Being a Life Coach doesn't mean you never get cheesed off
While your mother may have told you to smile, be polite and positive, grin and bear it, what do you do if someone really pushes your buttons? If someone pees you off big time, why should you put up with it?
The first thing to acknowledge is that actually you have a right to feel hacked off if people treat you badly. You are allowed to be upset, disappointed and hurt if people let you down and dump all over you.
So stop beating yourself up about feeling negative feelings. “But I shouldn't! I'm supposed to be a Life Coach!” Actually it's a lot more healing if you just accept that you are having a human emotion in response to a stimulus. Life coaches are human, too! (Maybe that'll be the title of my next blog...)
Ok, now you've experienced the feeling, the next thing is to ensure you don't get stuck on it. I used to have what I called 'Red Traffic Light Days' – those were the days when all the traffic lights were on red, everything that could go wrong did, and I wondered if I'd got out of the wrong side of the figurative bed that morning. (Yes, I sleep in a figurative bed).
I started to look at those days and I realised I was creating the 'bad day' because one or two events had gone wrong early on and I'd allowed it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy that my day would now turn to crud. And it could start off with something as stupid as me treading in cat-sick or someone pushing past me on the tube – and suddenly the world was a crummy place!
No-one wants to start going in an emotional downward spiral, so once you've acknowledged your inalienable right to feel cheesed off, now you can recognise that none of the things you 'feel' are facts.
It’s fine to feel bad for a bit, but it is just a feeling. It is not who you are, it does not have to last and it doesn't have to affect your day. Choose not to let it.
And the pisser-offer, the antagonist, what of them? Well for goodness' sake, don't start to tell yourself stories about situations and people unless you know them to be true.
Your other half forgot to call you? Don't jump to the conclusion that they don't appreciate you. Your colleague snapped at you? Don't assume they don't like you or disrespect your ideas. People's crummy behaviours and reactions are almost always about them, and not about you.
As for myself, with isolated incidents, I tell myself it's the other person's problem and I don't need to react. I assume they have their own reasons, even if it just that they are a human with flaws too. If it's a repeated train of events, it may be time to assert yourself with kindness and tell the other person how you are feeling. And if they don't quit, well it's time to sew prawns into their curtains...
Remember that you have the right to feel however you feel. But you are in control of your reactions. If you found this post useful. maybe you'd like to do a course of DBT with me, which teaches you how to think and act in more effective, healthier ways.
by Beth Burgess, Therapist and author of The Recovery Formula, The Happy Addict, and What Is Self-Esteem?