Without even realizing it, you are in survival mode.
RIGHT NOW you are making decisions that at once, may have been made from desire and passion, are being made from survival. How do you know if you are surviving and not living? Well, you feel constricted in your own life. You feel trapped, obligated to make certain decisions and you think you don’t have any options. Do you remember Andy from the Devil Wears Prada, when her boyfriend Nate asked her: “What the hell is wrong with you?,” and she answered, “I didn’t have a choice.” I know I am dating myself by quoting this movie, since its’ just turned 11 years old! But anyway, the point is you ALWAYS have a choice, you just need to separate yourself enough from a situation in order see the different options in front of you.
Realistically, one can’t really separate yourself physically, but you can separate yourself mentally. This is where you apply techniques learned through coaching strategies, to step out of survival-mode thinking and step into higher level thinking. Survival-status will have you jumping to make decisions quickly, decisions you regret later, decisions you don’t feel confident about. Higher-level thinking, well those are decisions you DO feel confident about. You are sure they are the right move for you at the right time, and they are decisions you stand behind when they are put to the test.
For example, you’re passionate about your child. You want them to get the best education. As a good parent, you’ve done your homework about schools and then you find out the school you want them to go to has strict entrance protocols. You prep them. You obsess. You pray. You ask every other parent and every connection you know to help you get them into the school. You go crazy stressing, and you tell yourself that this is the only option – you must ensure your child gets into that school to ensure their survival and success in life. If you don’t, you’ve failed them and yourself.
Some version of this may go through your head in any situation. You can spin these mental wheels when applying for a job at your favorite company, marrying your dream man or buying a certain home in a certain neighborhood. You may have lived this experience in any aspect of your life. And if you do, you probably find it stressful, frustrating and filled with anxiety. How do I know? Because so many others have walked your same path, including me. It’s not only “normal” to spin your mental wheels this way, it is actually part of your brain’s design and there is no way to surgically have this fixed.
The only way to “fix” the way we are programmed to think, is to learn to separate the facts from the fiction. Identify the story you are telling yourself, from the truth. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Give yourself a chance to discover what you really want and identify clearly what you don’t want. This is how coaching has helped me, and this is how I know it can help you.
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