My son has Tourette Syndrome.
Sometimes I worry that it keeps him from doing the things that he really wants to do. It doesn’t, of course, but that little mind trap is one that pops up on me, from time to time:
“His teachers will get annoyed with him because he’s too wiggly”.
“His coaches won’t play him in that position because they think he’s not paying attention.”
“His friends are going to think he’s weird because he can’t keep his head still.”
“That referee is going to think he’s disrespectful because of his eye-rolling tic.”
And so the list goes on.
I’m a coach, so I’ve become better at noticing when I’m stressing myself out with stories that just aren’t true right now…and may never be! When I can notice and stop the tape in my head, I do a pretty good job of turning my perspective around:
“I’m going to get annoyed with him because he’s too wiggly.” Yes. That is true.
“I don’t think he’s paying attention.” Uh-huh…He’s 10 years old.
“His friends aren’t going to think he’s weird.” Ok, and even if they do think he’s weird, most of them think it’s just hilarious. They’re 10 years old.
And so on.
HERE is what actually stresses me out: Hanging out in the future (which I can’t predict) and the past (which I can’t change). Sounds simple, huh? Just stay PRESENT. Easier said than done.
And oddly enough, that’s what stresses my clients out too:
“I might never find a husband (or wife)!”…..That could be true. It could also be true that you’re going to meet your future husband later today, yes? We have no idea which thing is true….but I have a hunch that worrying that you may NEVER FIND a husband makes you seem a little more desperate and graspy than the idea that your husband is out there and will find you….Which thought serves you better?
“What if my kids get bullied in school?”….Well….sure….that could happen. And then you deal with it. It could also not happen…and then you’ve spent all of this time worrying, and hovering, and stressing yourself (and probably your kid) out over something that’s not happened yet. How could you spend that time in a more loving and productive way, instead?
“If I make a mistake at work I might get fired.”….Is that likely? Of course it’s possible – but I’m asking if it’s “likely”. Anything’s possible. You might make a mistake at work and get fired. More likely you could make a mistake at work and learn from it. You might also have an amazing accomplishment at work and get a promotion. But if you’re so afraid of making a mistake, does that help you move forward? Or does it hold you back?
“People take advantage of me.”….Ok…well….do YOU take advantage of you? What are your boundaries like? Do you feel like you can say ‘no’, and still have worth? How can you stop allowing yourself to be taken advantage of? Because I know this much is true: You can’t change anyone else. You can only change YOU.
“My co-workers/kids/boss/friends don’t respect me.” Do you respect them? Do you respect yourself? Do you actually KNOW that they don’t respect you? Is that idea creating a version of you that is respectable? I’m just curious….
I know, I know…It’s one thing to notice that these ideas and belief systems may not be true, or helpful. It’s another thing entirely to let go of them.
Funny side story…Last week I got so mad at a flagger (yes…a flagger, in construction) for not respecting my time that I had a little tantrum. Actually it was a big tantrum. It took me a good 5 hours to realize that whether or not she respected my time was none of my business, and actually that she shouldn’t respect my time – why on earth should she care about my time?? But seriously…I had to get coached on it. By someone else. I couldn’t see through to the other side of this stressful idea that this stranger was being so disrespectful of how I had to get somewhere. It sounds so ridiculous now.
But it was hard for me to see it differently, because I SO BELIEVED that she should CARE that I was LATE! And man…once I realized that only I should care if I was late, I felt so relieved – because she wasn’t disrespecting my time. She was doing HER job.
A Coach friend helped me.
And this is what I get to do for my clients, my friends, myself and my kids (when they let me):
I help you find the truth, and let go of the ideas that are not serving you, are not helping you, and may actually be keeping you from living a life full of presence, and joy and fulfillment.
If you’re ready to walk through that journey with me – let’s talk.
And in the meantime – when those mind-tapes start playing, do me a favor: Ask yourself if what you’re telling yourself is true – right NOW – in THIS moment. And if not, try to put it down and find something that is.
PS: I’m booking Equus Sessions for the summer, for individuals and groups of up to 4 people. Think of it like a spa day for your heart and soul. If you’d like to set up a time for yourself or a group, shoot me an email – I’d love to take you out to the farm.
PPS: I’m currently accepting new one-on-one clients! I work with most clients virtually, so you can be ANYWHERE in the world! I’d love to help you get what you want most in your life (and get rid of the stuff you don’t want!) Sound appealing? Let’s chat!