Kick In The Nuts
I haven’t blogged in awhile. In fact, I haven’t been able to do much Rippling of any sort for the past few months. I could give you tons of excuses – too much work, lack of focus, slight bought with depression, no time. Any and all would suffice. To say the least it’s been a rough start to 2017.
Which pisses me off.
This was supposed to be my year. This was going to be the year that changed everything. At least that’s what I told myself.
It’s the beginning of fricken March and I’m already giving up? That’s what it sounds like doesn’t it?
No, what I needed was a strong kick to the nuts to wake my fricken self up. To stop feeling sorry for myself and viewing the world like it was crashing down around me. It’s not.
Of course I only realized this a week or so ago. I was working with a coaching client. One of the respite times I will allow myself from my own professional craziness. I love helping people deal with their own sh*t.
Honestly I am pretty damn good at it.
Anyway, the client I was working with is really struggling with some drama at work. Sometimes he thinks the world is out to get him. If you allow him to, he’ll go on and on with every single bad act that has been committed against him since our last session. He relishes the stories and often playing the part of a victim.
He comes to me because I won’t give him the stage to act out his drama. I stop him mid-sentence and challenge his statements. I ask deep, engaging questions about perception versus reality. We focus on facts versus assumptions. I basically shake him up a bit, clean him up his thinking and reset his attitude and perspective.
As he left our most recent session he said something to me that made me laugh. Then it made me think.
“Thanks for the kick in the nuts Steve. Same time next month?”
Clearly he means that as a joke and I don’t view his comment as a subtle complaint to my coaching methods. He and I both recognize our time together is about progress. Progress can’t be made when we’re playing in the past, focused on he/said situations and letting resentment and frustration control our moods. We always make progress of some kind, and yes, some sessions are bit harder than others to rein him in. But I will never allow him to make excuses and not own his outcomes. He likes that. Probably why he refers so many people to me.
After he had left our session I sat there staring at my now empty coffee cup. I felt good about the work we had done together. I had made a difference and that pleases me.
Then I popped open my laptop.
I immediately felt my gut tense and my mind start to race. There was the reality of my own life starring me square in the face. Whether it be issues with my software company, employee concerns, problems with partnerships or whatever, the stress returned like a wave. I started my own mental blame game.
Then his phrase entered my mind. I stopped what I was doing. I went and refilled my cup of coffee, came back to the table, closed my laptop and started to write.
I got out all the frustrations I was experiencing as I allowed my true stream of consciousness to just flow onto the paper. Then I started asking myself the very same questions I ask my coaching clients. I forced myself to stop, think and respond in writing with my answers.
I felt that kick in the nuts feeling he talked about. So much of what I was complaining about was of my own doing.
Deadlines – I could avoid by getting the work done earlier. Enabling my staff to make decisions on their own without my final approval. Not beating myself up over software clients that will inevitably leave and not taking it personal. Realizing that sitting down and crying about all that isn’t going right in my life doesn’t solve a damn thing.
Only thing that fixes that is attitude and action.
2017 is a long way from being over. There will be no white flag of surrender. And only I can own the outcome. It was the kick in the nuts I needed and I’m ready to start fixing my own sh*t.
Dang this coaching stuff really works in reverse too.