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“But Sherry, I can’t.” or
“That’s not possible.”
Famous words I hear (too often)
from clients I adore.
I mean 103% fully adore!
Just for a moment, I invite you to step inside a coaching session to see what happens.
BACK TO THE CAN’T
Do you know how I respond when my client says these words? (keep in mind, I adore and fully support them) It sounds something like this:
After the crickets have sung for a moment, (I happen to love silence), one of a few things happen:
- New Clients: a validation is given to me as to why it “can’t” happen (eg: money, lack of perceived skills, or time, or a reality so twisted it’s like impossibly tangled hair after a long convertible ride).
- A couple of sessions in Clients: laughter, because if we’ve been through a couple of sessions already, then they know I’m about to help comb the knots out of their twisted (hair) reality. Epiphanies multiply as they realize how often they twist the truth and remain stuck.
- Several sessions in Clients: sniffles (and tears), because they just heard themselves say it again. A bad, long-term, habit of twisting truth. Being stuck. So, again, I’ll comb the knots out of their hair. But this time, I’m gentle. Because now comes welcomed transformation. With the process they get a newly smoothed (hair)do so that they can do what they are made to do.
- This ain’t my first rodeo Clients: by now they know how to process the “thought wheel” with finesse. They catch the lies and start listing true alternatives before I can get a word in edgewise. (on my side of the phone I’m doing cartwheels because they are becoming rock stars!)
So why does this happen over and over again? Why do we twist reality and toss out can’t before thinking? The answer rests in 4 things: genetics, ego, thought processes, and love. (yes love)
1 - GENETICS
Some of us have resilience in our DNA. Wikipedia say this, “Resilience is an individual’s tendency to cope with stress and adversity. This coping may result in the individual “bouncing back” to a previous state of normal functioning, or simply not showing negative effects.”
I have friends geared this way. They seem fearless. They thrive on change and adversity. Honestly, this flips me out. I can’t relate. And in the same note, it amazes me.
These friends who let water roll off their back, leaves me scratching my head. Probably because I did not get buckets of resilience in my DNA. It’s not my natural tendency. Most of us are not naturally resilient souls. Our Maker must have intended it… a need, a dependency for something BIGGER than us; or maybe it’s simply the result of the human-race and a world gone less than perfect. (far less)
2 – EGO
Those of us without the bucket of resiliency have strong egos that take control.
WAIT, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t say anything about being egocentric, self-centered, or narcissistic. In this case your ego is trying to protect you.
See, when we find ourselves facing difficulties, our ego tries to take control. Your ego senses frustrations and hurt and immediately wants to fix all the icky stuff. Your ego will tell you to stop doing whatever is causing you the discomfort. And start doing what feels better. Most of the time your ego bats 1000.
The ego always wants you to feel better. Yup. Always. So learning to tame and retrain the ego is a very good thing. (and of course when the ego goes too far… well, it just gets narcissistically ugly).
3 – THOUGHT PROCESSES
Letting your thoughts run amuck on the negative spin-cycle is life-killing, joy-defeating, and stress-inducing. And it’s not your fault. Because few people in our lives–sometimes no one–teaches us how to stop pain-inducing thoughts.
Just to add a little science into the mix, you can blame it on Peabody. I kid you not. Well it’s not Peabody, that’s just the name I gave the part of the brain that’s the size of a pea. It’s real name: Amygdala. It’s primary role: processing memory and emotions. It’s got a knack for keeping the bad stuff. Fear.
Stopping “can’t” means you’ve got to get smarter than Peabody. Or retrain Peabody (just like you retrain—or restrain—your ego).
Wrangling thoughts, managing thoughts, owning thoughts – I’ve written on this more times than I could reference here. This skill is probably the biggest thing you can fix instantly with just one coaching session. Learning how to truly manage thought is HUGE.
It affects everything.
And it’s not Pollyanna stuff. I do not advocate “illogical optimism.”
This is real work, that really works.
4 – ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE
Lastly, love. Or the lack thereof.
You already know un-held babies do not thrive. We’re designed to need love. Every person, without exception, needs love. Support. A cheerleader in their life.
Some say God is their cheerleader. Ummm, okay, I guess that’s right…I heavily rely on Divine love, guidance, and wisdom too. But I’ll risk being honest here… THAT is a Pollyanna answer. We are built with the need for each other. Even God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper.” (gen 2:18)
We all need helpers. Different helpers for different needs. Helpers on our side, who get it. Who don’t let our ego and thoughts run amuck. A support person who accepts us for who we are, where we struggle, and tells the truth in loving supportive ways. And can help where help is needed.
We. All. Need. Love. Especially when we think we “can’t.”
Love turns dying into thriving.
CAN’T INTO CANS, DREAMS INTO PLANS
So next time you find yourself in the pit of giving up on a dream, a goal, a hope, wish…don’t forget these four things:
- Your genetics mostly likely forgot to give you super-hero resilience,
- Your ego is untrained, and would rather you stop before it gets uncomfortable,
- Your Peabody is ready to run your thoughts into a downward spiral,
- Your support and love resources need to be built up and ready with just the right person when can’t tempts you. Have someone in your arsenal who knows how to comb the knots out of your hair with love. Unconditional, agape, love.
Oh beautiful soul reading this, you can turn your can’ts into cans, and your precious hopes and dreams into plans. Plans that will get you flying.