Who Do You Think You Are? (31 October 2013)

I was coaching someone recently who had suffered from a serious, though not life-threatening, illness for 15 years. The illness had had a significant impact on her life in a psychological sense - her confidence is low - though things like her physical mobility are OK. She lives in a rural, though not remote, location.

What she lacks most, she says, is support. By that, she meant not necessarily formal medical support – though she wouldn’t mind a bit more of that– but more friendship and interest from people she know and loves. Her friends, her family, her ex-colleagues.

Reading between the lines, she’s confronting an issue which is very common: her illness now defines her, and her friends have become fatigued by hearing about it and dealing with it.

This woman, based on what she told me of her background and earlier life, has done many things; she has travelled, done some acting, been active in the community. She was interesting, probably amusing, had much to offer as a friend and companion. But she seems to have forgotten what attracted people to her in the first place, and now she is in a spiral of resentment and ill-feeling – she wants to attract people, but she is instead repelling them.

If you feel like this woman, try this exercise: think about your qualities, what defines you – humour, creativity, caring for others, dynamism, loyalty, perseverance, determination, strong values and beliefs, selflessness, a talent for music, knowledge and interest in the world, whatever. Write them down.

Now think: are you displaying these qualities, and sharing them with others; or are you letting your circumstances get in the way? Are you giving people reason to like you and be your friend; or are you driving them away?

All the best


www.tigercoaching.co.uk - email: graham@tigercoaching.co.uk - tel: + (44) (0) 7890 360 806 - skype: tigercoaching1