Posts tagged with “theory U”

Getting Past Intrusive Thoughts

One of the most frequent questions I receive here at The Mind-Body Training Company is “How do I overcome negative thoughts that come up when I try to improve my life?” You know those phrases like “I can’t do this,” “This is just too hard,” “Who do I think I am?” and “What’s the use?”

These phrases can be quite distracting, lead you to feel bad, and intrude on your best intentions. In this post, we’ll explore some insights from Dr. Otto Scharmer’s research at M.I.T. on how the top leaders and innovators handle that and move to powerful solutions.

So, what did Scharmer’s research reveal?

First of all, Scharmer found that successful leaders and innovators share certain attitudes and strategies to create a positive mental environment for success. He synthesized his findings into what he calls Theory U. Theory U takes participants through seven stages to develop what he calls “presencing,” a state of inner stillness in which inner knowing comes to the surface.

Sounds a lot like what we do in meditation.

The first stage of this process is to “observe, observe, observe.” You learn to recognize the voice of judgment which reflects a lack of acceptance of what is really happening. You notice habits of being self-critical or blaming others, so you can consciously set them aside, and move deeper into a state of “full immersion” that reveals the best solutions to what is actually going on.

As you accept the chaos of the ever-busy critical mind, challenge its assumptions, and consciously let them go, you begin to access a quieter mental space in which you can ask substantial questions like “Who am I?” “What is my work?” and “What is the highest future possibility in this situation?”

Now, this process happens in stages. The first stage is perhaps the most essential, as it sets up the rest. In the first stage, you learn to recognize where your mind is coming from at the moment. In other words, you observe the different thoughts you have. You recognize the memories, inner critical voices, cynicism, and fear that intrude on your consciousness and color how you are looking at things.

You accept all of this, so you can see it more clearly and realize the results of your thinking. This alone is a powerful step. The ability to “observe, observe, observe,” sets the stage for diving deeper to access authentic, effective, creative solutions.

You can apply this idea whenever you run into a challenge or a stumbling block, whenever you feel stuck on “where to go” or “what to do.” You simply start from where you are now. And a big part of that is becoming more aware of what you are thinking. That doesn’t mean that you have to know 100% of what is going on in your mind. That could be an endless task. It just means that you begin to be aware of thoughts that stand out.

This can be as simple as turning inward and noticing the words that are streaming through your brain. See if you can witness what your mind is saying, without getting caught up in it or reacting to it. Is it possible to just watch your thoughts?

In that process, you start to grow a little mental “wiggle room.” You start to separate “who you are,” from all the various things that are going on in your head. As you watch and observe, you may start to experience a little quietness, a little more clarity, a little deeper connection to “what you are here to do,” and the best steps to get there. When you practice this consistently, that bit of awareness can grow into a quiet inner presence that senses your best solutions.

Enjoy your practice!


Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. Meditation is one of the best ways I know to learn to observe your thoughts, grow that quiet inner presence, and discover deeper knowing. Click here to discover The Secrets of Meditation.

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How to Grow Your Will Power

In this week’s post, we’ll look at the final stage of Theory U developed by Dr. Otto Scharmer of MIT. In our last two posts, we explored how to get past negative thoughts and uncomfortable feelings. In this post, we’ll discover the key to a strong will that carries us into effective action to create what we desire.

In Theory U, Scharmer identifies the “inner place” from which successful leaders and achievers operate. To get to that place requires that we let go of resistance and old patterns of thinking and feeling and come from a place of inner knowing that he calls “presencing.” By letting go of our preconceptions, blaming, and judgment, we are able to listen deeply, observe, and sense on a primary energetic level.

We arrive at a state of “presencing” in which the best future solutions and possibilities are known. From there, an intention crystallizes and we take it into action to apply it, test it, and learn by doing. The greatest individual and corporate achievements flow naturally when they come from that place of inner knowing.

What are some ways that you can access that deeper knowing from which effective action flows?

Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

1. When you’ve been inspired with a good idea that ends up working out well, how has that felt to you? Have you felt curious, excited, peaceful, certain . . .? What are some emotional indicators that you are on the right track? To help you with that, you might also consider the opposite. What are some emotional indicators that you are off track? Perhaps, feeling anxious, doubtful, rushed, or trapped?

2. What are some physical sensations associated with inner knowing? Do you feel relaxed, loose, energized . . .? Again, you might make note of the opposite as well. What are some physical sensations that indicate you are off track? Perhaps, muscle tightness, itchiness, or low energy?

3. What practices help you get to that place of inner knowing? Do you find it helpful to meditate, journal, exercise, or talk it out with a friend or associate . . .? On the other hand, what are some behaviors that lead you away from inner knowing? Perhaps, distracting yourself with TV or entertainment, numbing yourself with food or alcohol, or avoiding or denying what you really feel?

If you’re unsure about your answers to any of those questions, you may have just discovered something to explore. Tuning into your inner knowing indicators and practices that take you there is invaluable. When you are able to effectively discern solutions that come from inner guidance, they naturally lead you into action that works.

When action flows from strong inner knowing, it has a natural momentum that moves you through procrastination. That action flows from a place that is in touch with what is most important to you and most effective in the world around you. Action that flows from strong inner knowing inspires the will that carries you through to completion.

Once you move into action, you can then test your solutions by results and consequences. This further refines and expands what you are doing. When you have an experimental approach to life, it takes the pressure off of thinking you have to do everything perfectly or master what you are doing before you even get started. You remain open to the fact that life will show you the way and you have inner senses that can pick up on the signals that will guide you.

Your life can become a joyful journey of continuous discovery and powerfully positive co-creation. It all begins with practices that tune you into your inner senses.

Enjoy your practice,


Kevin Schoeninger

P.S. Core Energy Meditation is a breakthrough technique to tune into your full range of inner senses and skills. It’s a great way to shift into a powerful state of inner knowing. Click here to learn more.

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