Today I want to share the TOP FIVE reasons why I love working as a life coach and helping you create the change you want to see for yourself!
Have you noticed that something you’ve been working to accomplish — once you finally get it done — might not feel like it was a big deal? Or worse, your brain will give you evidence that it was actually bad? Here’s a prime example from my own self-critical noggin: Getting my REAL ID.
Taking care of getting my REAL ID has, truthfully, been on my list for several years. The pandemic brought a reprieve, but when my driver’s license expired, I decided that it would be logical and practical to finally get around to REAL ID-ing.
First challenge: My camera card for my driver’s license never arrived, so I had to request a new one. Add two weeks.
Next, I had to figure out wtf they want in terms of documentation for REAL ID. My passport is current — check. Original social security card? Hadn’t seen that since 1978, so time to figure out what paperwork that would take, fill out the required forms and go wait in line at the social security office then wait for the new one to come in the mail. Add six weeks.
Procrastinate/not have time to think about it. Add two weeks.
Now in the home stretch, I found bills in my name that prove I live where I say. Then, finally, off I went to a REAL ID drivers license center. Then I moved through two lines at that office, paid them ~$70, finally to be in front of the camera for my new REAL ID driver’s license.
Victory! Hooray! Right?
Wrong. I took one look at the picture when it was all said and done and thought “I look really tired. And I should have gotten a haircut first. I’m going to have to look at this pic until 2030.”
Thanks, brain, you big jerk.
Instead of patting me on the back for being perseverant and resourceful, and that I took care of a thing that had been on my mind for quite awhile and that I wouldn’t need to worry about it again for 7.5 years, the judge who occupies space in my head without paying rent decided to criticize my appearance instead.
Which is just what all human brains do, if we don’t catch them out on it. It’s only by spotting those unhelpful thoughts that we can challenge them. I’m totally onto my judge, but sometimes it takes me a little while. Looking at the photo now, a week after it was taken, I see that it’s fine. And it’s a driver’s license photo, not a Glamour Shot portrait. Calm down, brain.
This is the sort of work I not only do with my coaching clients, but I teach them how to do it for themselves also. Interested in learning more? Sign up for a free one hour coaching session today and I will share ways to not only get more stuff done, but also how to enjoy the victories more.
Hi Honey, I’m Home! What? No dinner?
Sometimes my brain is a real asshole.
I wrote this in my journal last night: “I was up at 6 am, worked all day, ran 3 miles after work, took a shower. I am not sure what Jenn [my wife] did all day. At 7 pm she suggested I could have a pouch of Indian food and she could have leftover pizza or leftover mac & cheese. Seriously? Instead of that, I made new food that I can eat. Aaand, now Jenn’s eating that.”
It was like Darrin Stephens, the husband on Bewitched showed up to tell me it was 1966 and that I should be able to expect my wife to cater to me. Don’t I do enough around here?
Some facts my brain omitted:
So why the Bewitched routine?
It’s because I couldn’t access those bits of info while I was in the middle of feeling put upon. I could only see evidence for how I was right and Jenn was wrong.
Did I start a fight? No (thank goodness, because it would have been a really dumb argument.) Did I sulk? Yeah, I sulked for awhile. But I’m really glad I took the time to make some notes in my journal, taking a beat to sort myself out before I launched into a martyr-fueled rant.
To be sure, responsibility for a good marriage falls on both partners, but I’ve learned that I need to approach the “what I want” conversations with Jenn when I don’t have a bunch of weird Darrin Stephens crap that is all my own, coloring the conversation.
That’s a gift of coaching. Because I coach, I’ve developed techniques to get to a level of clarity before I create a situation that is much harder to sort out. And I help my clients develop their own set of techniques to get clear on what they want and get themselves sorted out and then have those conversations with their spouse to get to a happier, more satisfying relationship.
If you want to be happier in your marriage, sign up for a free one hour coaching session today. Don't be Darrin Stephens. It’s not too late to begin making it better.
Vulnerability. From the Latin word "vulnus" meaning "to wound." I guess it makes sense from a martial perspective -- having your flank be vulnerable means that you are open to attack from that side. But today, largely with the help of Brene Brown, being vulnerable has a whole new, much more positive meaning. Interesting too that the word breaks down to vulner-ABILITY. Definitely accurate that making ourselves open to something that can wound us take work and practice. So it better be worth it, right?
I have been sharing that I live with Persistent Depressive Disorder. Also that I am sober. Plus other struggles. And how much I resist glib "Just do it" advice from other coaches that rings hollow or tone-deaf. This wasn't easy for me.
Being vulnerable can be difficult because it requires us to open ourselves up to the possibility of rejection, criticism, or hurt. We may also be afraid of being judged or misunderstood. Additionally, vulnerability can make us feel exposed or insecure, which can be uncomfortable or even scary. Our past experiences can also make it hard to trust others and ourselves, which can make vulnerability seem like a risky proposition. It can be difficult to be truly honest with ourselves and others, and to share our innermost thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
But being vulnerable can help our outlook by allowing us to build deeper connections with others and to be more open and authentic in our relationships. Additionally, being vulnerable can help us to better understand and accept our own emotions and experiences, which can lead to personal growth and self-awareness. Being open and honest with ourselves and others can also help us to build trust and to feel more supported and understood.
My suggestion is that you explore being more vulnerable incrementally. Share just a little more than you normally would, and start with people for whom the risk feels the least dangerous. As you get practice with it and share more of yourself, you will show your brain that while you may feel open to being wounded, mostly people will choose to share more of themselves with you also. And that they may actually extend themselves and help with your old scars.
Not sure who to start with? Consider a coaching call.
My wife Jenn and I have been together since 1991. We've had our periods of relationship challenges over the years. Our decisions to stay together required a lot of intention from both of us. Either one of us could have called it quits and walked away. Neither of us was blameless in any of the challenges we've faced over the years.
I didn’t know then what I know now about relationships. There is not really very much info about our relationships out there even now. And I believe it really is different with two women in the mix.
It turns out there were a few things that made it possible for us to weather the storm and that research shows helps couples make it through rough times.
We communicated honestly, but weren’t brutal about it. We resisted the urge to get defensive and blame the other for our relationship issues. We forgave each other. We stated some clear boundaries. Frankly, we lucked into some skills that made it possible for us to mend the relationship and without them, I don’t think we would have made it.
Not all relationships last, nor should they. There are red flags that can signal major issues. And there are ways to get clear on what you want and how to start moving in that direction. Start with honest yet compassionate communication, staying open to hearing her concerns, resisting blame, and setting clear boundaries.
If you’d like to talk about what’s going on, I’m happy to help. Set up a free call by clicking this link.