I have been really delinquent in getting started with this whole blogging thing. That could be because I am a woman of a certain age who doesn’t understand its value, but I think it’s more likely fear that’s been guiding my hand. Or, uh, not guiding it, as it were. I mean, what if I wrote my heart out, poured my soul onto the page, and no one read it? Talk about a kick in the old ego! So, I’ve decided to write for me, no expectations.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
You can go to my Who? page http://www.violetlight.ca/who.html and learn about how I came to be an end-of-life coach, but I want to use this space to tell you who I am as a human being and how I’ve come to be her.
As many of us do, I wrestled with my inner demons for decades before deciding that I was stronger than them. I did the unthinkable and *gasp* went into counselling. One of the things my counsellor, Michelle, talked about was building a toolbox. Now, me, I tend to throw myself fully into every undertaking (inadvertent end-of-life pun!). Around that time I had begun to discover that real wisdom could be found on Facebook, y’know, between all of the cat videos and backbiting. I started to collect quotes and memes and, weekly, I would print the most poignant among them off on nice, thick paper, something that was gonna last and make a big impression on my subconscious. I made an actual toolbox. OK, I took the cellophane off a Ferrero Rocher eight-pack (the reason I don't have a six-pack!), replaced it with some of my favourite pics and quotes, and started filling up the box with wisdom from the interwebs. I’ll be honest, it felt great! Liberating and empowering (trite, I know, but it’s the only word that fits), it was the beginning of a six year – so far – journey.
I also read ebooks and foldy books, and I often use my commute time to listen to audiobooks. This week it was Robin Sharma’s Extraordinary Leadership which is free through Audible. Just because something is free doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value! Robin speaks of his father’s mandate that he read for at least thirty minutes a day every day, because, “One idea in one book (or blog!) may just change your life forever.”
I have an epiphanic (huh, I didn’t know that was legitimately a word 😊) moment pretty much weekly, and the trajectory of my thinking changes. It’s exciting and challenging and provides an incredible opportunity for growth.
This week my epiphany was this: In the absence of an expressed (social, professional…) contract, the only person responsible when someone doesn’t meet expectations is the person holding those expectations.
The only person responsible when someone doesn’t meet expectations is the person holding those expectations.
As the crux of this week's blog, I figured it was worth repeating.
A million years ago I was working out of a busy chiropractic clinic. I was under contract which is fancy talk for, “You don’t have a client, you don’t get paid.” But I also knew that the more smoothly the clinic ran, the more likely patients would be to have a good experience and, subsequently, send more patients our way. During the day, when I wasn’t with a client, I would do laundry, pull files, whatever it took to ease the burden. If you think I’m looking for praise, I’m not. The opposite is true, really; I Was Pissed. How was it that I was the only one pitching in? But my anger toward the others was misguided, and, if I’m honest, didn’t do anything but hurt me. In hindsight I can see that the others had been doing the chicken with their heads cut off thing for the better part of three and a half/four hours. They needed to take that time to sit and chill, grab a glass of water, go for a pee.
Another example, one from even deeper in my past, illustrates one final point. My mum, God love her, had a favourite question which was, “Do you like to watch me struggle?!” The response had to be immediate action on my and my brothers’ part, often taking paper grocery bags from her arms. Her frustration stemmed from her unmet expectation of what we would do. How much simpler would it have been for all involved if she had just engaged us in a contract? “Could you guys give me a hand?” would have spared everyone.
Something to mull over: If someone consistently falls short of your expectations:
And, finally, you do the greatest harm to yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations. Come by next week and we’ll dig deeper into that.
All coaching is relationship coaching, even when we are talking about end-of-life. Or maybe especially. Did you know that it’s possible to rewrite your past and repair relationships, past and present, by re-examining your unmet expectations and looking at things from others’ perspectives? My goal as an end-of-life coach is to help people live out the rest of their days with as much peace as they can. It’s never too early to start. Imagine how much peace it would bring to release the weight of others’ expectations and to get a handle on how to best manage your own. 403-616-6108 will get you a free phone consultation.
Yours on the journey,
Mental Health Coach