I was involved in a fender bender. Well, not exactly a fender bender but a side door scraper. Everyone was OK. And, mostly, everyone was kind.
An officer came quickly to document the incident and see if we needed assistance.
I drive a lot and I’ve been blessed that I’ve been involved in only a few minor accidents over many years of being on the roads in the US, Europe, and the terrifying roads of Vietnam.
But, this time, I didn’t have my insurance card in my car. I usually have it on my phone, but it wasn’t there. I explained to the officer my insurance was paid; I even offered to show him my paid receipt on my phone, and assured him I could send him proof of insurance. He explained that if I didn’t find it NOW, he would arrest me.
I couldn’t get it from my insurance agent’s office (it was the weekend and the office was closed), and the officer was standing there waiting for, if not a copy of the card, at least, the policy number and exact expiration date.
I was incredulous! Would he REALLY arrest me — he had assured me that he would. What would happen? Since pretty much everything in my life is fuel, fodder for my work (what I’m here to do), I asked myself what could I learn besides the obvious…always make sure you have your current insurance card in your car!
I thought about how glad I am that I’m an entrepreneur and don’t have to worry about how being arrested would impact any current or future employment.
At the same time, I was fascinated about how curious I was. I have to confess, in the midst of being upset about the accident, struggling to get the necessary info, and concerned with the prospect of being hauled off, the mug shot, bail, whether I would I spend time in the local jail, mostly I was thinking about the lesson…and the blog post.
I also wondered, with some concern, about what it said about me that in the midst of all this I was thinking about my blog and the lessons I would learn and teach. I started to think, “Hmmm, more proof of how weird I really am.”
I’ve been thinking about how ingrained the process I’ve been teaching—and living (although certainly not perfectly)—is for me. I tell my clients, patients, students—and myself—to continuously ask, “How can I use this to grow me.” And if they are coaches, consultants, health professionals, or leaders, to also ask “How can I use this to help others grow?”
For years I’ve studied habits of the top 1%. It’s clear how important developing the habit of asking, “How can I use this to grow me?, How can I use this to help others grow” really is.
This is a deep, purposeful habit. When confronted by something challenging, being intensely curious and then asking those key questions will help you shift from stuck to a more powerful, creative you.
As with many life lessons, I noted the fear of being arrested could be replaced by curiosity and exploring those questions. While I wasn’t looking forward to the possibility of being arrested, I had already shifted into the place of hmmm…what can I learn here, how can I use what I’m learning.
As for the accident, that was fuel as well. I noted that despite how minor it was, it was actually more upsetting than the thought of being arrested. Interesting and lots to be curious about there. It has to do with trances, in this case a family trance passed down from my parents.
In the moment, and later that evening, I thought about a friend who was in an accident a few months ago. In fact, he had been responsible for the accident. No one was hurt but it was pretty expensive – and he took it in stride. He made an error and he paid the bill. Done. Although, he did decide to trade in the car — acknowledging that while still new, he had never really enjoyed that car and it was difficult for him to lift his very large, elderly doberman into it.
I thought, what was my story, what trance was I caught in that had me so upset about a minor scraper. I had fallen into a family trance. My dad was an insurance agent and found no acceptable understanding for accidents — someone always had to be blamed.
I thought about how being involved in this accident, while it may raise my insurance (hope it is doesn’t), is part of the cost of life. I had a claim when I was hit once when I was in college, and once when I was hit about 17 years ago. Things happen; they are part of the cost of living, and part of the way we are offered opportunities to evolve.
It’s interesting how we accept certain costs and fight others. How we react is based in large part on our trances. If it’s draining us, if these trance reactions are taking us away from our most powerful self, our most meaningful work, or impinge on our health and relationships…we can choose to pay attention and shift.
My reaction to the car accident led me to examine once again things that my top 1%er clients put more emphasis on (or the wrong kind of emphasis) than is useful. I looked at the things they allow themselves to be weakened by. What if they chose to be more like my friend and just traded in things they don’t truly love or aren’t aligned with what’s best for them?
You often hear, just deal with it. Move on. But what does that mean? What should you “deal with? And how do you do that? If the top 1% did that consistently, how would that change their business and their life?
One of the first things to do is to learn to recognize your trances and how they are triggered. And, learn how to shift out of them. Sometimes you can do this yourself, sometimes you need help to break free of your stuck places—your trances and inner resistance.
Life always presents us with new opportunities to go deeper, evolve more, choose to be who you need to be to create what you want. In fact, being in your No Doubt Zone™ involves continuously growing, becoming the person you’ve never been before, so you can create what you’ve never created — or sustained — before.
So, what about you? Where do you get stuck in trance when something that doesn’t go your way? Losing a big client? Getting sick? An accident? What are you willing to do about? And are you willing to break free?
From the No Doubt Zone™,
P.S. I want to thank my daughter who came from her Chick Flick night at her friends to wait with me, to log into the insurance companies challenging portal and talk to the rep when we couldn’t get into the portal while I talked to the officer…and stayed by my side while I was in peril of being hauled off.