Catriona Futter – Equip For Life Coaching Becoming your best self and living life to the full – 07713 974138

Category Archives: Good Choices

What are the triggers for a perfect storm?

perfect stormThey call it a perfect storm. (Whoever ‘they’ are.) A series of events all coming together at the same time to produce catastrophic results. At the time, it can be hard to see the connections. It is often only in the aftermath that one can look back and see all the different jigsaw pieces and triggers that all worked together to cause such devastating fall-out. This is the fodder of disaster movies.

But imagine instead the perfect storm to be an emotional melt down, and you are the meltee.

The question is, would it have been possible to avoid the storm? Identify the triggers, remove some of them or remove yourself from their path, and hey presto. Storm prevented.

Or, in other words, wouldn’t it be great to have hindsight in advance?

To proactively prevent the perfect storm by diminishing the destructive potential of the causative elements.

In my work as a physiotherapist (physical therapist for you across-the-pond dwellers), I would sometimes treat patients who sustained a sudden injury that seemed to come out of the blue for them. But unpick their stories a little, dig backwards into the preceding sequence of events, and often there were clear indicators. Triggers to set off a chain of events that led to injury and incapacitation (might have made that word up).

Postural problems + chronic weariness + over busyness + muscle imbalance + a sudden demand on the body is likely to lead to some kind of system failure. In the physical dimension, this is likely to be pain and incapacity.

Imagine if we were better tuned in to the triggers, and thus were more able to prevent the physical problems and pain. If we stepped back and saw the implications of continuing with each element unresolved, and decided to take action instead. Change our posture. Take some time off. Exercise to strengthen, stretch and restore balance.

The physical realm has much to tell us about the realm of our emotional and mental well being.

Imagine that the perfect storm, rather than a physical breakdown, is an emotional outburst instead.

Events combine and contrive to cause us to combust, and we disintegrate and unravel. I talked about this a little in the series on burnout recently – the importance of letting our souls catch up with our too-fast-moving-bodies.

Triggers are important here, and in this case, the triggers are often our emotions. I am a stuffer – talked about this here before too. Just deal with it, get on with the next thing, pay no heed to the rising tide of anxiety/fear/stress/irritation/numbness that is threatening to swamp me.

Triggers are like red flags along the pathway, yelling at us to stop,

pay attention, take action now to avert disaster.

The key thing – as always – is awareness.

What am I feeling?

What do those feelings indicate?

And therefore – what do I need?

What will happen if I ignore this and continue down this path?

And – ultimately and of course – what is most important here? What therefore do I need to do?

When we tread the same path often enough, we recognise the signs. When we know ourselves well enough to know the kind of emotional storm we are likely to end up in, we can then start to identify the triggers. And then – the key stage – we can choose to do something about them.

The benefit of hindsight in advance – spotting the triggers to the perfect storm, paying attention to them and changing course.

What do we rely on in times of change?

Times of change

Change is in the aaaaaaair….everywhere I look around….

A misquote I know, but it seems fitting.

Change seems to be the lowest common denominator for many just now. In my own small world, there are many facing huge change. Starting school for the first time (I remember well the first day tears and the stomach-clenching-knots of anxiety, and that was just me). Leaving school and heading off into the adventure that is university. Graduating and moving onto work or internships. Illness – there is a lot of that about, sadly. Moving house. Getting married – love is in the air too, which is lovely.

Times of change are often associated with changing routines.

Last week I was musing about how we can get stuck in certain ways of thinking, and that climbing out of the box altogether and walking away can be inspiring, stretching and freeing.

So it is in our house. My weekly routine is changing as youngest Nearest-and-Dearest starts secondary school. And thus, my 10 year association with our local primary school comes to an end, and the routines that have book-ended my day all these years stop.

That opens up more possibilities for my time and my work. But more than that, it opens up mental space for change and the new. Sometimes this can be scary – many and varied emotions run turbulently below the surface of change, threatening to derail us and swamp us with their force and intensity.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of losing what has gone before. Anxiety about being able to cope with whatever is ahead. Sadness or regret at loss of what was.

There are also upbeat emotions that can lift us out of the mire and propel us forward – excitement, anticipation, fun, enjoyment, relief, satisfaction, achievement.

The tricky aspect to this is that emotions – our feelings – are flaky and unreliable indicators of what is going on. How we feel can change with the wind, and this can have a huge impact on how we perceive what is going on at the time. I know this to be true all too well and all too often. As MB will observe wryly, I don’t do ‘even keel’ – extremes of emotion are my normal way of operating, which I know can be exhausting to live with.

But in the times of change, when there is such a huge range of emotion that threatens to completely destabilise us just as we need to be strong and courageous, what to do?

We can choose to rely on what we know to be true. External facts that we can see. People we know we can trust. The knowledge that we can choose our own response. We, and only we, have responsibility for ourselves and therefore we can be proactive rather than sliding into passive victim mentality. We can make good choices based on our value system and priorities.

For me, the foundations of what I know to be true are my faith. In times of change when emotions can be overwhelming, I can ask  –

what do I know to be true?

Irrespective of how I feel, and even what is going on, what do I know to be true?

What am I thankful for – always a good question for building a more stable foundation in the face of change.

What times of change are you looking at? And in the face of how you feel, what do you know to be true?

 

Words of wisdom for summer from Dr Seuss

Dr Seuss remains a deep well of inspiration to mine for wisdom and challenge. Try some of these on for size –

If you never did you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.”

If I asked you the question, what do you do for fun, how would you respond? I have observed a curious response to this question from a number of people – that I am asking them a question in a language they simply do not understand. I might as well ask the question in Swahili for all that it can be computed and processed.

Just having funFun? But my life is so busy, so full of duty, responsibility, doing the right thing, there is no room for fun. Duty, responsibility, service – all are very important. However, the absence of life-affirming, joy-restoring, just-for-the-sake-of-it fun can cause us to slowly frizzle up. Slipping and sliding down the path of weariness, stress, mental fatigue towards burnout. To lose touch with the inner child, with part of who we are at our core, with what it is just to engage in a bit of nonsense. Or to do something simply for us – to prioritise ourselves for a brief spell.

Fun is an important aspect of our lives. It is good for mental renewal, for spiritual and emotional recharging, for expanding our creative free thinking and inspiration. And to keep us, and our outlook on life young.

If you had a clear diary, and nothing hindering you, what would you do for fun?

How could you incorporate just a little bit of that into the every-day? But it’s complicated I hear you say….again, to quote Dr Seuss –

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

How often is the answer simply a matter of prioritising our time differently? Busy people often say, well it’s not that simple – but actually, what that belies are many excuses for why making a simple decision is difficult.

We might have to face some inner demons, we might have to let some people down, which is never easy. We might have to acknowledge what needs are being met in being super busy – our need to be useful, needed, responsible – and without that, who does that make us?

How often do we choose to not face up to the simple answer because it demands too much of us?

This is linked to the idea of having fun. Fun is important, and takes a little time and shifting of priorities. This can be as simple as we choose to make it. I would be sorely grieved indeed to get to my funeral, and have people say of me, as perhaps Dr Seuss might –

she was responsible, organised, could get all things done,

but she didn’t seem ever to have time just to for fun.

Choosing to care – or learning to pay attention to your feelings.

Hard stuff happens.

Life is full of it – just tune in to the news of recent weeks. We are oftPaying attention to your feelings.en surrounded by horror, tragedy, suffering, grief, loss on a grand scale. And it can be overwhelming and difficult to absorb. But each of us on an individual level in our normal, run-of-the-mill every day life also experiences a whole gamut of feelings in response to smaller day-to-day hurts.

Rejection. Loss. Failure. Sadness. Anger. Disappointment.

Sometimes, the temptation is to avoid difficult emotions like that because they are too painful.

Folk develop different strategies for this. It is possible to develop a hardened exterior, a tough outer crust that seems impenetrable, as a means of avoiding the pain. To choose to not care, to not get too close. Keep your guard up, keep your distance, keep your heart safe.

Or you can become a stuffer. A coper. This has been my default defense mechanism for many years.

I am a getter-on-with-it. Hard stuff happens, but hey I am strong and capable and self sufficient so acknowledging those hurts, fears, anxieties is not what I do, so deal with it and move on – on with the next thing. Dear goodness, why would I pay attention to those inner feelings, let alone allow them to surface so that I could deal with them? Far too painful and means I would have to be vulnerable.

Strike a chord, anyone?

But over time, this has a tremendous cost – those feelings don’t go away, they are simply repressed waiting and biding their time until they erupt at the most inopportune moment.

I am straying into the realm of counselling here.

But I am learning that taking time to pay attention to what I am feeling is important. Because those feelings are are indicators of what is going on inside me, and often point to what I care about. Taking time to pay attention to them allows me to learn more about myself, and what is at the root of my reactions.

And that I most definitely do care. Because paying attention to our feelings, and what they are telling us, enables us to understand ourselves better.

When we learn to ask ourselves:

What am I feeling? What do those feelings point to? How am I wanting to respond to them? What do I need?

….we can also learn to take responsibility for our response to those feelings, and show that we do care. We can seek to see things from the point of view of another, to get inside their shoes. We can reach out to them with more empathy, and make deeper connections in our relationships. Feelings can point to when we need to forgive, and when we need to say sorry. They can be indicators of when we need to stop and recharge. Or when we need to get off the busyness-treadmill and offer some TLC to someone in need.

And when we harden ourselves to feelings, or stuff them inside, we tend to do that with ALL feelings. And thus we can miss out on the joy of connection, happiness, celebration, exuberance, achievement.

Seems like no way to go through life.

Learning instead to pay attention to our feelings allows us to show that we do, most definitely, care.

 

What happens when our plans are derailed? Introducing the bullet journal…

Take time –

  • to reflect
  • to work out and clarify your values
  • to dream big dreams and cast vision
  • to plan and strategise how to get there
  • to write out action steps
  • reflect on what is working and what is not, and start the process again.

This is a useful and straightforward framework that enables us to –

  • live according to our values
  • make decisions with more clarity and consistency
  • stick with our boundaries
  • get back on track when we are derailed by obstacles or unexpected hiccups
  • have time for what is really important rather than reacting to what seems urgent but sucks us dry.

Why am I writing in bullet points?

  • because this kind of living can become over complicated and onerous if it involves so much writing and reflecting that nothing actually gets done
  • because of the rise and rise of methods to facilitate this kind of living in a manageable way
  • and because bullet journalling has arrived in our house!

What is a bullet journal?OK, I’ll stop now. It was getting annoying and hard to do whilst still making any kind of sense.

I first came across the phrase ‘bullet journal‘ in a glossy magazine whilst I was at the hairdressers (which is the only place I read glossy magazines). No clue what it meant, sounded very trendy and a bit scary all at once. Perhaps if you didn’t write in your journal for a day, you were shot? I jest.

And then in a short space of time I heard the phrase again, from a friend converted to this new craze. So of course, I did what is required in these situations – I looked on Youtube for inspiration. And boy, is there a plethora of views and options on the subject on that marvelous medium!

My understanding is that bullet journalling simplifies the process of reflection, planning and scheduling. Rather than a normal diary or weekly planner, the bullet journal is infinitely customisable (perhaps a word I just made up?). You can personalise it for your needs, add the bits that help you and ditch the elements that do not. Perhaps put a gratitude list in there – always good – and a page of thoughts and inspirations for the future. The world is your oyster. Or your bullet journal. The title still leaves me cold, but I guess that is not the point.

The point in our house is that it makes keeping a diary, and the associated planning and – ahem – discipline of this, cool and groovy for blokes. MB has been enjoying his bullet journal for months, and has found a method that works for him.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because the most important thing about planning is what happens when our plans are derailed. The rise in popularity of the bullet journal testifies to the import many put on planning, recording and reflecting on our lives in a manageable way.

Of course, we cannot plan our lives to the letter. Our plans inevitably can get derailed, and what was most important that day gets bumped off the schedule. It is what we choose to do next that is key.

Rather than that important thing being missed off altogether, we can stop the panic or gerbil-wheel of urgent tasks, and take a breath. And re-schedule the important thing that got missed off the day before.

This sounds so ridiculously simple and obvious. But ask yourself, how often do important things get bumped off your day repeatedly, day after day under the never ending tsunami of urgent tasks, until they disappear into the chasm of “I’ll do it one day when I’m less busy”? Important things are often life giving or enhancing, and are rooted in our values. This is worth paying attention to, or we risk getting onto the slippery slope of burnout.

The bullet journal is simply a tool. Disruptions occur daily, that is life. But if something is really important to you, make time to do it. A quieter day without disruptions is not coming.

 

 

Choosing to take an imperfect first step towards your dreams.

You’ve got big dreams.

You are going to declutter the house. Clear out the garage.

Set up your own business.

Write a book.

Have a long awaited family gathering.

Simplify your lifestyle and move somewhere quiet.

Order all your photographs and print them out to enjoy them rather than them taking up space on the computer.

What are your dreams?

What are your dreams?

And how long has that dream been in the planning stage?

Sometimes we plan, and wait, and plan some more. We have a dream of how we want things to be. But sometimes we can be so crippled by our fears that it is easier to remain at the planning stage. Fear of –

  • things not working out as we had planned (or hoped)
  • starting something that grows into a monster
  • not seeing it through to the end and feeling a failure (again)
  • other’s expectations of us
  • all things unexpected – costs, time, energy investment
  • not being taken seriously
  • looking foolish when it all goes pear-shaped
  • complete failure, of our dream not working out at all.

Fear of failure can so consume us that we become obsessed with creating the perfect plan, and paralysed into not actually taking any steps towards achieving that plan.

Some of those dreams I opened with have less riding on them than others. If I don’t get the garage cleared out or the photos sorted, the world is not going to come to an end, and no one else really suffers terribly. Starting a business, writing a book, moving to a completely different lifestyle, going back to full time study – these are much bigger dreams with greater investment and more to lose.

But all dreams are important, and common denominator is self belief.

Do I believe in myself enough – my own skills and abilities, my passion to see this dream become a reality, and my motivation and discipline – to see it through?

When we reach small, easily achievable dreams, our confidence grows, we learn more about ourselves and how we work. And it becomes that little bit easier to reach for something slightly further up the mountain.

When I was finishing my life coach training, I still had my job as a physiotherapist. The thought of leaving that job, setting up as a coach and starting my own business was terrifying. There was so much at stake, and all the fears mentioned above took up residence in my mind like so many gruesome monsters.

What helped hugely were some words of great wisdom from the coach who trained me:

take imperfect action.

The danger is that you become so bogged down in trying to get it all perfect that you don’t get started.

She used the marvelous phrase – analysis paralysis.

This is the idea that you spend so long analysing your plan…

…tweaking and changing it….re-doing your spreadsheet of action steps….colour coding your goals list….revisiting all your theory and learning….asking anyone and everyone for advice…

….that you don’t actually get started on the plan at all.

The longer you take to get started, the more likely you are to suffer from analysis paralysis. What will happen if you do nothing? Nothing. Becomes entirely self-fulfilling.

So simply as a way of getting started, do something. Take an imperfect first step.

How much do you want those dreams? Choose to take an imperfect first step, and the next step will follow.

[and if this has prompted you to reconnect with a dream, and you would like support, structure and accountability in taking those steps, get in touch and we can do this together. It’s what I do!]

 

 

Going back to school (after all these years…)

What would you say to yourself of 30 years ago?

Life skills at school

Life skills at school

This was the intriguing situation I found myself in last week. Along with three other ‘grown ups’, I was asked to share what I considered to be essential life skills with approximately 100 16/17 year olds. These were the new S6 pupils at elder daughter’s secondary school, and the event was part of an induction week in preparation for their final year at school.

Our brief was to talk about our own careers, and share the life skills we believed were most important for these youngsters to learn as they embarked on life beyond the confines of school. At face value, this was quite a straightforward request. We could all have talked off the cuff about how we ended up doing what we do and being where we are. But as we discussed our respective inputs before the event, we agreed that there was rather more to this than first met the eye.

What would you say to a 16 year old that would be relevant, of interest, and would catch their attention?

What would you say that would stay with them beyond the event? That would go deep enough to penetrate the layers of post modern, consumerist, instant social media culture in which they live?

As it happens, and with no prior consultation, each of us said a version of the same thing

the importance of hard work, of developing good character and communication skills, of growing in self awareness and self confidence.

Learning resilience. Believing in who you are on the inside, and not in the false persona of you that has to have the latest and the newest whatever-it-is because that is what society tells you.

Learning not to be motivated by instant gratification but exercising self control and self discipline – be it in the areas of money, studying, health. So un-cool and un-glamorous, but heartfelt and impassioned pleas from all of us.

I left school nearly 30 years ago. What would I have taken on board and actually absorbed at that age that would have positively influenced the life I have led since?

My words to them were that they had far more power than they realised – power to be self aware, power to listen with a view to understanding, power to delay gratification, and power to choose.

This last for me is key, and ties in with my musings here over recent weeks:

No one else can take responsibility for my life except me.

The only aspect of life that I can consistently work on over which I have control is – me.

I can choose how I behave, how I speak, how I respond to challenges and difficulties, how I prioritise my time.

Would I have heard that and taken that on board at age 16? Would you?

How prepared am I to take that on board now?

This week I had a joyous catching-up with a precious friend from college. We laughed a lot about what we were like then, and talked about what life is like now and how our perspectives have changed. Much has happened in the intervening 26 years, and for us both, the foundational principle we have learned is that life is transient and very precious.

And it struck me that I, more than ever, need to heed my closing words on life skills to the S6 young folk –

take some time to consider not only what you want to do in life, but who you want to be.

The power of letting go – choosing to forgive.

Thinking back over thLetting gois past week, how many people have you hurt, intentionally or not?

Wham – that got your attention.

Let’s get stuck right in this week, no beating about the bush.

To how many of those people have you apologised?

Another thought – how many people have hurt you – through what they have or have not said or done?

In lasts week’s blog, I talked about the importance of choosing to say sorry. To swallow pride, and let go of fear and instead choose humble courage  in making that first move towards restoration of a hurt relationship. Saying sorry and asking for forgiveness is hard. But this the route back to reconciliation and healing, no matter how trivial or monumental the original wrong.

But when we are on the receiving end of hurt, that creates a whole different situation.

Someone causes us real pain through an unkind word, a betrayal, a lack of understanding, a thoughtless act. If that person comes to us to apologise and seek forgiveness, we have it in us to release them and – crucially – release ourselves from the impasse created.

The problem lies when there is no apology forthcoming, especially if it appears that the other person is gloriously oblivious to the hurt they have caused us and seem to be going about their life quite free whilst we are trapped in seething hurt, anger, resentment, bitterness, rage.

Not a pretty picture is it.

Think back again over the past week, and the people who have hurt you in some way. Now imagine the cumulative impact of each hurt building on the last. Hurt on hurt, crushing and constricting your very soul, leaving no space for hope or freedom or happiness.

As someone (there is debate about who) once famously said,

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

I have spoken about this before, and will no doubt do so again.

Because I, like you, am a very flawed human with a short memory for the important lessons in life. It is easy to nurse our hurts because it allows us to feel justified in thinking or speaking ill of the one who hurt us. We want them to have their just desserts and for everyone else to know how much we have been wronged.

But we have power to choose – to choose to let go and thus choose release, peace and freedom. It may not bring about restoration of the relationship because we can only be responsible for ourselves and our own reactions.

There is so much more that could be said about this – as a coach, my role is in part to help people take stock of where they are and move forward to where they want to be, and that sometimes involves identifying hurts and letting go of both them and the person responsible. This is a complex and difficult process, and not one to be taken lightly.

I feel the weight of this as I write, as I think back on the week that has past.

Because what strikes me most forcibly about the central importance of letting go of hurts and forgiving the responsible party is this –

Life is too short and people are too precious.

In another week of horrific world wide events that have suddenly and shockingly cut short the lives of many, it seems such a staggering waste of time and energy to hold a grudge. And such a tragedy when people are suddenly lost to us without reconciliation.

Don’t wait to forgive someone and let go of that hurt. Life is short and unpredictable, and both you and they are too important and too precious.

Choosing to say sorry – the power of apology.

What power is there in saying sorry?

What power is there in saying sorry?

Talking about pride inevitably leads to the need for saying sorry – after all, it is one of life’s biggest clichés that pride comes before a fall. The child learning to walk that we thought about last week falls repeatedly, but generally gets back up again and has another shot. Perhaps with a few tears, perhaps needing some reassurance from a nearby provider of TLC.

But falls over, realises the need to get back up, and is not afraid to try again. How willing are we to take the same approach? When we get it wrong, how often does our pride keep us flat on our faces in our mistakes, unwilling to say sorry and seek to make amends?

We all make mistakes – to err is human after all. None of us is perfect, and saying sorry is about taking personal responsibility for our actions. We get it wrong in so many ways – by what we say and do, or what we fail to say and do. Sins of omission or sins of commission both.

Imagine a situation where two parties have fallen out.

Years have passed, but there have been no words exchanged between them, despite a previous close friendship. The cause of the fall out is so far in the distant past as to have been forgotten, but pride keeps both parties walled up behind an unwillingness to make the first move towards apology and reconciliation.

Strikes me as being desperately sad, and a tragic waste.

Even sadder when this happens within families, and loved ones go to their graves embittered with unspoken hurts and resentments, too consumed by pride or fear to break down barriers and regain love and hope.

The 1970 film Love Story contained the famous line,

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

The idea behind this is that unconditional love should enable us to make allowances for people to an unlimited degree, despite their failings. To me, this is not only wrong, but very damaging. The toxic combination of hurt, resentment, unforgiveness and bitterness that can ensue in the absence of true repentance and forgiveness can literally poison someone from the inside, eating them alive. [Of course, herein lies a different choice – choosing to forgive when there is no apology forthcoming – more next week.]

What do we want to be known for?

Admitting we got it wrong and saying sorry takes courage and humility. A willingness to accept responsibility for our own actions.

Perhaps it is easier to apportion blame onto the other, to play the victim, to seek to excuse our behaviour with endless mediating factors.

But who does that make us? What example are we giving to those around us?

When we have been the cause of hurt, of whatever magnitude, the route back to healing and restoration comes through those two most courageous words

I’m sorry.”

Followed by the equally humble,

Can you forgive me?”

It can be tempting to add qualifiers and justifiers to excuse ourselves or try and save face. But a simple, unconditional apology has the potential to powerfully unlock an impasse of hurt and prevent it escalating into resentment and bitterness. It allows the wronged party to offer forgiveness, releases them from hurt and potential bitterness.

When have there been times in your life that you have missed an opportunity to say sorry? What situation did that lead to, and what difference would a humble apology have made?

Is there a situation of hurt or disconnect that you find yourself in just now that is of your own making?

Perhaps a little self reflection: What is that relationship worth – more or less than your own pride?

Picture that relationship restored and healthy. What would a good outcome be?

Then make a choice – to let go of pride and fear, and say sorry.

Choosing not to be too proud.

Choosing not to be too proudImagine a young child learning to walk.

They fall over repeatedly, but choose to get up again and have another shot. Just imagine now if instead, their reaction was – this is too hard, I am failing too often, never going to get the hang of this, too humiliating to be failing constantly in front of all these people. I’m too proud to keep getting this wrong. I’ll give this walking lark a miss and stick with crawling. Imagine the impact on the human race. Now of course this is a ludicrous scenario (although given how fast our younger child could bum-shuffle about, it’s a wonder that she ever bothered with walking at all).

But the point is a clear one – if we give up the first time we make a mistake because we are too proud to admit we got it wrong, we will get absolutely nowhere in life.

Now this seems to fly in the face of what I was talking about last week, about making the choice to commit to something rather than taking the on-the-fence option of saying, I’ll try.

When the context for trying is something new and uncertain that we are learning, then the choice here is not being too proud to keep trying when we get it wrong.

When we repeatedly try and fail at something, if we choose not to be too proud, there is scope to learn and grow character and maturity. Choosing not to be too proud means we can enlist the help of others, rather than being too self-reliant. That also takes bravery and vulnerability, but opens the way for mutual support, and the opportunity to value and affirm the helper in their helping.

But for me, the choosing not to be too proud is more related to that answer of “I’ll try” in response to a request. What is going on there?

To not be too proud to say:

No, I am sorry I can’t do that”

– to acknowledge that as a human being I have finite resources and simply can’t do everything.

For a long time, I have been quite heavily invested in being a high-energy, can-do, hold-it-all-together sort of person. Capable, competent, organised, efficient, independent. And sometimes, if I am honest, I can come across as intimidating, exhausting, over bearing.

People might well want to offer to help in a certain situation, but without even a chink of vulnerability or human frailty in my seeming ability to get-things-done, why would they?

Choosing not to be too proud can be about saying,

I can’t do it all. I need help. I am frail, weak, human and I don’t have unlimited resources.

It can be about acknowledging that our way of doing something might not be the only way, or the best way. It might involve surrendering some control and allowing others in, and that might get messy.

When we are motivated by trying to help everyone around us and meet all the needs that come our way, sometimes deep down inside there is a pride in that – our identity is tied to our ability to meet the needs of others, and if we weren’t able to do this, who would that make us?

Perhaps, our identity is tied to being competent and strong, and there is pride in not showing any sign of weakness or vulnerability.

Don’t be too proud to say, I can’t do it all. I have limited resources.

Don’t be too proud to say, I got it wrong, can you help me or be patient while I try again?

Don’t be too proud to say, I have needs too.

Choosing not to be too proud – where would some honest reflection on that question take you?

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