I’m increasingly horrified by the reality TV Show that politics has become. Canada’s next-door neighbour, who I’ve always regarded as a friend, is turning from democracy to demagoguery. It scares me.
The worst is seeing myself obsess with rage at every news cycle. This is not who I want to be!
It's time to coach myself! First I have to come up with a ‘goal’ to help me stay focused on what I want and what is in my way.
Goal: to stop obsessing about politics so that I can enjoy more emotional balance.
What’s in my way? Or put another way, what triggers my destructive reaction?
That’s clear; it's feeling helpless and trapped.
The next step is to go inward to identify the fears at the root of these triggers. I need to know what to let go of.
This part is not so easy. It means looking back at the way I interpreted and coped with stress growing up. Looking objectively, I can see patterns that I never noticed before. There’s a link between feeling not good enough with a sense of helplessness and being trapped. A fear of not being independent.
Even today my chronic disease triggers helplessness and being trapped. I manage it quite well, most of the time. Now I understand how these ideas evolved.
Next I identify and strengthen the emotional 'muscles' needed to stop this automatic reaction. Muscles like gratitude—for the good things in my life like my new grandchild, and another on the way, a fulfilling career, loving close family; honesty—to see the futility in obsessing; self-love —to gently break this destructive habit without harsh self judgment.
It’s hard to be objective alone. In July 2018 I wrote a post about my obsession with the news. Clearly I had more ‘work’ to do!
Now I see that the politicians and media aren’t blocking my peace, the obstacles are a) my need for a fast solution that makes me feel safe and secure and b) a fear that things are going to get worse before they get better and I don’t think I can handle it.
This is insight. Now what?
The final step which never ends, is to consciously and consistently replace the automatic reaction with a thoughtful healthy response. If I am honest and kind to myself, over time new healthy habits will replace the old destructive ones.
I know that focusing only on the positive isn’t the solution. I feel what I feel; I can’t un-feel or control it. Trying to control does more harm than good in the long term especially if you ignore or suppress your negative feelings. Eventually pressure will reach a boiling point and you and your body will be impacted.
I can control my response to whatever is going on when I accept my emotions, act with compassion and follow the steps above.
Life coaching is like being a detective, explorer and a good Samaritan, all with no judgment.