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

Recently dealing with a couple of issues in my life I discovered I had these two conflated. I held the thought that having bonds was the same as being shackled. Turns out not so.

Shackled is what you would imagine – tied down, restrained, held back, limited, captured, imprisoned even. Whew! Shacked is not a fun place to live.

Looking for, discovering, surfacing, and resolving shackles is a worthwhile activity. Each shackle released gives a measure of freedom, energy you can apply to desirable outcomes rather than frittered away on victim-y thoughts and emotions.

Bonds, on the other hand, strengthen, reinforce, grow, include, make better, build. Why are bonds different from shackles?

Primarily because of choice. You choose to build bonds – with people, organizations, communities. You are drawn to a closer connection. And you do so for quite Self-ish reasons – it feels good to you to build bonds where you choose.

Bonds are a healthy choice from within. Shackles are assigned from without.

Coaching Point: Doing any new bonding these days?

Copyright 2023 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.