S:0596 Distinction: Internal vs. External

(Distinctions are subtleties of language that, when gotten, cause a shift in a belief, behavior, value or attitude.)


Having an internal frame of reference is totally different from having an external one. The phrase “frame of reference” refers to where you put your attention.

When you reference externally you get your sense of Self from things, events, and circumstances outside of yourself. You know people who define themselves by their title, status, car, home, vacation, past, future, parents, children, needs, or condition. They are on a constant journey of reaffirming who they are — to themselves. Some would say they are “looking for themselves where they are not.”

When you reference internally life is much simpler. And stronger. You know who you are. You know why you’re here. You know what gives you your greatest sense of satisfaction. You know what you want to contribute. You know what you want to leave behind after you are gone and you are doing something about it now.

An external frame is about getting your needs met. A never-ending quest.

An internal frame is about living your life fully present, fully expressing your core values. It, too, is life-long.

Take your pick.


Coaching Point: What is one external frame of reference item you have had, but no longer have? What happened?


Copyright 2007 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.