Are you Coming?... Or Going? 6 steps to help you find your direction
Sometimes, externally, life can look quite calm and collected: you hardly break out in a sweat, you have a smile on your face, and you are breathing at a steady and methodical pace.
Sometimes, externally, life can look like you are a train wreck: you are practically rambling and talking to yourself, you are looking slightly dishevelled (“did I even brush my hair today?”), and you look as if you are juggling several things at once.
Perceptions can be so wrong
The above two explanations represent typical clients of mine – and here is the twist: they can both represent people who are assured and completely in control of their situation. They also represent people who are very much not in control of things and are struggling to manage. Although one may appear calm and collected and the other as if they are meeting themselves coming back, neither is necessarily any more in control of their life thoughts than the other.
Well, we (as humans) have an amazing knack at “pretending”. We do it all the time. We pretend we are all organised and under control and we pretend that we are struggling and cannot cope with things. And to just confuse things further... we also portray these things when we are ACTUALLY in control of life as well as when life is stomping all over us.
Jeez, no wonder it’s like a highway inside my head!
You know that feeling – like as if you are at a major intersection of a city and suddenly the power goes and all the traffic lights go out... and it becomes mayhem. Vehicles are trying to turn left, right, go straight on... “Is that one going to let me go? Yes? No? Whoops!!” The system quickly grinds to a halt and the backlog just manifests in what feels like seconds. Then add the pedestrians trying to navigate this highly intense situation where once there was order... oh boy, I feel like I need a break out of this situation already!
But how can both the character examples reflect both sides?
To look as though you are in control... can either be because you truly are or that you are giving that perception in order to try and fool others, or indeed yourself (If I pretend, then it will truly become so). Sorry, that doesn’t cut the mustard with me. If you are pretending, you are pretending. Period. Actively doing is much better than pretending.
And to look messy and unorganised, well, that is either because you put more effort into actively “doing” than what you look like you’re doing, or it might be because you are being honest in showing outwardly that you do need some help.
Oh, and it isn’t that black and white either. There is a whole raft of shades of grey in the middle!
See? Perceptions - helpful but also unhelpful
The very first thing that I say to my clients is that they are doing just fine where they are at. Like them, you are doing the best that you can and that is all that can be asked of you. Until you can accept exactly where you are at, at this precise time, then you will never be able to move on in a more constructive and positive manner. And that can be really hard to do by yourself.
Change – as we have all experienced on a grand scale – is disruptive. How disruptive and for how long depends on your coping capabilities (and believe me even the strongest have been sorely tested). Feeling in control, or not, is largely affected by change. Yet change is the only thing that is consistent.
Sweet - I’ll just buy me some coping capabilities and everything will be ok.
Oh boy, if only it was that easy, I would be fighting you to get to the front of the queue! No, I’m sorry, it ain’t that easy. Developing coping capabilities where change is concerned takes time because for starters you genuinely have to become fully aware and accepting of your current situation, your starting point before you can even consider how to move forward from there. And this is why so many people end up pretending.
Don’t pretend anymore. Take REAL action with these 6 steps:
Take stock of exactly where things are at for you right now
Work out what your biggest “pain” is
Break that pain down into smaller chunks
Create a daily action plan around that bit with some “nice to do’s” around it
Reflect at the end of the day on what you DID do not what you didn’t do.
Repeat every day
Some people will be able to do the above themselves. Lots of people won’t be able to. If you can – fab! If you can’t then getting help from someone who can will make all the difference... or you can just continue feeling as though you are being pulled from pillar to post. The choice - as always - is yours.
Make your decision based on understanding and structure – so:
are you coming... or going?
I am a coach that can help you to be truly honest with yourself and from this, put a plan in place to allow you to be your authentic self and not someone who is pretending. Having someone to help you be accountable is a game-changer in the positive sense. So let's get started... email me at email@example.com and let me know that this article resonated with you.
© YMR Coaching & Development
Yvonne has qualifications in Coaching, Positive Psychology and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and believes in continual personal development. She is currently based in the UK and also has life and work experience in Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. She helps with mindset wellbeing and change which includes significant relocations. She is contactable for client availability, public speaking events and media enquiries here: https://www.ymrcoaching.com/helpful-links