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Fight your inner drama queen

By Self-Coaching No Comments

How to challenge your inner drama queen

Young love hurts, we all remember. But – only one day into lockdown – one of my younger relatives (but not that young) told me that not seeing his girlfriend was ‘tearing him apart’.

Is it though? How often do you usually see her? Can you speak on zoom? How are you really feeling?

‘Well it’s annoying but we’ll get through it’.

Beware of soap opera or reality TV speak. (You know, the sweeping statements of ‘This is the only thing I was born to do’ as a tone-deaf warbler steps onto the X-factor stage.) Dramatic statements usually mean you’re setting yourself up to believe a false rule like ‘I always mess things up/I can’t cope/my boss thinks I’m useless/being stressed makes me eat crisps’.

How to talk yourself down

If you find yourself having a BAFTA-winning internal dialogue, challenge the statement you’re making. Challenge the truth of it, where did it come from, and find the exceptions.

These are some questions which may help:

  • Is that true?
  • Is it helpful?
  • What else could be true?
  • Always? Does that always happen?
  • Who says?
  • How reliable as a witness is that person?
  • Who says it’s impossible? What stops me?
  • Better/worse than what or who?
  • Compared to what or who?
  • How do I know what someone else is thinking?
  • How specifically does X force me to do Y?

Know your true value

By Self-Coaching No Comments

If you’re struggling to concentrate while working round a kitchen table with 3 other flatmates, or packing in all your working hours in your toddler’s nap time, it can be easy to feel anxious that you are underperforming and start stacking up the hours at unhealthy (but quieter) times.

At the end of each day write down what you’ve done for work that has really been of value. It could have been a great idea; it could be the 5-minute phone call you made to a client to head off a problem; it could be the hour you spent on the phone helping your team to cope with new ways of working. I can guarantee that you won’t write down ‘being present for 8 hours’. If you start to see your true value as what you contributed, not the amount of time you spent at your desk, you stop panicking about not being able to clock up so many hours.

Find your direction

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Find your direction

Remember as Persian poet Rumi said ‘This Too Shall Pass’. This exercise gives you a way to create a vision of a positive future when this is all over, and to help you to plan the practical steps you can take towards that reality right now. It’s called The Nirvana Letter. I have tried this on myself and I find it a very effective and cheering exercise

What to write

Imagine yourself in three, six or 12 months from now (depending on how optimistic you are) coming out of the Covid19 crisis and all your good intentions and dreams have come true. [Note: within the bounds of reality, so hitchhiking round Europe’s clearly not a goer].

You have taken this time to achieve everything you always meant to do when you had time and space. Everything you hoped for has happened and imagine that you are looking back at one of the most successful and fulfilling times of your life.

Write a letter to your best friend from that time and place. Imagine clearly and describe exactly where you are at the time of writing. Date the letter. Tell your best friend in great detail what you have done in the time between today and then to get you to the happy place you’re in. Work your way back from the future to today, outlining the milestones and important moments along the way.

The kinds of things you could explore are:

  • What kind of life have you led for these few months?
  • What have you achieved?
  • What steps did you take to accomplish these achievements?
  • How is your family life?
  • What passions have you reconnected with?
  • How have your hobbies or interests developed?
  • What have you done that’s just for you?
  • What have your found out about yourself?

The ‘Write yourself a Nirvana Letter’ is adapted for Covid19 times from Coach Yourself To Success by Tom Preston.