Session 6 of my life coaching experience was a direct coaching session. Our life coach, Deborah Chalk asked us what we would like to be coached on. Nothing immediately sprang to mind so I suggested one of the other ladies in our group go first.
As we have developed a strong circle of trust amongst our group, we all feel comfortable opening up about our personal thoughts and feelings. Deborah is able to coach by guiding us with the tools she has taught us and the other ladies are able to contribute by offering advice or encouragement based on their own personal experiences. I believe this combination has been invaluable to our personal growth and enlightenment.
Sometimes situations can lead us to think a variety of thoughts that we end up scaring ourself with. These fears in our head mean our body is in constant fight or flight mode, which is detrimental to our health.
Deborah introduced us to Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT Therapy) which is the work of Dr Russ Harris from his book ‘The Happiness Trap’. It involves accepting the thoughts and then using techniques to distance yourself from the negative thoughts. For example, if your negative thought is ‘I can’t stand up in front of all these people and speak’ and it registers strongly as a negative on your Body Compass, try saying:
“I am having the thought that I can’t stand up in front of all these people and speak”
Does this register more positively on your Body Compass?
“I notice I am having the thought that I can’t stand up in front of all these people and speak”
Does this register even more positively on your Body Compass?
The idea is that you are acknowledging the thought but as you distance yourself from the thought, it stops evoking such a strong negative response. This makes the thought easier to live with.
The Metaphor Tool
Deborah then introduced us to the Metaphor Tool, which is the work of Dr Martha Beck. You can use this tool for major areas in your life such as Money, Love, Health, Work, but you can also use this tool for your thoughts.
The idea is you solve your problems in the metaphor world and then see how the way you solved them in the metaphor world relates to your real situation.
“I feel like I have come to a wall that I cannot get over”
How can you get over the wall? (find three solutions)
- Get a ladder
- Walk around the wall
- Get a friend to give you a leg up
How does this translate into the real world?
- Get a ladder – look for promotion opportunities
- Walk around the wall – look to see if there are other types of work I can focus on
- Get a friend to give you a leg up – look for support at work or work with a coach
How the metaphor applies will be very individual to the person being coached.
So what images spring to mind when you think your negative thought? It can be a colour, an image, a memory, an association. If it is negative, try to shift it to a vision of positivity and see if the new positive outlook is more helpful to you.
If you have an area of your life which you are struggling with, why not try the Metaphor Tool yourself and see what images spring to mind. You can then make a conscious decision to change your metaphor making it more positive. Think about this new more positive metaphor more often, and see if it brings positive change to that area of your life which you are struggling with.
Please feel free to share your metaphors in the comments below.
So next week it will be my turn to be coached, and I can’t wait!
You can read about the previous life coaching sessions here:
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