We fall into a trap in the habit of numbing ourselves from the uncomfortable things in life. By closing ourselves off, we inadvertently hurt ourselves by numbing out the good.
Have you ever thought of it that way? We form these habits to shield ourselves from the painful things in life. Anything that we use to disconnect (i.e., drugs, alcohol, food, sex, social media, TV, movies, exercise, video games – starting to get the idea it could be just about anything?), also insulates us from feeling the good things as well.
Sometimes we go so far in our internal world to block out the negative comments that people make, that we are unable to accept (or even recognize) when good comments come along.
How do you know if you are numbing to the point of blocking out the good? If something that used to bring you joy or restore you has become mechanical and a habit, it is likely preventing good things from entering.
You will have to make a decision. Will you choose to keep the bad (and good) things out? Or choose to let all of your emotions be felt in order to feel your positive experiences? The advantage is that you get to choose. Before you keep numbing, though, consider what positive things may be lost by numbing out the good in life. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Being overwhelmed is having too many emotions at one time. We reach a point where we can’t process so much at once. The trick is to break the flooded sensation down into each piece of emotion and process one at a time.
Have you felt overwhelmed recently? You aren’t alone if you have! There is a lot going on and it is easy to feel overloaded.
We talk about being overwhelmed as an emotion. It is actually a bunch of different emotions all being felt at the same time. As humans we can only handle feeling a few emotions at once. Once we add in more than a few emotions we begin being overwhelmed.
The trick to processing this overload is to observe what mix of many emotions are present and start teasing them apart and process one emotion at a time. If I am feeling angry, sad, scared, and lonely all at once, which is the emotion that needs processed first?
So where are you feeling overwhelmed? What emotions are mixed together? Slow down and look at what emotions are present. Then find a way to work on one emotion at a time before moving on to the next emotion. It will take some practice, but the overwhelmed will go away. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Would you know if you were feeling jaded? You would be limiting your choices and options if you were!
In a coaching conversation this week a person shared they were feeling jaded. In that one word I knew exactly what they meant! While the word itself is defined as losing enthusiasm for something, the image creates a much more rich explanation.
Unlike losing enthusiasm or apathy, jadedness conjures up images of being turned to stone. A hardness to things. Not just apathy, but a bitterness and distain for something that was previously a valuable connection.
I bet you feel jaded more that you think. Given all of the things are we have experienced individually and collectively in the last few years, there have been lots of opportunities to put up the shields and close off connections.
The dilemma with feeling jaded is not only do we lose connections with things we wanted to be connected to before, we also limit our future choices. By being hardened, we have less flexibility and options before us.
The antidote? Observe your jadedness. Ask, for a different perspective. Soften the edges. Choose a path that has more options and greater compassion for yourself and others. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886. Do you know the story? In it Dr. Jekyll is lifted up as a model person by everyone he comes in contact with. Mr. Hyde is a brutal criminal. He is described almost like an animal, with no morals or scruples.
As the story unfolds, it is revealed that Mr. Hyde IS Dr. Jekyll. Jekyll creates a serum to transform himself into Hyde in order to disguise himself when he feels the need to do something unsavory. Stevenson was describing the reality of being human. We are both good and bad. We each have light and we each have a shadow.
While there are many themes in the story, my request is to focus on what happens to Jekyll when he denies that his shadow exists. By disavowing his shadow, the negative parts of who he is become stronger and eventually take over. Jekyll locks himself away to prevent Hyde from escaping.
The lesson is we all have shadow parts to who we are. It is unhealthy to deny and isolate with them. By safely acknowledging our shadows, we can shine a light on them to understand them and prevent them from fermenting and becoming dangerous. Take Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a warning. Don’t deny your shadow!
My request is the take a look at your shadows and figure out why they are there and what they need in order to be accepted as part of being a whole human being. What shadow part of yourself do you deny to the point of it hurting you? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Change happens at the boundary of growth and uncertainty. Sometimes committing to a specific transformation is too big of an obstacle in one step or in a short period of time. One tool for crossing that boundary is test driving a change.
We all want growth at some level. Life would be pretty boring if nothing ever changed. But we also struggle to balance that growth with the risks involved in changing. What will we have to give up? What if it doesn’t work? Maybe I will fail?
When you go to buy a car, it is a common experience to take it for a test drive. To see how it feels and if there is anything obviously wrong with it. A car is a big purchase, so dealerships are willing to let you test drive before making a decision.
Why not apply this same mechanism to growth? Set a small “practice round” for your change. Maybe even one week or two. Then set a time to evaluate how successful the test drive was. This reduces the risk of having to commit fully to an absolute change. If the test drive doesn’t work, you make adjustments and try again.
Where in your life are you uncertain about changing something? Why not try test driving a modification to see if you want to keep it? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
How often do you slow down long enough to contemplate describing reality? Ever wonder why we have such a hard time agreeing on what is real? Turns out there are different layers to what we believe is real. Here are three descriptions that will help!
Objective Reality – At some level this has to be measured. The temperature water boils at sea level. How much grey hair will be in my beard this year. The time the sun will rise and set on a given day.
Subjective Reality – A personal opinion or belief about something. Whether a specific sports team is the best (in a day, season, or all time). Whether the clothes I’m wearing match or clash. If the pizza in one city is better than another.
Inter-Subjective Reality – An opinion or belief that is held across groups of people. The value of a piece of paper inscribed with 20 euro, yen, or dollars. The age at which children become legal adults. Red means stop and green means go. That there should be a penalty for not stopping on red.
Are you beginning to see the complexity with which we interact not only with each other across multiple layers of reality, but also internally with ourselves as well? Defining which layer of reality we are processing on a specific topic and at a particular moment makes a BIG difference!
What is in it for you to pay attention to these layers? Where are there conflicts and misunderstandings due to talking across layers? What pitfalls do we fall into by not calibrating each layer for ourselves? What would help you in developing your understanding of which layer you are in? There are significant opportunities to relate to each other in healthier ways by paying attention to how we are describing reality! – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
It is difficult to be a complete and whole person without some understanding of my race.
One of the foundational pieces of my coaching is the idea of a whole person approach to growth and development. The intent is to develop as many of those domains as possible. As I continue exploring this myself, I’ve looked for blind spots missing in that idea of me as a whole person.
One recent revelation for me is that I have very little understanding of my own race. Because our culture and community is so oriented to the wants and needs of my race, it isn’t something I have ever needed to keep track of. It ends up being like a fish swimming in a pond. The fish doesn’t think about the water it is swimming in, it is just there.
This blind spot reduces my awareness. Awareness of my own race and the races of others; preventing me from being a whole person. By not developing my understanding of myself, I limit my ability to be aware that others around me don’t have the same experience!
My request is to start (or continue) developing this understanding for yourself. How do you understand your race? For some of us this might be a new (or difficult idea). How does your understanding (or lack of understanding) impact your daily life? Or the lives of others? Take some time in the next few weeks and mull over what exactly you understand about your race and where there are gaps in that understanding. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
It is worth revisiting Allophilia to identify the elements of this term. Remember, Allophilia is holding in positive regard someone who is different from you. It was coined to define the opposite of prejudice.
There are four components to Allophilia – Admiration, Trust, Connection, and Engagement. Does that help paint a better picture?
Admiration – What does that mean for you? When admiring something/someone, how do you react or feel? What do you admire about others who differ from you greatly?
Trust – There are elements to, and styles of trust. What are yours? What pieces are missing from your trust model concerning people who are different?
Connection – Even with all of our technology, we live in what appears to be a fragmented and disconnected world. I truly believe we are all connected; even if we don’t understand how, or don’t like it. How do you connect to others? Understanding your connections offers insight into how to take an addition step connecting to different people.
Engagement – How does engagement different from connection? Do you pay attention to yourself with you engage with people? How do you typically act? What if the way you interacted with others was more positive? How would that change how the world looked to you?
Which pieces need the most development for you? My request is to make a practice of revisiting Allophilia as a daily practice. There is a significant benefit for you personally by enhancing this skill in your daily life.- www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Allophilia is the ability to like (or hold in regard) others who aren’t like you. Professor Todd Pittinsky coined the term as way of defining the opposite of prejudice.
I’ve posted about prejudice before and finding this term helps define a target that I can aim at when attempting to reduce my own prejudices. In order to understand and develop allophilia, I must first recognize where I see differences between myself and others. As with a lot of other topics, this starts with my own self-observation.
The next step is then looking past my own pre-determined ideas about who someone is and looking for aspects of who they are that I can not only admit that I like, but can also lift up as valuable and important. That is a tall order given the current polarization in our communities. It is difficult to see if we aren’t intentionally looking.
An example of what allophilia looks like are the historical examples of different communities and individuals who stepped up to help the Jews escape the Nazi persecution of WWII. Individuals and and groups who took risks to assist people who were different from themselves.
Where is there an opportunity to develop your understanding of allophilia? How does it appear in your daily life? If you can’t find regard for someone different than you, it is likely you are drifting toward prejudice. Take some time and practice looking for what you like about someone different than you and observe what happens. – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com
Just like Riley from Pixar’s “Inside Out”, you have your own version of Joy that runs around inside you. Where is your Joy? Is he/she lost or or trapped? What if you are supposed to be finding your Joy?
I suppose it may seem kind of a strange thing to have these thoughts rattling around in my head as I drive down the road. Sometimes it may be easier just to laugh at where different ideas intersect.
If you have ever coached with me for very long, you have probably heard me reference Pixar’s “Inside Out”. If you haven’t, please go watch it. The movie does a great job of describing some of the ways we develop in terms of thoughts, emotions, and memories.
It may have been obvious to others, but this week it struck me that Joy herself gets lost during the movie. Part of the story is about Riley finding Joy and Joy returning to where she needs to be.
Given all that we have been through in the last couple of years, I was relating to that thought this week and wondering about who my Joy character is inside of me. How well do you know the Joy character inside of you? Do they show up very often? Are they at the center of your story, or a secondary character? Would you know if they got lost? Where are they right now?
My request is to spend some time finding that Joy character inside yourself. How would life be different if you knew where your Joy was and had it front and center in your life? – www.rhoadscoaching.thinkific.com