Updated: 7 days ago
As founders and leaders, we all struggle with something. These obstacles could range from struggles in sales and fundraising to personal battles with motivation or overload.
People don't talk about these issues publicly, but even the brightest minds sometimes find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of these persistent problems. So, why is this?
The answer lies in an area we usually can't access with our mind—our unconsciousness. This post will explore how these struggles take root, why traditional problem-solving methods fail, and how to break free from these issues for good.
I highly recommend the .Cocoon process for all the companies that have multiple founders and they want to achieve big goals together. - Henri Nordström, CEO of Jobilla
The Setup: The Root of Persistent Problems
From the moment we're born, we start accumulating experiences. Some events can be too intense to process. E.g., a parent's emotional distance, losing a competition, guilt for the pet that died, ridicule at school, etc.
Similarly, the conditional love and acceptance we often receive, based on achievements rather than our inherent worth, shapes our worldviews and unconsciousness.
Such unprocessed events become "time capsules" stored in our unconsciousness, influencing our actions and decisions as we age. The influence comes out in two ways -
We try to avoid reliving unprocessed feelings and emotions. For instance, unprocessed guilt might lead to people-pleasing behaviour, resulting in overload, demotivated teams or leadership instability.
Our unconsciousness guides us to do things in such ways that we end up in situations where the only way out is to open those capsules, process the unprocessed, and learn new qualities.
You can also feel those 2 ways are diametrically opposing, hence the inner contradictions and conflicts we can observe in ourselves.
Why Your Mind Alone Can't Solve the Problem
Our unconsciousness, true to its name, contains elements we're not aware of. Its contents are only mirrored by our life circumstances. Therefore, it is a formidable opponent to our conscious minds and often drives our actions and decisions.
Despite crafting the best strategies or hiring the top talent, your unconsciousness may make you control and micromanage or shy away from opportunities. Such actions are neither irrational nor accidental—they're pushing you to confront and address your internal issues.
This realisation is key: To overcome persistent problems, you need to change—not your external circumstances, but yourself.
The deeper part of you wants to learn something new. E.g., self-acceptance instead of approval-seeking. Serenity instead of guilt. Trust instead of fear. Pain release instead of idolising or demonising the parents (=authorities).
Unlocking the Door to Your Unconsciousness: Emotions and Feelings
To delve into your unconsciousness, you need to understand and respect your emotions and feelings:
Emotions can be sensations of joy, sadness, anger, fear, shame, guilt, excitement, etc.
Feelings are your gut and intuitive sensations like "I feel something fishy here", "I sense danger ahead", or "Feels somehow connected with the last year's events".
You can learn to collaborate with your consciousness through solo and group techniques. In this article, I will elaborate on a powerful group technique.
Group technique: Tapping into Collective Wisdom
As our initial life experiences were shaped by relationships, resolving these issues also requires social interaction. What is invisible to ourselves can be pretty obvious to other people.
Our group mentoring approach, "Cocoon Powerseat," helps you sense the scope of personal root causes of your challenges.
Here you will quickly learn the core version of this process. As some aspects require special training, I have skipped some more advanced steps here.
.Cocoon group mentoring has been ridiculously effective for me. Every session I discovered many unknown unknowns about myself and got deep insights from multiple perspectives that boosted the process of solving my personal and business challenges. - Ranno Käomägi, CEO of Remato
3-9 people. E.g., you and your cofounders, C-level management team members or family members.
An isolated room where none else is disturbing you
1 person acts as a process leader and guides through the process
1 person acts as the mentee and takes the Powerseat
Reserve 1 hour for the process.
Agree to keep complete confidentiality.
Step 1 - Challenge
The process leader asks you, the mentee: Please share with us what challenge you'd like to resolve with our support.
The mentee answers. No one else speaks. Take the time here. We recommend 10 minutes for this step, even if it means silence for several minutes.
Step 2 - Questions
Now all the other participants ask questions to the mentee to get feelings about the personal root causes of the challenge.
Don't give advice via questions (e.g., "Don't you think you should…" is not a question).
This part takes 20 minutes (or less if fewer people are in the group). After this part, the mentee does not speak anymore but can take notes.
Step 3 - Reflection
Everyone takes 1 minute to reflect and sense - what do I feel about this challenge and this person?
Step 4 - Feelings
Everyone, one by one, shares their feelings with the mentee: I feel…
Your goal is to share what you feel, not what you think. Therefore, the sharing does not have to be rationally connected with the challenge shared.
Don't share any advice or solutions in this part—only the feelings. This part takes 15 minutes.
Step 5 - Advice
One by one, share practical suggestions and advice. Aim to advise on solving the root causes, not the symptoms. This part takes 15 minutes.
Step 6 - Individually
The mentee - reflect on the feelings you heard and what you feel now. Allow new "aha moments" to surface. This might happen immediately or after some time, sometimes even after months or years.
The other participants - reflect how the challenge, feelings and advice shared mirror back your situation and what you can learn about yourself thanks to the session you participated in.
When done impeccably and with a supportive mindset, this process will help the mentee to feel the root causes much better and design a permanent solution.
Taking it to the Next Level: Training Days
While you can apply the Cocoon Powerseat technique on your own, Cocoon also offers professionally facilitated sessions. These provide three key benefits:
You collaborate with leaders facing similar challenges.
Trained Cocoon mentors guide you.
You engage with the full, advanced version of the process.
For a deep-dive experience, join us in Greatness Training Days with other CEOs and C-level executives on August 16-17, 2023, in Riga, Latvia.
.Cocoon Training Days helped to bring my attention to something I am not seeing myself - something that is stopping me from moving forward. I like that .Cocoon is not only business-focused, but also personally focused - that is usually the root of business problems. I have been attending regular business training events but .Cocoon Training Days was level higher. - Ainars Klavins, CEO of Overly I joined .Cocoon Training Days to learn more about myself - how to be happier and more successful. During those two intensive days, I was able to meet wonderful people with somewhat similar problems and I was able to clear up some of the mess that was going on in my mind. Thank you! - Olari Tõnison, CEO of Outl1ne