When the category 5 HER-ricane hits…

There’s a coaching lesson here I promise.

Like many Americans this week, I will gather together with family to share food and drink, and passive aggressive expressions of good cheer and merriment. Thankfully my gathering happened early allowing me to return blissfully back to my authentic self and real world until Christmas.  I always prefer my pain sooner rather than later.

And like some of you, no one can hit my buttons, trigger a defcon 4, category 5 amygdala hijack like my mother.  Tiny hobbit that she is now at 82, she can still mutate me into a repressed warhead of resentment and hate in under 1 millisecond. Or should I say, educated coach that I am, I *allow* her to mutate me into a seething lunatic.

So this year, I practiced what I preached and used the time to deploy the most important coaching technique out there – the reframe.

The reframe is taking the bad and redefining it in good terms. It is taking the fixed and making it a growth moment. It is the positive reinterpretation of any negativity in order to unlock potential and innovation. The reframe makes us stop and think.

The reframe is an ancient tool. It is common in the great religions and their parables – the positive silver lining behind adversity.  It is the core of human resilience – when there is failure, what have your learned? It is core to design thinking. And it is a master coaching technique that is crucial to helping clients get unstuck and motivated.

So my reframes this holiday season are:

  • It is only a few short hours, and my mother feels so happy. I can give her that gift.
  • In the face of negativity and pessimism, I will take the high road. If I can take the high road here, I can take it anywhere from anybody!
  • I actually can and will stand this. Life could be so much harder.
  • I am a player, not a victim.  I can choose my reactions.
  • If I fail, I am still a good person.
  • There’s a bottle of wine at home.

Happy Holidays All!