From time to time, we hear the criticism that we are too negative. Oh man, we are working on always delivering our tough truths with grace and love. We pride ourselves on having been through it ourselves and thus relating and caring deeply about our individual clients. But sometimes we do get excited and enjoy nailing clients a little too much. I’ll take responsibility for that because I know I’ve done it, but for the most part I stand behind our techniques, even the ones you might feel are negative and here I’d like to defend them.
Here are some of the specific critiques we’ve gotten:
Why do you tell us to talk about why we don’t have our dreams?
The people who come to us for coaching are usually already pretty successful, but have a few stuck areas. You might be great in your career, but really missing out on deep love. Or have a great love life but struggle with your family of origin and fear having kids. You might be great with your kids, but lost when it comes to career. Clearly you are capable of succeeding in general, just not in a particular area, yet. What gets in your way are your negative beliefs and theories. Unfortunately, we are taught by parents, teachers, society and new-age gurus to keep our negative thoughts out of the picture. But just because they aren’t being discussed out loud doesn’t mean they’ve gone away. Instead they fester in silence, seeming more true the longer they hide.
When we ask you to out your negative thoughts or feelings, it’s not to gossip or complain or stay in a low vibration. It’s to see what’s going on and debunk it so you can move past it. I know it’s a gross analogy, but it is sort of like examining vomit to see what made you barf. That way you can avoid eating that food again. If you just flush it without looking, you won’t get the lesson. The same applies here in getting negativity out of your head. So please don’t worry, we won’t make you or even let you dwell on that negative stuff for long, but you do have to cop to it in all its glory.
Consequences are negative.
Once we debunk your negative theories and have you choose new, more empowering theories to prove, we set you up in an action plan. You make promises about doing the right things in your weak area. This might be food rules, exercise, job interview contacts, dating rules, etc. If you don’t keep one of your promises, we’ll set up an immediate consequence so your brain connects that there is a real consequence to not keeping your promises. I know one person who, if she pines too long over someone on an internet dating site, has to take a cold shower. If I blame my husband for something that’s not his fault, I have to do one of his chores. If I pick at my face, 100 push-ups for me.
Some people think consequences sound a lot like punishment, but I think not sticking to your inentions and thus not fulfilling your dreams is a way worse punishment you dole out to yourself every day. Try making and keeping promises and putting in a consequence to see how brilliantly a smart consequence works. The trick is, enjoy the tight leash this exercise puts you on; don’t resist. The more you resist, the more it hurts. Instead, pick a consequence that’s annoying, like sleeping on the floor, losing your dessert or coffee or wine, so that it forces your mind to get creative about how to stick to your intentions and keep your promises. This is where the fun starts and you get to see how creative you are. Anyone who has ever really practiced using consequences in honor of their dreams knows that when you actually DO THEM, it feels pretty great. This method also eradicates “feeling bad.” So worth it.
Focusing on negative traits is negative.
It’s very important that you remember you have many excellent qualities. You are going to need to rely on those and they aren’t going anywhere, thank goodness. But it’s the few bad ones you have, that by the way you got from your parents, who got them from theirs (and so on), that are tripping you up so much. So sorry, we have to take a look. How people wince at this reminds me of a small child not wanting to show the nurse his booboo, because he’s so afraid of how cleaning it out might hurt. The wound has to get cleaned out in order to heal properly. We are no more cruel than the health care practitioner who is trying to take a look at what got messed up and help you heal. It would be in some ways easier to ignore it, but you’ve come to us because you (or someone you love) has finally seen the futility in that.
Very soon after the initial jolt of sadness, anger or embarassment over what doesn’t work about you passes, we’re back to planning solutions and actions and that will have you producing new results and feeling better in no time. Please don’t call this process negative; call it necessary. We all know getting through hard lessons makes us very proud of ourselves.
You want to tear down my parents.
We look with you at your parents’ negative and positive traits, but we get a bit more mileage out of the negative ones. We aren’t trying to tear your parents down, in fact it’s just the opposite. Most people don’t know enough about their lineage to even appreciate it, much less honor it. We want you to get way more curious, yes critical, but also very compassionate. The ultimate goal is for you to understand yourself and forgive yourself and your family for mistakes made and bad patterns established. This can’t be done without an honest look.
Most often we avoid accepting that our parents were addicts, cheaters, abusers or inappropriate in any way. Even those of you who are happy to bash your parents will deny in some areas their dark sides. But in not seeing them as humans, equal to you, not above or below you, you limit your chance of feeling like a grown up and really understanding yourself. We’ll never ask you to tear down your parents, but we will ask you to take them off the pedestal on which (or out of the ditch in which) you may have placed them and consider their choices. When you can assess them as a grown up, forgive how you’ve done the same and then forgive them, you will feel a power and love you’ve never known.
All the trips to the “dark side” we take you on are brief and for a purpose. None of it is ever to break you down; all of it is to build you up. We all have bad qualities, make mistakes, lie, hide and avoid certain areas of life. We are all afraid. It’s okay. Handel coaches are here to lovingly help you look at everything and bring you back to the light. And I swear the less you resist, the more fun it is.
P.S.- Join me every Monday starting in April for Wake Up Your Week, my new weekly teleseminar series designed to ensure you are doing the right work for your own evolution! Register by March 31 and use promo codeEB25WUYW to save $25 off your first month!