Tonight I got a lecture about ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and we discussed the link with Theory U.
The simple version of ACT is: Accept your feelings and emotions, Choose based on your deeper values, Take action with your values in mind. “ACT uses acceptance and mindfulness processes, and commitment and behavior change processes, to produce greater psychological flexibility” according to Steven Hayes, one of the founders of this therapy. Feeling in this moment is central in this therapy, not your thoughts about your feelings, but what is it that you feel right now.
I think it can help us to discover and connect to ‘our blind spot’ in Theory U terms. In Theory U we talk about the Voice of Judgment, Cynicism and Fear who prevent us from deepening our experiences. ACT emphasizes mindfulness and acceptance of the emotions we’re feeling. We miss psychological flexibility when we don’t ‘make room, are present, and do what matters’. Our problem is that we take our thoughts too seriously and think they are true. Instead we should go back to what we actually feel. A lot of similarities with the Inquiry process that we’re advocating in our courses. Even several of the practices that we’re doing are similar. Is from now on my key question to every CEO I meet: “How do you feel?” “Huh?” “Yes right now in this moment”
We decided to write an article to see if we can bridge the two approaches. You’ll hear from us.