Your Executive Producer
The concept of having an executive producer (EP) for your life is one that has proved enormously helpful for me personally in dealing with the most painful and seemingly intractable problems. Clients like it, and it even passes the pub test! ie I told some people about it in the pub (a mix of good friends and acquaintances) and everyone really liked the idea.
It has also got me results!
In the movie industry, an EP can vary in involvement, but usually s/he has responsibility for securing funding and then may help out with other aspects.
I like to think of my EP as the wise part of my mind, the part that pushes me to take brave decisions when I am scared to.
It is the part of me that allows me to accept the reality of a situation, which in turn opens the door to me dealing more powerfully with that issue. You can’t change what you are denying, right?
Your EP is actively focused on getting you to be your best self, to make life easier when it needs to be; more powerful when it needs to be and so on.
The EP sprang out of thinking about The Game of Life, but I have found that even people who find the GoL too far out to believe in can embrace and use an inner EP to great effect.
How This Works In Practice
First of all, it is helpful to actually create a character with a name, gender and physical appearance. Is it a man or a woman? How old are they? What are they wearing? Does their name have any particular meaning?
Example: one of my American friends calls her EP Mr Beasley. He is British and wears a suit and bowler hat. He is quite demanding and has high expectations. She created this persona because she wanted to push herself more in her business, and so a formal looking EP is perfect for her. I thought it was super interesting that he doesn’t even have a first name!
Get to know your EP and find out what their expectations are of you. Of course this is actually an exercise in YOU defining what your best self wants for you. What are they pissed off about when it comes to how you are managing your life - your money, your eating, work etc?
You can do this step as a journalling exercise. You can go for a walk and dialogue with your EP. Ask them:
Where can I be more?
Who do I need to say no to?
How do I need to show up differently in life?
Where am I playing too small?
Where is life calling me?
...and see what answers pop into your head.
My EP really comes into their own when I have a problem. So much of the work with your EP is about reframing issues.
When a certain problem crops up, ask your EP:
Can we think about why you have put this problem into my life? What purpose does it serve? How does it make me stronger?
One thing I have observed is that often my EP will create situations that push me to do the right thing for my character growth and my story (as opposed to what I want in that moment). Boundaries strengthened. Saying no. Letting go of toxic relationships.
You can do deals with your EP. Even on the level of “I commit to accepting this difficult situation (instead of bitch and moan about it). In return I want you to bring me X"
...where X is for example a creative idea, an opportunity, a fun night out, a pleasant surprise.
What could X be to you? To discuss in sessions.