Truths I want you to know
No matter how old we are, we are constantly evolving the way we navigate the world and find different ways to feel more connected with ourselves and others. Breakthroughs in self awareness can be surprisingly simple. All it takes is for someone to articulate how our emotions work, explain a complicated slice of neuroscience in simple terms, or lightly reframe something that's been troubling us. Hopefully you will find some of these moments in our coaching sessions, but I am sharing snippets of truths that I encounter in my coaching room quite frequently here:
1. Define your feelings- How are you? Fine, we say. Nope that's not good enough so I try and avoid the question. Feelings are pieces of sensory information that tell us about ourselves and our stories so it's important to connect with them. They are not facts however, and it's important to know the distinction between your feelings and the facts. If you find it tricky to label your feelings, a feelings wheel can help. Experiencing conflicting feelings is also very normal, and developing resilience to navigate the ambivalence of our feelings is the difference between staying sane or not.
2. Know your stress responses- Common stress responses are aggression, avoidance, appease, or dissociation. Commonly known as flight, fight, fawn and freeze. Which do you tend to use the most? Our past experiences impact how we respond to stress- so gaining a deeper understanding of our subconscious can support us in better understanding and managing our behaviour. Surprisingly so, people think they can't bring the past into coaching but this is not the case. If self awareness is the key product of coaching, a deeper understanding of the past, including trauma is essential. You can't just leave parts of yourself out of the door.
3. Be aware of toxic positivity- We are constantly bombarded with the idea of daily gratitude and positivity and as a life coach, I get people seeking these often. However, engaging with the parts of us which are less positive- our shadow- our source of anger, pain and shame is essential to create meaningful and sustainable change.
4. The body keeps the score- you can not create sustainable change without engaging the body. It's fine to become aware of emotions, create cognitive shifts, reframe and build up positive statements about the self. But the body must follow. From exercise to meditation, deep relaxation and walks, physical contact with others or yourself, nutrition and hydration, sleep - you will only create a significant shift when you engage the body.