Poking the Hive

Recently, I found myself doing something completely illogical. It was as if I had suddenly come across a huge bee hive, and was overwhelmed with the desire to go closer, take a look inside. I couldn’t help but put my hand on it to understand how it works. Let’s just say that this turned into a precarious situation, where I felt like a curious but injured bear after poking a bee hive.

The queen bee in a hive.

Interesting image, isn’t it? A bee hive well out of reach at the top of a tree, and a bear climbing up quickly, ready to swipe and swing until the hive and honey come down. The bear, having done this before, is fully aware that once she connects a paw with the hive, the bees will come out in a swarm attack.You think you can manipulate the hive, to get what you want. So…you go at it. Poking the hive whether to satisfy curiosity or resolve a dispute, despite the inevitable negative outcome.  Humans and bears, we’re both stubborn.  So I won’t waste my words suggesting that we not poke the hive, but here are a few tips on how to keep it safe. The lessons I learned that I believe apply to many situations in life where we all intentionally poke the beehive.

Expect The Expected

Natural consequences are named so, because they happen and there is usually no way to avoid them. They are lessons that many of us have to learn in our own way and own time, so that we can come to terms with the idea of cause and effect. This is true no matter what your “hive” is in your life.

It could be that your hive is a short tempered employer, or a cowardly co-worker, instead of a relationship. The metaphor is pretty universal. If your hive is your boss, the sting could be reprimands and belittling behavior. If it’s your coworker, those thousand stinging pokes could manifest as undue retribution or being tattled on, depending on how vigorously you poked that hive…

Or if you’re more like me, your swarm of vengeful bee’s would be that one person who enchants you, even though you know better. Regardless, when you find yourself brandishing a poking stick at your challenge, it’s vital that you take one important step before you go anything further:

Stop and consciously acknowledge that you are choosing to pursue the challenge, and are fully aware of what consequences might await you.

Understand your own motivations. Consciously ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen if I continue down this path?” and “What will it cost me if the worst case scenario comes true?”

Having the answers to those two questions before you walk down any new road, will empower you with the ability to see where life’s little decisions have lead you to huge unexpected roadblocks and breakthroughs. This is skill of Expecting The Expected, and is one that takes place in almost every coaching session with every client I’ve met.

Always Wear Protective Gear

Now that you know what may happen, the real trick is in preparing for it.

Matthew in bee suit

If you’re like me, the temptation to send that stick right through the center of the honeycomb, will be overwhelming. Whether it’s the temptation to confront an unproductive coworker, to scold or nag your frustrating partner, or the desire to decide to do something, simply to prove that you can – it’s important that you are now able to pause pre-decision and decide whether it’s worth it for you to continue in that thought-direction. If it is, then go for it, let em have it! Just make sure you wear some serious protective gear to protect from the swarm of negative consequences that will fly out at you.

When the hive hits the ground, you’ve got to be ready to defend your decisions. You know the old cliché’ that the best defense, is a great offense. That rings true in nearly all situations, though when it comes to driving yourself towards a positive and passionate future, it matters more than ever. If you can consciously observe your daily decisions and experiment other smarter, more authentic decisions, this will become the cornerstone of your new offense.

Even better, once you’ve mastered this ability, you’ll be customizing your own proverbial suit of armor, that will act as your protective gear in life. When you find yourself in an overwhelming situation, well after the nest has struck the ground and the wasps are swarming aggressively around you, you’ll be able to sooth the stings with the knowledge that you’ll be able to avoid that situation next time around. You’ll have observed yourself and how you got into that mess in the first place. The desire for honey, whether that be a passionate romance, recognition at work, or the bittersweet taste of revenge. Or was it curiosity? Wondering if you could do it differently, What will happen if   That gives you the unique ability to rarely ever have to experience the same mistake twice; a skill that is less common than you might imagine.

Fighting the Urge

They say, “the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.” I attribute the meaning of this proverb as – even when we feel our intentions are pure, warranted and will be effective, that doesn’t mean things will go the way we intended. So, after you’ve poked a few hives in your lifetime, you’ll grow a desire to change. You’ll want to fight the urge.

When it comes to creating breakthroughs and cultivating positive opportunities in your life, it starts with the little decisions first. If you don’t start with saving 10 cents from every dollar, there is no logical reason to expect that you’ll ever put away $100 from a $1000, or $1000 from $10,000. It works the same when it comes to feeling compelled to poke the beehive, otherwise known as making poor decisions that create an expected negative outcomes despite your good sense.  Avoiding the consequences starts well before you ever get to the point of being tempted. It starts with simple thoughts and small decisions.

After you decide to confront a mean boss, out a slacking coworker or take a job that you know isn’t right for you, notice what happens.  Really, take a mental picture, write it down. Then, when you feel the urge again, consider that negative outcome you experienced. Was it worth it? Experience is the best teacher, get stung enough and you’ll learn to approach these types of situations differently.

As a coach and your host here at Verandalane.com, I feel compelled to leave you with a parting gift to thank you for stopping by.  The best gift I am aware that I can give, is the gift of knowledge. More specifically; knowledge that is gained through transformation. You can access this transformative gift of knowledge, by following a simple exercise I have created just for you below.

Decisions Journal

Share what you learn with your Decisions Journal in the comments below.

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