I have an acronym I offer to clients – WAIT, Why Am I Talking? It’s a coaching acronym we use to remind ourselves (us coaches) to shut up and let the client do the talking, the work, the thinking things through. As a coach my “job” is to listen, ask questions, provide a “mirror” and sounding board…and let my clients do the talking. This is perhaps harder for some coaches (me) than others.
I’m transforming my acronym to what I need now, on a bit more of a daily basis. Why Am I Thinking? My mind can do some loopy things sometimes – making up stories about other people being upset with me, replaying old tapes about what’s wrong with me or how I’ve messed up most recently, looking for where I’ve slipped or need to kick it up or figure out my situation and act quickly so that I’m safe.
Safe from what, I ask myself. Safe from what?
I appreciate my old tapes that still think they’re protecting me. I know that, at least in some ways, they saved me and kept me from harm. I learned to read situations and people in order to detect – and get away from – danger.
But I’m not in danger anymore. I have very little, if anything, to protect myself from. So my old thought patterns that question me, and most things around me, aren’t necessary. They’re overkill.
So, I ask myself, why am I thinking? And when I get caught in my thinking, I ask myself how I can get out of it. It doesn’t do me any good; in fact, now my thinking probably has the most opportunity to hurt me most. Why Am I Thinking is a great reminder to step away. And to choose to think differently.
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