reading ahead, recall a recent upset. For example, perhaps you have been arguing with a colleague at work, or your mother is mad at you for forgetting to call her. Perhaps you feel frustrated because your team at work is marching in another direction and you feel apprehensive about how to communicate with them. You may choose to practice moving through the steps with a smaller upset before moving into a more significant or emotional one. Or, you may want to go for the gusto and select a pervasive and long-lasting upset you’re truly sick of putting up with.

STEP 1 – Declare that there is a breakdown. This seems simple, but most of us would rather avoid this step than to admit things aren’t working. We live in a “fix it” world and breakdowns are often viewed as failures.  No one wants to think of themselves as a failure. So, instead of admitting to a troubling issue that may lead to new action and improvement; we often end up putting up with the same old situation so we don’t blow our cover. The quicker you declare a breakdown, the quicker you can have a breakthrough.

STEP 2 – Gain clarity on the situation. With as much neutrality as possible, honestly assess the situation. Simply look on as many levels as you can: physical, emotional, mental and even spiritual. What’s going on? What are you feeling? Are you hurt? Are you disappointed? What is missing? Check in, take an inventory, try to go below the obvious levels, and do nothing more right now. Your aim is merely to observe what is going on with you.

STEP 3 – Take responsibility for your part.  What got triggered?  Did you somehow initiate your own upset? Have you kept it going? Are you unable to stop?  Human beings are the most powerful creators on the planet, yet we are often not conscious of our intention to create breakdowns. In this game, the ticket to a breakthrough is to be 100% responsible (but not guilty) for our experience, even when we don’t understand how or why we are finding ourselves in a breakdown. When we take responsibility for our part, other players often miraculously begin to own up to their parts as well.

STEP 4 – Assess your original vision, mission, goals and/or objectives.  Where were you headed in the first place?  What do you want to accomplish?  What experience are you looking for? With respect to your issue/situation, revisit your original vision, mission or goal. If you see there has been something missing –add it now.  If you don’t currently have a vision, mission, or goal, create one now.

STEP 5 – Recommit to your vision, mission, goals and/or objectives. This fifth step is easier said than done, but extremely important. It provides you with a road map for moving forward into new and uncharted waters. Take whatever information you got from step 4 and commit to it.  Write it down, say it out loud, share it with someone who can be an accountability partner; you know the drill.  If it involves other people, be sure they are in agreement also. If not, renegotiate to come up with a commitment that works for everyone involved.

STEP 6 – Forgive, forget and let go. Last but not least, check to see if there are any judgments you’ve put on yourself or someone else.  If there are, forgive yourself and others and let it go.  When we try to move forward without letting go of the past, it has a way of sneaking its way back into our present (and future!) lives. This time, try forgiveness and letting go. This gives you the opportunity to complete your breakdown, and marks the beginning of your breakthrough. To forgive, simply say these words either silently or out loud: “I forgive myself for judging myself (or another) for (fill in the blank)…”

Go ahead and see what happens!

Don’t let your past define your future. Break free and live BOLDLY in your life and business with my free workbook. ➡️