Carol the Coach: You Determine the Impact

Do you see yourself as a survivor or a thriver?  Do you fall prey to the things that happen to you or do you put them in perspective and ask what you can learn from the unfortunate circumstance?  Do you often feel devastated by the cards that are dealt to you, or do you gather your bearings and ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do to recover from this’?

 Life has lots of challenges.  We live in a world that offers both good and bad.  Many unfortunate things have occurred have nothing to do with your behavior…they just are.  Cancer, traffic accidents, space shuttle disasters, terrorism, physical disability are all occurrences that happen through no fault of your own. 

Personal situations like divorce, abuse, downsizing, a spouse’s addiction may not be in any way a result of your behavior.  Yet, those types of life circumstances require the use of the life skill—reframing. 

 Reframing is the ability to look at life’s situations and glean what can be learned from them.  Where is the growth in the situation?  A person who uses reframing does not fall victim to life’s circumstances—they grow stronger. 

 I frequently ask clients to practice the life skill of reframing by teaching them an empowering statement to keep things “in perspective”.  I ask them to memorize the phrase, ‘No one or nothing deserves that much power’.  They must use the phrase anytime they feel overwhelmed with life’s circumstances.  This applies to situations that fall both inside and outside of their control. 

·         If your ex-husband or wife is power struggling with you about the kids and you are giving it too much mental energy…tell yourself, ‘my ex does not deserve all this power’.  Remind yourself that only you can give your ex all that power. You may not be able to control whether they take you back to court, but you can control how much time you think about it. 

·         You feel overwhelmed by the Columbia shuttle disaster and are starting to question if anything is safe in this world.  I would ask you to say to yourself, ‘I won’t give this event so much power that it colors my vision of the world’.  This is not meant to be trite, but accidents happen, and those brave astronauts lived life to the fullest.  The gains were worth the risks to them.

·         Your adult child is mad at you because you wouldn’t loan him money to pay his bills.  You feel guilty.  Your head knows that you must stand by your convictions, but your heart questions whether you should give in—just one more time.   Don’t give your child that much power.  Take back your confidence and do the right thinYou Determine the Impact

Do you see yourself as a survivor or a thriver?  Do you fall prey to the things that happen to you or do you put them in perspective and ask what you can learn from the unfortunate circumstance?  Do you often feel devastated by the cards that are dealt to you, or do you gather your bearings and ask yourself, ‘what do I need to do to recover from this’?

 Life has lots of challenges.  We live in a world that offers both good and bad.  Many unfortunate things have occurred have nothing to do with your behavior…they just are.  Cancer, traffic accidents, space shuttle disasters, terrorism, physical disability are all occurrences that happen through no fault of your own. 

 Personal situations like divorce, abuse, downsizing, a spouse’s addiction may not be in any way a result of your behavior.  Yet, those types of life circumstances require the use of the life skill—reframing. 

 Reframing is the ability to look at life’s situations and glean what can be learned from them.  Where is the growth in the situation?  A person who uses reframing does not fall victim to life’s circumstances—they grow stronger. 

 I frequently ask clients to practice the life skill of reframing by teaching them an empowering statement to keep things “in perspective”.  I ask them to memorize the phrase, ‘No one or nothing deserves that much power’.  They must use the phrase anytime they feel overwhelmed with life’s circumstances.  This applies to situations that fall both inside and outside of their control. 

·         If your ex-husband or wife is power struggling with you about the kids and you are giving it too much mental energy…tell yourself, ‘my ex does not deserve all this power’.  Remind yourself that only you can give your ex all that power. You may not be able to control whether they take you back to court, but you can control how much time you think about it. 

·         You feel overwhelmed by the Columbia shuttle disaster and are starting to question if anything is safe in this world.  I would ask you to say to yourself, ‘I won’t give this event so much power that it colors my vision of the world’.  This is not meant to be trite, but accidents happen, and those brave astronauts lived life to the fullest.  The gains were worth the risks to them.

·         Your adult child is mad at you because you wouldn’t loan him money to pay his bills.  You feel guilty.  Your head knows that you must stand by your convictions, but your heart questions whether you should give in—just one more time.   Don’t give your child that much power.  Take back your confidence and do the right thing.  You own the power, now have the confidence to live with it.  Be thankful that you have the strength and wisdom to do the right thing.  If people are so mad at you…so be it.  Possessing a strong backbone isn’t going to make you popular, but if you know in your heart that it is what someone needs, take back your power and feel good about your decisions. 

 The next time you’re arguing about a situation, tell yourself, ‘I won’t give it all that power’.  If you use that reframing tool, you will be mentally healthier, have a better sense of control, and you will join the group of people who choose to look at life through empowered eyes instead of through the eyes of the victim. 

 g.  You own the power, now have the confidence to live with it.  Be thankful that you have the strength and wisdom to do the right thing.  If people are so mad at you…so be it.  Possessing a strong backbone isn’t going to make you popular, but if you know in your heart that it is what someone needs, take back your power and feel good about your decisions. 

The next time you’re arguing about a situation, tell yourself, ‘I won’t give it all that power’.  If you use that reframing tool, you will be mentally healthier, have a better sense of control, and you will join the group of people who choose to look at life through empowered eyes instead of through the eyes of the victim. 

 

 

Carol the Coach: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

My grandmother always said “let nothing disturb the harmony of your thoughts“. Even in the 1950’s she knew that we all have the power to control how we think which in part controls how we feel and what we believe.

Her words of wisdom parallel one of the most effective types of therapy in mental health called cognitive behavioral therapy ( CBT). It is a model that advocates identifying what issues you are facing, your feelings about those issues, the thoughts behind the issue, and identifying any negativity within those thoughts.
CBT would ask you to write out the situation, identify the feelings attached to the issue and the many thoughts accompanying the problem. Next you would ask yourself what is the worst thought attached to the problem?

 Let’s take the common tax situation that occurs in April. This task can become arduous if you are claiming  deductions and are hoping for a tax refund. As you are gathering your materials, there is some trepidation about the event. Will you have saved all the needed information, will you have the appropriate time to find your documentation , will your taxes be audited, will your filings be accurate, and will you get a tax refund or will you pay?

I confess that I can have some negative feelings about tax time. Here is how I felt and how I adjusted my thinking.

 My thoughts: I feel some dread that it’s going to be a long difficult task. I feel some anticipatory anxiety that I am not sure whether I will do it properly and or get money back. I feel some anger that I didn’t start this process earlier. I believe doing my taxes will take a very long time. I feel some fear that I may owe some money for the 2018 tax year. The tax laws have changed and I am anxious that I will owe lots of money. I will have to dip into my savings that I am working so diligently on accumulating.

My hot thought—the  most uncomfortable thought: This is going to take me a long time to get it finished.

 With CBT you identify evidence that proves your worst fears and  evidence that disproves it. You put together a more realistic statement that supports the new thought you have created and then you identify how you feel with your new thought.

The evidence that proves it will take a long time to do my taxes: In the past, I’ve spent 10 to 12 hours compiling all my information. Evidence that disproves it is that I can do my taxes and find ways to enjoy the time. I can watch all my favorite shows that I have pre-recorded, or I can listen to music that I normally don’t get an opportunity to listen to while I do my taxes. When I combine watching my favorite tv shows or listening to my favorite music while doing my taxes, I feel better with a sense of excitement that I am going to enjoy this process which alters my fear that it’s going to be a long, laborious task. I have changed that “gloom and doom” to a feeling of “excitement/enthusiasm” which totally changes my experience and as a result makes my taxes feel a lot better.

It just makes so much more sense to look at things with a realistic but positive spin because we must go through them anyway, so we might as well find ways to enjoy them!