There is a lot on our plates these days. We are dealing with setback after setback and – to our own surprise – we are still standing. We make sure that our clients are served as well as possible, even if it is online. We make sure our teams keep running. But it feels uncertain, as if something could snap at any moment, so that we are constantly alert. What is it that keeps us afloat despite all the adversity we face? And more importantly: How do we take good care of ourselves, so that we keep our feet on the ground ?
The fact that we are still standing is partly due to old survival mechanisms. These are like mantras, in TA we call the Drivers, such as:
- be strong
- please others
- be perfect
- hurry up
- try hard
These are good mantras, which we learned to use in our childhood to cope with difficult situations. If we behaved using these drivers, life was simply easier and more predictable. We felt safer and we did not have to deal with feelings of guilt and shame for disappointing our parents. Today, we use those mantras mostly to help with the question: How do I manage everything so that the world around me doesn’t fall apart and I feel safe? We fall back on these old survival mechanisms when we are struggling. As a result, our behaviour often does not correspond to what we really need. The inside does not match the outside at that moment. We pay a price for this. We often have the feeling that we are walking on shaky ground and that things could go wrong at any moment.
To reduce that unstable feeling, we need to realise that because we fall back on those old mantras or drivers, we sometimes fail to get to what we really need:
- time for ourselves
- doing what makes your heart happy
- doing something that makes you genuinely happy.
It is not only about others being happy with us, but also about ourselves being happy with ourselves. That is how you get your resilience back.
It is sad that we see our loved ones much less and that working together is different. That we have to process all things, including mourning and suffering, online. Sometimes we just want to be together. We want to be with our loved ones.
I am a trainer and I know how these things work and yet I also see myself making mistakes and going back to my mantras (be strong). It really saddens me that I cannot teach in my yurt and around the fire. That may also be expressed. Yet I and we (I look at my participants with a lot of love) manage to make it work. We are present online, we learn from each other, we sometimes get ahead of ourselves, but we keep going. That is actually a small miracle.
Helping your client maintain her resilience
As coaches, we may recognise this feeling ourselves, but we certainly encounter it with our clients during this period.
In TA we speak of 3 basic needs (hungers) that need to be met in order for someone to feel safe and attached. By looking closely at these three basic needs: structure, appreciation and personal growth, we can examine our own lives and those of our clients and make the necessary adjustments or facilitate them. Below I list some tips in the different areas:
- Look at yourself with kindness and appreciate all that you have done and how you have survived
- Look with kindness at the other and keep an eye on each other (if necessary, take over tasks temporarily when a team (or family) member is having a hard time).
- Ask for kindness and appreciation from the other.
- Research what makes you truly happy and make sure that this remains present in your life, even if it is only small moments.
- Your own personal growth remains important. Keep attaching importance to it.
- Make a good planning so that there is space left.
- Don’t fill your day with to-do’s, but take time to rest.
- Provide a clear structure, both for yourself and for your housemates, teammates
- Know that you can ask your housemates/team members for moments of silence/rest.
Do you want to learn more about how to keep going and how to facilitate this for others? Embodied Coaching is an in-depth combination of TA and bodywork and can mean a lot to you. How do you know if Embodied Coaching suits you? Ask for a (free) strategy session (at a time that suits you).Yes, I would like to plan a strategy meeting with Linda