A Pathway to Peace
This week I was very honored to share space with a gentlemen who will remain anonymous but for whom I am really grateful to have met.
We met just 4 months ago at a local networking event. He instantly resonated with something I had said in my 60 seconds and we arranged to a call to chat some more.
Three sessions later we were sat in my office celebrating the change he had achieved.
I asked; “What was happening for you when we met?
He said “I felt lost and in a place I didn’t want to be. I didn’t know where to go or where to turn. The future felt hopeless and I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Then the universe put you in front of me”
As I listened to get to know him and what was happening in his world so much had changed in recent months. His wife had recently been diagnosed with Huntington’s so they had decided to move to the coast and he had reduced his hours to be more available to support her whilst ensuring they made the most of the next 5-7 years.
Despite the new location, gorgeous walks along the seafront and visits to the New Forest he still felt incredibly frustrated and found himself being extremely critical of himself and his wife.
He had hoped the new location and reduced hours would result in him becoming the person he wanted to become which was more patient, present, accepting and supportive.
Although he kept his frustration inside most of the time; sometimes his frustration leaked out or he withdraw and buried himself in work or football. By the time we got under way with the programme the football season had finished and he was now considering retiring completely.
Sometimes when we are dealing with change it is easy to under estimate how much time it takes to adjust. In addition to the move, his wife’s condition, reduced hours and discovering the new property needed far more work than he had at first anticipated, he also had the responsibility of his down syndrome daughter who is 30 years old and the pending news that his son might have the Huntington gene. During all this change he decided not to talk to his family about how it was impacting him because he didn’t want to burden them.
After 3 sessions he said; “It has been very good, it will be very useful moving forward; eye opening, very interesting way of doing things and a totally different way to the coaching I trained in. ”
When we are supporting others and we make the decision not to burden them with our problems it often means we feel quite alone with them and that can leave us feeling isolated and stuck.
If they are personal relationships it can feel like we are being unfaithful in some way if we talk to someone outside and so people stay stuck.
It takes huge amounts of courage to step out of that system and recruit the support you need to support yourself and others through change. Talking to a professional can be all the support you need to resource you from overwhelm to clarity.
Talking to friends and having a moan might help but it rarely changes behaviour; it simply gives us some respite from the frustration.
It was lovely to hear him say as he was finishing the last session that he has now found his pathway to patience and almost as quickly he acknowledged that a pathway to peace would be great too.
As we celebrated the change and the resources he now had he was able to notice that he was more patient, more accepting and he is supportive.
And in doing so he acknowledged that whilst things were much better and there had been huge change externally, internally he still felt frustrated at times. We worked on understanding his emotional button that he called ‘frustration’.
He became aware of an oval of frustration inside his chest that got larger when someone did something that he disagreed with or he felt was wrong. He noticed that when he criticised or judged himself or others the oval of frustration reduced and diminished.
What happens for you when you criticise yourself or others? What is the pay off? (There usually is one)
He also noticed whilst it felt better for a moment he could instantly be frustrated and be back in the same place just as quickly, simply because someone did one thing that irritated him.
Knowing this about himself gives him choice and now he can explore all the different ways to feel better and potentially create strategies that don’t involve criticising himself or others.
I totally admire this client, it takes courage to say these things out loud and it is never easy to realise that we are doing something mean to others because it makes us feel better.
Knowledge is power.
Now he knows he has an oval of frustration he can work with it and start to pay attention to what else works to reduce or diminish it.
One thing he discovered is that when he is creating or managing change; he is focused, keen to learn and gives it 100%. But firstly he has to decide he wants to change.
If you are reading this and you feel shame for the way you show up, I want you to know you are not alone and if you want things to change you can and I am here to support the transformation that managing your critic can achieve.
And transformation takes time. You have to be willing to give yourself time to learn, to listen, to grow and develop your own inner wisdom and self awareness. Still struggling with your Time Monsters? Check out our free guide, Tame Your Time Monsters
For A Better Perspective Call The Listening Detective.
Founder of Step by Step Listening, Sheryl Andrews has always been keen to create space where other people felt safe to speak their truth no matter what that was. She is well known for her ability to motivate manage and mentor others through change and loves nothing more than turning overwhelm into a clarity and confidence that change can and is happening.
Sheryl and her team now runs retreats, one to one coaching and online group coaching course that provide you with a space and time to gain clarity, focus and direction whilst unraveling what is really holding you back and plan your next best step with confidence. For regular updates and examples of how listening skills can resource you to manage yourself, time and others through change check out Free Success without stress newsletter
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