Updated: May 24
Earlier this week I was coaching a client on her relationship with her adult son.
She started the session talking about how she thought her son was kind of an a*shole, and she wished he would be nicer to her.
As she explained herself, she started getting more and more emotional. It became clear that on the outside, she was angry and defensive. But underneath the prickly shell, she was hurting.
She was convinced that her sons words and actions were the cause of her pain.
If her son would say kinder words and show his appreciation, she could feel better.
I gently guided her to see that it wasn’t her sons words that were causing so much distress, but her thoughts about her son.
Thoughts like “why can’t he just be nice to me?”
“I just want my family to accept each other, despite their differences.”
And “He’s so judgmental, how do I get him to stop judging me?”
I pointed out that every time she wished her son was different, SHE was judging HIM.
That thinking her son is an a*shole isn’t very kind.
And if she wanted acceptance in her family, she would need to lead by example.
🤯 🤯 🤯
In that moment, she was able to see a flicker of possibility that her pain was self inflicted.
It will definitely take time and reflection to unravel and rewrite the story of her relationship with her son.
It will take plenty of practice, patience and redirection for her to accept and even love him as he is, not as she wants him to be.
But the door is cracked. All she has to do is keep pushing it open and walk through.
This is why I believe so strongly in the benefits of mindset coaching. Practicing awareness, followed by self compassion and intentional thinking is what puts you in the driver’s seat of your own life.
When you create the safety to tell yourself the truth, examine your thoughts with curiosity, not judgment, and realize that you don’t have to wait for anyone or anything to change to feel how you want to feel, that’s empowerment.