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  • Vanessa Anstee

Passionate, trying to move the dial but it's stuck!

I was asked last week what “heart centred” means. The person that asked it was a straight talking business owner and it served as a lovely reminder to me that we all have different maps and the language we use isn’t necessarily shared.


I paused and decided that the best way for me to answer this question was to make it real by using examples. I explained the following:


I define heart centred as someone who really cares about what they do. They’re unlikely to just come to work for the pay-check; they really want to move the dial. Put simply they really care and are invested in the work they do.


I often find that these people are so passionate that they fall into 3 common traps.


  1. They can get over invested and lose perspective. They take a lot of personal responsibility – sometimes too much. This means that unintentionally they can hold others around them back by being too in their business and end up in the details whilst trying to hold on to the strategic, bigger picture. They need to find a new balance where others are free and trusted to do their part.

  2. They are high achievers. Their passion drives them, and they can unwittingly get lost in that passion. Staying focused on the things that matter and will help them achieve sustainable results can be a real challenge for them.

  3. As high achievers they are prone to over achievers’ fatigue. Their work / business means something to them personally and having healthy boundaries to manage their self-care and stress is key to sustaining their success. Often, it’s hard for them to switch off when you are so deeply invested.

Why do I care about people who want to move the dial?


I am passionate about these clients because put simply, I am one of them. But the difference is, I am outside of what is going on for them. That means I have something they don’t have, perspective. I can see things clearly from a meta view because I am not in their business.


Edgar H. Schein said, “Questions are taken for granted rather than given a starring role in the human drama. Yet all my teaching and consulting experience that taught me that what builds relationship, what solves problems, what moves things forward is asking the right questions.”


I bring calm and strength that create an environment where they slow down, listen to the questions being asked and reflect deeply about them. It sounds simple but it’s often the permission to breathe that gives rise to them expressing for the first time what’s really troubling them. And from this place they are willing to see their part in their own drama. They see how they’ve got themselves stuck and figure out how to unstick themselves. They become motivated to try new practices and think in new, resourceful ways that fuel their heart rather than keep pushing in ways that don’t deliver the results they want.


If you or someone you know is passionate, stuck and wants to unstick themselves, ask them, "who asks you questions that you don’t already know the answers to?" The ones that might make them defend and protect themselves but in the right context of curiosity and care will unlock the very things that will turn the dial for them and help them get unstuck.

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