Challenging Your Interpretations

In the previous Energy Leadership™ blog post, we explored limiting beliefs, the first of the Big 4 energy blocks which prevent you from making conscious choices and reaching your potential.

Time to examine the second block—interpretations. When you interpret, you create an opinion about a person, event, situation or experience. In essence, you create an explanation and then look for evidence to support its validity. Though an interpretation often represents only one viewpoint among many that are possible, when you interpret, you don’t even recognize that other valid explanations exist.

Challenging Your InterpretationsBecause interpretations hold a stronger energetic charge than limiting beliefs, they also have a greater effect on your emotions and actions and can be harder to escape. If you believe your viewpoint of a particular situation is the only explanation, you may end up wasting a lot of time and energy—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—marching off in the wrong direction. Because you don’t recognize other possibilities, you remain stuck in your version of the story—feeling like a victim with no control over the outcome.

Interpretations go something like this:

  • He doesn’t like me.
  • She thinks I’m incompetent.
  • They don’t want to follow orders.
  • My son doesn’t do his homework because he’s lazy.

As blocks go, because interpretations are more personal than limiting beliefs, they can be more difficult to recognize and neutralize. Holding onto them can seem like the easy way out, because facing them may move you into uncharted territory. However, they are always worth the effort and the risk because challenging your interpretations opens you up to a world of possibilities. Even if you conclude that among the many alternatives, your original interpretation is the most valid, the broader examination of multiple options will have provided you with more confidence and commitment in following wherever your initial conclusion now leads.

Consider this example. Imagine you come into work on Monday morning excited to share a great, time sensitive business opportunity with your boss. But when he arrives to work two hours late, he barely acknowledges your greeting, storms into his office and closes the door. You interpret your boss’ bad mood as a sign that he’s ticked off with you. So instead of sharing your cool idea, you spend the day obsessing over what you did wrong and plotting how to avoid him for as long as possible.

Three days later you learn that your boss’ cranky demeanor on Monday was due to a fender bender he had on the way to work. Too late now, because during the intervening days, the window of opportunity closed on your potential new initiative while you hid from his imagined ire. When in fact, if you had approached him on Monday with your hope-filled possibility, it might have been just the ticket to helping him shift his own outlook days sooner—for which he might have been eternally grateful and through which you would have demonstrated yet again your great value to his organization.

So, how can you challenge your own interpretations? Confront them directly! Start with, “That’s one possibility. What are three different ways to look at that?” Just realizing that there are other ways to read the data lessens the power of your interpretation and introduces more objectivity and the potential for accuracy. One way to do this is to imagine what another individual’s perspective of the situation might be. Actually asking for someone else’s point of view on a difficult situation—even if she or he isn’t directly involved—can break down your existing paradigms and open pathways for more satisfying solutions.

In the example of the out-of-sorts boss, parent, spouse or sibling, perhaps his or her crankiness has nothing to do with you. Maybe you can help provide support and shift whatever storm clouds are looming. And, if you are indeed the intended target of the dark mood, isn’t it more productive to engage constructively to better understand so you can begin the process of repairing and rebuilding your relationship?

You stewing in your own juices and getting steamed up as well doesn’t usually help. On the contrary, it often escalates what was a minor infraction into a huge flippin’ drama. Likewise, cowering in avoidance doesn’t help either. It allows the other person’s anger-inducing interpretations to keep gaining momentum, unchecked by other more benign possibilities. SUCK IT UP AND JUST TALK, FOR PITY’S SAKE. Maybe, once you park your interpretations, you’ll find you can both actually laugh about how gravely you misread each other and the situation.

So, whenever you catch yourself “jumping to conclusions” and believing the first story that comes to mind, exercise greater creativity by considering other possibilities that could lead you—and everyone around you—to new, more empowering choices and actions. Choose your energy: change your life!

In the next Energy Leadership post, we’ll explore the third of the Big 4 energy blocks—assumptions.

To explore the possibilities-expanding power of challenging the self-imposed prison of your own interpretations, sign up below for a 60-minute complimentary coaching session.

Web copy used by permission. No reproduction or retransmission is permitted without expressed written consent of Bruce D Schneider and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). ©2006-2016 Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)


FREE Coaching Opportunity
($250 VALUE)

If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.

There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.

The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS! 

Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!

FREE Coaching Session

What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah 

“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris

“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan

Click here to sign up for a 60-minute
complimentary coaching session with Deborah.


What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book

“With the same energy and determination she applied in the professional world, Deborah has taken her considerable expertise in human potential and has now set her sights on the largest co-op in the world, humanity. ‘Choose Your Energy, Change Your Life!’ tackles what I believe are the most important questions we each must ask: who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what’s love got to do with it (cue Tina Turner)? These are not trivial or philosophical questions for the answers change what we do, why we do it, who and what we love. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Deborah on this critical journey.” JD Messenger, Award Winning Author of “11 Days in May: The Conversation That Will Change Your Life”

“To me the great thing about Deborah’s book is how ‘accessible’ she makes the ideas. The Oxygen Mask is probably the single best example. As with so many of the ideas in the book, she explains the principle in such a simple way that it’s got universal application to virtually any reader. I can imagine people having multiple moments of ‘Oh….I get it!’ throughout the book. The stories from her own life as well as stories of her clients’ experiences become stories about all of us—stories about which the reader will think, ‘I am living my own version of this.’ Well done—bravo!” Joe Calloway, Author of “Be The Best At What Matters Most”

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

© Copyright 2016 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

About djwlifecoach

As a retired board-certified coach, author and Reiki master teacher, I continue to share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. What's love got to do with minimizing stress and getting unstuck? Everything! My book, "Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!" (Hay House/Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world's largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout, including a sustained 80-pound weight loss and freedom from 10 years of debilitating depression, led to finding my purpose sharing hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. Through healing and self-exploration, I discovered that loving yourself unconditionally is the key to transforming your personal life, your work and the world. With attention and intention, I learned to live in alignment with love through a wealth of energy-shifting tools and techniques that help me reduce stress, anxiety and overwhelm by releasing limiting beliefs, emotions and habits. My books, blog and radio episodes help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. Learn more and access FREE resources at For fun, I love singing, reading, sewing, knitting, golfing and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my husband, Wilson, and the coaching cats who manage my life—SiddhaLee and Maisy Jane.
This entry was posted in All My Blog Posts, Energy Leadership and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.