Sometimes someone tells you something you just don’t like!
Like…your partner tells you they want to change jobs….your kid tells you they want to dye their hair…your parents tell you that they’re not getting vaccinated.
Don’t know about you (what a funny expression for a life coach to use, no?) but the first thing I do is react. Not a smart reaction, like a stop, drop, and roll, mind you. No, I have an emotional reaction. And sometimes (okay, often), my first reaction ruins the chances of the person continuing to communicate with me.
If I had just slowed down, here’s the “stop, drop, and roll” type coaching I could have given myself:
Step 1: STOP
Stop and ask myself, “What’s my purpose here?”
My HIGHEST purpose, that is. Or in Inner.U LIFE terms, what’s my dream for who and how I want to be with this person.
In the case of my kids, my dream and highest purpose is to help them discover who they are and what they love in the easiest possible way. I also have the purpose of making them feel safe and loved so they can experiment and learn.
That may not be your purpose with your kids, but that’s mine. You come up with yours.
Mostly, we do not think about our highest purpose while “in the moment” parenting. Personally, I think about things like:
What will create the least mess?
What will cost the least?
What will calm them down (aka have them leave me alone)?
What will make other people like and approve of them and me?
I admit it, these are the “lower self” purposes feeding my knee jerk reactions when I hear something I don’t like.
Step 2: DROP
Drop and deal with my negative inner dialogue. As in: Whatever I believe, I prove.
I can’t pretend I don’t have thoughts like:
What will people think?
Will my other kid follow suit?
In the exploration, I get to see ALL my thoughts, the higher self ones AND the lower self ones. Most of my (and your!) thoughts (~80%, in fact) are garbage and nowhere near my ideal at all.
Some of them urge me to ask certain clarifying questions:
Is it permanent dye?
Will you do it yourself or go to a professional?
If you don’t look discerningly at what’s swimming around in your head/your Inner Dialogue, you won’t know what’s useful to pursue.
Now, how to make that Inner Dialogue useful?
STEP 3: DROP SOME MORE
It’s not enough to hear your voices, you have to determine what to listen to and what to do about them. A lot of Inner Dialogue can be easily dismissed, some of it needs to be “talked back” to, and put in its place. At HG, we call it a “talkback.”
To my concerns about my child’s hair and others’ perception: People might judge my child’s hair, but my child’s self expression is more important. Plus, this is not the battle I want to pick.
In Step 4, we get rolling and design our future together; complete with the action steps and promises we can all make to ensure a smooth future.
For example: I can agree I won’t make comments to my daughter about her hair. I will cheer her gumption and uniqueness.
Nothing like a good “stop, drop, drop again, and roll” promise and plan to ensure nobody has to needlessly suffer from dying…hair.
P.S. Inner.U LIFE is a 12 session online course that gives you the tools to hack into your own life, hone your dreams, and have every last thing you want in the areas that matter most to you: CAREER, MONEY, LOVE, TIME, FAMILY, etc. Do this life thing better from wherever, whenever!
Laurie Gerber is a Senior Coach and Co-President of Handel Group® Life Coaching. For over 15 years, Laurie has led international events and private coaching courses. She has appeared on MTV’s True Life, A&E’s The Marriage Test, Dr. Phil and TODAY.
Image courtesy of Alex Green.