Coaches are human too
The mind is amazing. It can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It can believe you are capable of brilliant things or it can tell you are worthless. Part of coaching is “reframing”, i.e., turning a seemingly negative situation on its head and looking at the positives the experience gave you in terms of learnings and future opportunities.
Coaches aren’t superhuman though and I for one have struggled with my thoughts working against me instead of for me. I know I need to catch myself before they spiral but recently I got so overwhelmed with a certain situation, my emotions completely took over and it was a really scary feeling. Thankfully it was temporary but I’m determined not to let myself get into another scenario where I feel like everything is so out of control. Sometimes you are so far in you can’t see the wood for the trees and perspective is no longer part of your vocabulary.
If anything I’ve said sounds familiar, here are things I know help “centre” me and slay the anxiety:
- Running: when I am regularly running, it clears my head and lowers the stress levels. The endorphins counteract the cortisol. Running has given me so much in the last 10 years that it deserves a blog of its own but one thing is clear, when I go for even a few weeks without running it affects my mind as well as my body hence the recent spiral.
- Meditation: about 7 years ago I meant someone who was all about veganism, yoga, buddhism. All topics were alien to me and the collective made me laugh. Last year though, to help with a pretty crazy period, I enrolled in a meditation course with one of my friends in the Dublin Holistic Centre. Our zen-like instructor seemed so at ease with himself that I sometimes felt calm walking into the studio before the class even began. Having dabbled with it pre-Christmas, I went back in April and wondered why I hadn’t tried to make it a regular fixture in my life. My dad made the point that I didn’t need meditation when I had running. Yes running is my church and allows me to sort through my thoughts but the point of meditation is to not think at all.
- Reading: boxsets certainly are a nice distraction after a busy day but for me getting lost in a great read is a much better way to properly switch-off. For one I’m not scrolling through social media feeds while I’m absorbed in a page-turner. Truly getting lost in someone else’s world makes you forget about your own for a while.
- Connection: by this I don’t mean WiFi. I mean real human connection, affection, fun and laughter. You need all of these things for support and to help bring you back down to earth. It’s easy when you are busy to text, whatsapp, post and not actually arrange to meet people when you are caught in the hamster wheel. However when I did it helped me to see that avoiding people only fuels the manic fire.
- Writing; even writing this blog is cathartic for me. As kids lots of us had diaries but as grown adults many people see the idea as a bit silly especially if they already have crazy busy lives. It doesn’t have to be daily but sometimes just writing all of the crap down makes it feels like you are clearing space. Or writing the positives for a few weeks, “the 3 good things” a day can give you a bit of a boost.
Hands up, I didn’t get a coach. My bad but potentially it was the “in too deep” feeling. I know for a fact if I had, they wouldn’t have been able to change my situation but they would have been able to help me change how I was reacting. I was causing myself a lot of additional suffering by overthinking and trying to change someone else’s reactions to things. I am the only person I can control so this was the equivalent of banging my head off a brick wall over and over. As the saying goes “the cobblers children have the worst shoes.” If I had been coaching someone else this would have been as clear as mud to me.
If you’re going through something similar, I hope this blog will make you see that I can empathise with your situation. If you need a fresh pair of eyes to look at the reality of your scenario and find a way forward, then please get in touch. I’ll help you find what works for you no matter what that is (and don’t worry I won’t make you meditate or run if that’s not your thing!) x