Siobhán Cahalan | What if…we allowed Freedom?

“We feel somehow trapped but if we think a little about it, we realize we have full freedom.”

Freedom. What pops to mind when you come across that word? What does it mean to you? What does it mean for you? 

What is the opposite of freedom? Which situation do you feel you are in currently? Living a life of freedom? Or the opposite? It can be striking that we may think that we are living a life of freedom but actually, when we think a little deeper about it, it is not the case. There are things holding us back. Or the opposite. We feel somehow trapped but if we think a little about it, we realize we have full freedom.

What does liberation mean for you? How liberated are you? What elements come to mind when you hear the word? What is your belief around it? Is liberation a bad thing? Is it a good thing? Is it a good thing, but….? Does it differ in different situations? Do you think liberation is important? Is it worth thinking about?

Freedom may seem inhibited by outside influences. It may also be restricted by ourselves. What is it not? Fear, burdens, worry? We can feel burdened. What are the burdens? Who has control over these burdens? How can they be overcome?

Could freedom mean a lightness and a joy? Out of ten, where on the freedom scale are you now? Where would you like to be? How close are you to your ideal? What is needed to close the gap to feel the freedom you want to have? Or to have the freedom you want to feel?

Once we have defined what freedom means for us and we have become aware what elements we may need to adjust, what will we do with freedom? What do we want freedom for? Do we have a role model? Is there someone we know who seems truly free that we can aspire to emulate?

We may feel we need to extricate ourselves from a situation or another person in order to feel free, in order to feel liberated. What if we realize that, sometimes, it is not the situation or person confining us, but ourselves? Do we have the freedom to choose? Where do we feel our freedom to choose is inhibited? Is the inhibition caused by external factors or internal?

In an organization, what is freedom? Is it a value of the organization – written or unspoken? What could liberation and freedom mean for an enterprise? Can these three words be put in the same sentence? Could recognizing freedom enhance a more innovative, creative and prosperous environment?

What are four ways we can allow Freedom?

We could make a choice. What is freedom?

We could understand choice. What are the mechanics?

We could observe resistance. What is persisting?

We could close the gap. What is my vision of freedom?

Wisdom Tool Number One: Make a Choice

Become aware of what freedom means to you. Get really clear on what freedom is for you. What is your vision of freedom, for you? How does it feel? What elements contribute to feeling free? Does liberation have the same definition? How does the meaning differ? What is it that you want? 

“How is our own mind holding us captive?” 

Freedom can be a feeling. Nothing may need to change in our life, except for our mindset. Becoming aware of how our mindset is with regards to freedom is the first step. How is our own mind holding us captive? 

In what ways do you feel free right now? In what way do you not feel free right now? How is that impacting you and your life? How is it impacting the people around you? What are the elements that contribute to you feeling free? What are the elements that contribute to not feeling free? Burdens? Worry? Fear? 

We could make a choice to become consciously aware of freedom. How do I define it? What does it mean to me? Would I like more of it? How would that impact my life? What would I do with more freedom? How would I live my life differently? We could make a choice to choose more freedom.

In an organization, is there a choice to choose freedom? 

Wisdom Tool Number Two: Understand Choice

Have we made a list of all possible options? Even the ones we thought we would never consider? Do we have an overview of all the choices we can think of? Do we have a choice? What if we realize that, even though we list all possible choices we can think of, there are some missing. Some alternatives may not be explored because of pre-qualifying beliefs. Or because of a deep-rooted, invisible, unawareness which clouds our reality to choice.

“The choice we are making is fueled silently by all the background instructions we have grown with.”

Do we have equal choice? What is equal choice? When we look at our choices, we see two possible outcomes: yes or no. The choice is when the doing something and not doing anything has the same weight. Pause and think, do I have a yes and a no here? Will I do this? Will I do that? What we may not know is that we may not have a fair yes-no decision to take. Let’s say we hold some traditional beliefs which we have been domesticated with. We may not be consciously aware of these beliefs, yet they guide our choices and decisions. 

Let’s say our definition of freedom is in opposition to those beliefs. We have made a list of potential choices which represent freedom to us. However, the yes and the no, to choose, are not equal. There is not a 50-50 yes/no possibility. The choice we are making is fueled silently by all the background instructions we have grown with. Choosing no may seem like the only choice. But is that really a fair choice if the no is carrying a higher weighting than the yes? 

We need to ask ourselves if the yes and the no are equal. If they are not, we need to re-examine our underlying beliefs. Only when the yes and no are equal can we make a choice. It is only then that we can begin to experience freedom. 

In an organization, how are choices made? What unspoken influence determines the outcomes of decisions taken? Are choices made with an equal yes-no?

Wisdom Tool Number Three: Observe Resistance

Where is resistance popping up? When you immediately disregard an option, what is behind that? What is the silent voice dictating? That you should do this and should not do that. When the voice says no, what is it forcing you to resist?

“How is the speed, the resistance, the running and the distractions preventing me from feeling fully free?”

Resisting does cause things to persist. They persist for a reason. Resistance means we need to look at something, to look something in the face, to say: thank you for visiting, what have you come to teach me? What are the circular thoughts in your head? What are the topics, feelings, thoughts that persist? Choose one. Is it because you are resisting something related to that?

Listen to yourself. Observe yourself. Where am I running away? Why am I running? What speed is my life at? Would it be dangerous to slow down? How much time is spent being distracted with things or others? How is the speed, the resistance, the running and the distractions preventing me from feeling fully free? 

In an organization, where is resistance showing up? What is feared? What patterns are in place which prevents facing resistance?

Wisdom Tool Number Four: Close the Gap

What prevents us from feeling free? Beliefs? Values? External circumstances? Things outside our control? What is within our control? How can we examine our beliefs and values in such a way as to become aware of what is holding us back? What creates the oscillating pattern? What is the safety mechanism that keeps pulling us back? Why can’t we stay going in a forward line, towards our vision? Why can’t we have the freedom to move forward consistently?

“Freedom may not be the outcome of choices, rather, freedom may be the action of consciously choosing.”

Becoming consciously aware of these elements allows the change to begin. What is the gap between where you are now and where you want to be? How can exploring distractions, running and resistance help close the gap? 

How can I get really clear on my vision of the freedom I want? How can I get really clear about where I am now on the freedom scale? What is the gap? What is holding the vision at arms-length? What can I do to close the gap? 

Freedom may not be the outcome of choices, rather, freedom may be the action of consciously choosing.

In an organization, what prevents fulfillment of the vision? How are stakeholders held distracted? How can choices be made from a place of healthy freedom?

Becoming aware of our freedom is the first step. How do I define it? Where am I now on the freedom scale? Do I want more of it? What will I do with more of it? We could make conscious choices aware of the innate instructions which may be driving them. We could observe how caught up we are in resistance, running and distractions. With all this knowledge, we could try and close the gap and try to aim for our version of freedom.

“Good self-governance leads to good organizational governance.”

To further explore how you can access your innate wisdom to allow for more freedom, leading to enhanced self-governance and organizational governance, schedule a coaching conversation with Siobhán. 

Drop a note to to set something up.

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