|Carol L. Green (D.Hon.Causa)|
Best Practice Principles from Dr. Chris Thurman's Book: The Lies We Believe
In the continued pursuit, as a life coach, to provide tools for people who are trying to rebuild their lives, this week I’m going to deal with the lie that says, "My unhappiness is somebody else’s fault." I want to call it Pressing Past Pity Parties.
"You hurt my feelings!"
"If it weren’t for you I could have been something!"
"You made me get angry!"
These are some serious pity party statements.
Dr. Chris Thurman, author of the book, The Lies We Believe, states that the theme of his book is that our way of thinking about the circumstances of our lives is what makes or breaks us.
The lie I want to discuss today says, the situations outside of ourselves, FORCE us to feel and act in certain ways. In this way of thinking, we dump the responsibility for our responses onto anyone or anything else other than ourselves. It points the finger at others and no responsibility for our actions is taken.
A great example would be to picture yourself in your car waiting at a red traffic light, behind several cars. The traffic light turns green, but the car in the front doesn’t move because they're texting and not paying attention. By the time they realize that it's time to move forward, they drive slowly through the intersection, but you miss the opportunity to go through because the signal goes back to red. Your face gets warm, your pulse quickens and you yell at the inconsiderate person! That would be me in this type of situation. I’m working on my road rage issues.
Okay, so what was it that made you angry? Was it the inconsiderate person who chose to text? Was it the person behind them who didn’t blow their car horn to alert them? It’s their fault that you’re angry, right? Wrong! Their action or inaction did not MAKE you angry nor force you to scream at them.
According to Dr. Thurman, external events don’t have the ability to MAKE us feel what we feel or do what we do. Coming into that realization is a key component in separating the psychologically healthy person from the psychologically disturbed person. People who are psychologically healthy take responsibility for their own feelings and actions, while the psychologically disturbed person will blame other people or things for their feelings and actions.
My husband tells the story about the night after one of his brothers passed away, how he was lying in bed sinking into a deep, dark, sadness that was overwhelming his mind and emotions.
I recall how he forced himself to get out of the bed and he stepped into the hallway and began to pray out loud. He walked back and forth in the hallway outside of our bedroom, crying loudly, while praying and singing songs of worship with all of his might, refusing to give in to those heart-breaking waves of grief. At that moment, he made a choice to reach out to God in the midst of his sorrow. About a week later he had what he calls "a good, healthy, cleansing cry" which helped him through the rest of the grieving process.
Dr. Thurman reveals that the reality is that what we feel and what we choose to do with our feelings, comes from within us and not just because of what someone did or said, or from the circumstances without. You and I respond to situations and people because we make a choice to respond the way that we do. No one else has the responsibility for our feelings or actions, but us.
If we want to live healthy, successful and fruitful lives, we must choose to accept responsibility for our actions. We must press past the temptation to have a pity party. Feelings aren’t necessarily right or wrong, but our actions can be right or wrong.
Dr. Thurman concludes: Our feelings, whether pleasant or unpleasant, can be directed by how we think. No one forces us to think the way we think. We are responsible for how we act on the feelings that external events create. Our unhappiness or happiness is our choice.
I’m not telling you to suppress your feelings, especially in the aftermath of loss and tragedy, or after a major conflict or disagreement with someone. I’m insisting this:
• Don't allow your feelings to lead you.
• Don’t allow your feelings to make decisions for you.
• Don’t allow your feelings to send you into a pit party.
You’re better than that. You’re stronger than that.
Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
We Listen, We Lift, We Launch,
Coach Carol Green
As the world's leading producers of CARE-Ready Life Coaches™, Chris and Carol Green teach and train community, government and education leaders, human service organizers, business visionaries, and neighborhood dreamers how to be much more effective by embracing the principles of CARE (Compassionate Accountability with Respect and Empathy) in their professional and personal lives. They LISTEN to people, LIFT people and LAUNCH people. Then they equip and empower them to do the same for others.
Many coaching, mentoring and community outreach programs employ what is known as a "deficit model" of working with people. That's where you focus on the problems (deficits) of a person, and then apply a set of pre-determined, cookie cutter steps and treatments to address their issues. The deficit-based model is what many well-meaning Helpers use, but it rarely works long-term, leaving Helpers wondering why their clients fail to break the cycles of addiction and recidivism.
However, CARE-Ready Life Coaching™ mirrors the principles found in the Best Practice principles of Strength-based, Solution-focused models. CARE-Ready life coaches are trained to connect with people in order to build a relationship/ partnership that empowers the client; thus allowing the client to discover the solutions that will work best for them.
Also, while many coaching programs focus on how to target potential high-paying affluent clients, and high-paying speaking opportunities, the Greens train, equip and empower Care-Ready Providers and Coaches™, who are willing to take on the most often overlooked people of society; those who live in under-served communities, who can least afford, but benefit the most from professional guidance.