As coaches, we often work with clients, who keep running themselves down, or continually worrying about the future, or reliving the misery of the past. Their mind continually judges, compares and contrasts, imagines, remembers, fantasies… and most of it is not good news! It’s like they have a radio constantly on, that they listen to – Radio Gloom. Music from Radio Gloom saps them of energy and vitality and often prevents them from taking action and doing things that will help them move forward. (By the way, Coach, are you listening to the same radio?)
The standard strategy that we often offer is to turn on another radio called Radio Happy. We want our clients to listen to this radio, which broadcasts happy thoughts, positive affirmations, builds confidence etc. (Radio Happy is sponsored by the power of positive thinking folks.) We assume that if they listen to this radio, Radio Gloom will be switched off automatically. Or Radio Happy will drown off Radio Gloom. Doesn’t work!! Have you ever tried listening to the TV and a Radio at the same time? It’s more annoying and it’s impossible to drown out the conflicting noises making it even more difficult to move ahead. So this doesn’t work!
The other strategy we bravely turn to is ignore – don’t pay attention – to Radio Gloom. Have you noticed that the more you try to avoid paying attention to something, the more focused you get on it? So, this approach doesn’t work either!
Therefore, the two common approaches that we resort to may sound good in the moment of the coaching session, but the client goes back trying desperately to do things that are not going to work!
But Coach! Before we look at another way to proceed, take a moment to think about the radio that you listen to. How has your own struggle with these two radios been?
Reference: The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Dr Russ Harris
Check out details of our ICF accredited 125 hour ACTP Executive Coach training program being held in October and December in Bangalore, on this website’s ACTP/ACSTH page. Why not use this as an opportunity to visit India / Bangalore?