What are you making your feelings mean?
Last week I was on Cloud 9 in coaching. I finished my sessions and felt amazing. My thoughts were: I’m an amazing coach! I’m getting better at coaching!
Yesterday I was NOT on Cloud 9 in coaching. I finished my sessions and felt sucky. My thoughts were: I should be fired. I’m not a good coach at all.
Two consecutive weeks. Two very different experiences.
I sat down with my journal this morning to try to make sense of this contrast. I could have dismissed this as the 50/50 of life. Welp, Lynn, life is going to be 50% negative and 50% positive, so here you go, but I sensed something else was at play.
When I put my emotions in the Circumstance line of the Self-Coaching Model, I could see it immediately.
If I have a positive emotion after something happens, I make that mean I’m doing something right.
If I have a negative emotion after something happens, I make that mean that I’m doing something wrong.
I’ve been using emotions as a way to determine my rightness or wrongness in life.
What I see today is that none of this is true.
Emotions existing in your body are not an indication that things are terribly right or terribly wrong.
They aren’t signs from the Universe telling to keep going or to stop immediately.
They are chemical cascades in your body from two neurons firing together.
Your brain has a thought (neurons firing) and your body responds (chemical cascade).
In coaching we tell our clients that the reason we do or don’t do anything is because of how we think we will feel. I think there’s a little more to that.
The reason we do or don’t do anything is because of how we think we will feel AND WHAT WE WILL MAKE THAT FEELING MEAN.
If you’re willing to let a feeling like loneliness or inadequacy mean something other than STOP IMMEDIATELY, you get to decide how to keep going.
So for coaching, I’m choosing to think that feeling inadequate means that I’m having a normal human response to the thought, “I suck.” This helps me feel calmer and continue showing up as the coach I want to be.