If you came across this article, without knowing what the CBM exactly is, then please first read these two articles:
  • The Conscious Business Model – what is it and how does it function
  • Inside the conscious Business Model – how do the different layers function together
Once you know the 4 different layers, you can start using each layer as a reference point to look at a certain situation and to use them as tools in order to learn more. The main focus of this article is that you can get unstuck by use of the conscious business model.

1. Where are you?

Let’s make the comparison with a roadmap. If you want to make use of a roadmap, you want to make sure that you know where you are situated on that map. It is no different for the CBM, you need to know where you are before you can start using it to your benefit. If you know on which level you are ‘stuck’, than you using one or both of the other levels will be the solution to getting ‘unstuck’. How do you answer this first question: where are you? Does that even makes sense when you look at the map of the CBM?
The grey field ‘change’ is what has drawn your attention and has caused some emotions inside you. Sometimes the grey field can be so intense, that you are in the heart of it. This is the place where you are the thing you perceive, your thoughts automatically stop and where there are no words or deeds are possible or necessary. This can either be an extremely beautiful thing like the amazing view on a mountain top after a long hike, or a disaster where everything you loved has been taken away from you. Not being in the heart of the change, will make you aware of the feelings inside you, positive or negative ones. Whenever you notice this happening, it means that you are at one of the green fields in the map. You cannot be in the grey field as this is the trigger for your emotions. Being in the grey field, would mean that you are in the heart of it, being the change itself. Now, how do you know where you are? By asking yourself the following questions:
  • What exactly am I looking at right now?
  • What exactly am I thinking right now?
  • What exactly am I doing or saying right now?
I have put ‘right now‘ in bold, because you are stuck right now and not in the past, neither in the future. It is now that you experience those feelings. Yes, it may be about something that will happen in the future, but you are thinking about it right now. Same counts for physical situations that occur right now or actions that you are doing right now. You can literally be stuck in a traffic jam (structure) making you experience the worst feelings and messing up your whole day. You can be stuck in writing a blog because the right words don’t come up (network) or you can be stuck in your thoughts thinking about an upcoming speech you are about to deliver (strategy). The biggest challenge here is to learn how to see where you are stuck. It is very tempting to always relate everything to the mental level, being strategy, while that is not the case. Above examples are all ‘negative’ ones, but the same counts for ‘positive’ experiences or emotions. They can teach you just as much about yourself, showing your true likes. Positive emotions are invitations to continue further that road of choices and decisions.

Being in the structure modus

Let’s say you are on your way to work and you are caught in a traffic jam. The moment you notice that there’s not much movement, you start to breath a bit more heavily and thoughts arise suggesting the worst things first. There’s of course that important meeting, you definitely need to be there. Thoughts keep coming, each thought a bit more dramatic and painful. You are not stuck at the mental level here, even though it are the mental thoughts that are driving you insane. The first question you ask: ‘what exactly am I looking at right now’ is a traffic jam. That traffic jam has caused you to feel stuck and thoughts (making things worse) arose from that. Being stuck in the structure modus is actually pretty easy to handle. Because it means it’s a physical thing that you are aware of with one (or more) of your senses. So either you can do something about those circumstances or you can’t. If you experience a bad taste in your mouth, you can look for a peppermint and problem solved. A traffic jam is of course not so easy and more or less beyond your control. What does that mean for you? The thoughts that you are having make no sense as they cannot change the physical reality right now. They actually succeed in making things worse. So when being stuck in a physical situation (or a perception of it), the first solution you will want to look for, is the mental level: make a plan for dealing with the situation.
  • Get rid of the thoughts or check if you can confirm them
In case of the traffic jam, the plan is very simple. Call the colleagues at work and inform them about the situation. This will either confirm your worst thoughts or they will turn out to be not true.

Being in the network modus

The network level is about communication, verbal or non-verbal. Imagine you crave a cigarette and go smoking outside. You really wish that you could leave the habit behind, you have tried it several times, but nothing seems to help. The act of smoking is the problem. Although this problem is a recurring event, you can do something about it. This time, the first solution is not the mental level (a game plan), but in the structure level. This means that you need to raise your awareness of your smoking habit. This means:
  • When do I smoke?
  • What triggered it?
  • How do I feel when I smoke?
  • How do I go about my smoking, do I just grab my phone while smoking?
The more you start seeing your pattern of smoking, the more you will be aware of the ‘tipping point’ where you actually make a start into the habit. Then the next step is to go into the mental level and use your brains how you can either:
  • Avoid the trigger(s)
  • Remove the attention away of the smoking moment
  • Replace the smoking habit with an alternative
  • Make a positive change that counters the unhealthy habit and wait until the fire spreads and makes the habit disappear automatically (easiest solution)
As you see, there are many ways that you can deal with it, it’s up to you to find that one that will work for you. The only way to find the right method is to know everything about your habit that you want to change. Only then you can come up with a game plan that will effectively bring change.

Being in the strategy modus

The best way to find out if you are in the strategy modus is to check your thinking. Are you thinking about a problem that is occurring right now? Then you are definitely not in the strategy level. The strategy level is all about the past or the future, but not the present. But be aware of the trap that you might be thinking about something in the future, as the example of the traffic jam above shows, while the real cause of the problem is in the present. In order to find a solution for that, you need to check what exactly the cause is. A traffic jam can’t be solved with walking away, so you need to use the mental level (strategy) to find a solution. Let’s take the example of a speech you have to give in the future. The thought of having to give that speech in front of an audience makes you terrified. As the event is planned in the future, here the problem is really situated in the mental level. What to do about it? Something needs to happen and make a change, otherwise you will be stuck forever in this thinking pattern until the speech has been done which automatically solves your problem. It was good or not. The real problem here is a lack of confidence. It’s a matter of acting that will lead to confidence. What can you do to boost your confidence?
  • Work on your skills
  • Prepare
  • Get a coach, a mentor, a teacher,
  • Film yourself giving a speech in your room, in front of the mirror…
The acting itself, the working on the skills needed will make the difference. So you need to direct your attention on your process itself and not on the possible outcome. It actually doesn’t even make sense to think about a result anyway, it is non-existent. The next level, structure, will help you a step further. This means that you need to have some feedback on how you are doing at a certain moment. Evaluate and adapt where necessary. The feedback can come from yourself by seeing yourself at work (movie, mirror, …) or by a person next to you who who is specialised in the field.

2. How do you look/think/act?

It’s good to know where you are, in other words, it’s good that you have located where the cause of the problem is situated. Now it’s crucial to check exactly how you are looking (structure), thinking (strategy) or inter-acting (networking) in relation to the problem. Why? Because you want to find a solution for you, which is depending on your personal approach of the problem. A solution that works fine for me, might do nothing for you. You need to take some personalised factors in account. Imagine you want to run 10k but you have never run before in your entire life. This will ask for another approach then for someone who has been injured for a longer time, but has been a runner since long. This question of how you look at something, will tell you a lot about yourself and your environment. This is where you make a close connection with yourself. This step is asking for honesty and open-mindedness. This is definitely not an easy task, however, the more you do it and the more honest you become with yourself, the easier it goes with time. The biggest advantage is that you start moving away from the level that you are in to the heart level. You go into the heart of the matter and yourself. The problem carries the solution within. Changing perspectives, ideas and acting upon it, will give you a different outcome. This is where true learning is taking place. When you can pinpoint the problem, you will see the reason why it is a problem for you, and maybe not for someone else. This step will also allow you to find the right form of knowledge to learn the things that you need to learn in order to overcome the problem.This can be the right coach, the right book, the right website, video, etc… Let’s take a quick example of smoking during the work hours. You want to reduce or even eliminate your smoking habit all together. You examine more in detail when you smoke and how you smoke. You notice that you go smoking every time you see a colleague going outside to have a smoke. You need a plan to get rid of that trigger or to combine that same trigger with a new habit, like eating a piece of fruit. This is a very personal matter, and can only be discovered when you raise your awareness with respect to that habit. The solution shows itself when you can clearly see the problem.

3. Use emotions as your guide

You have located yourself on the map. You know in which ‘shape’ you are and know ‘why’ this is. You have figured out a solution and you are ready to give it a go. How do you know if you are making the good decisions? Let’s look at the different levels and how a good solution will speak to you. When you make a plan in order to overcome a situation, the first step is to make a change in the next level. Being stuck in a traffic jam calls for a plan to communicate this, as you are stuck on that location. If you can’t make that call, it’s because something is not right. You lack confidence. Why? Maybe you know that you could have avoided this traffic jam (you simply got out of bed too late), or you don’t know how to communicate it using the right words. Take the time to figure out what it is, deal with it, accept the consequences (your responsibility of getting too late out of bed) or find the right words that clearly express what you want to say. When you are ready, you will feel the confidence. Whenever a next step is clear in whatever solution you came up with, confidence will tell you when it is right. When you see a solution rising up from the problems, you will feel an inner joy if you focus on it. It’s good to learn all kinds of emotions that you have and know what they mean. Emotions are used for objects that can’t talk in spoken language like you and I do. Learn to tell the difference between emotions that are yours and emotions that are forced upon you. Is there a difference you might ask? Well yes, when you look at a (sad) movie, the feelings you experience are ones that are forced upon you, they are not yours. Same counts for mental thoughts. Marketeers are masters in projecting mental images, loaded with emotions on you and me. Ever wanted something really bad, only to notice that it wasn’t worth it or still feeling unsatisfied after the purchase? Marketeers have gotten into your mind & your body making you do something that you actually don’t really want to. The more you can see the cause, the more you will be in control of creating your own choices and decisions based upon your own wants and needs. The network level is the level where emotions are ‘worked’ out in a physical way. Most emotion is energy that is moving and wants to get out of the body (as soon as possible). This can be done in two ways, either via verbal communication, speaking or via non-verbal communication, which is doing. Now you know that sports is actually a very emotional happening.

4. Being in the zone, discovering flow

The more you get to know yourself and make your decisions based upon your own values, wants and needs, the more you will find yourself in a state of flow. You will feel supported by life, and the term effortless is never far away. When something becomes effortless, there is space for awareness on all levels. This is where you become the things that you are doing, saying, thinking and seeing. When all that lines up and becomes one, you will feel the inner joy. A bliss that is so enjoyable that you will want more of this. When you use the Conscious Model in all circumstances, see that your blind spots get noticed faster and faster, making them work for you instead of against you, you will get into this state often and faster. It’s where life, work, business, friends & family, sports, nature all start to make sense and feel as one. Your business will become a well oiled machine, an expression of yourself with your true message in there to benefit the world.