LEARN TO ACCEPT THE CIRCUMSTANCES
Q: My friend has an autistic six-year-old son. She confided in me that she is at her wits’ end and feels like putting him in a foster home. She also feels guilty for giving birth to him. I feel helpless listening to her endless, repetitious and heart-breaking stories. I also feel worn out and sometimes even avoid her to give myself some space. Who can help her best: a counsellor, coach, therapist, religious leader or doctor? Please help me as she is a good friend of mine.
A: I would feel a life coach is what your friend needs more than the others. Instead of advising her what to do as many other helping professionals will do, a life coach will help her to be more accepting of her son’s conditions and the circumstances of her life. They will then support her to make the best of things around her. No amount of coaxing or listening will help. And doing nothing will not help as well! She needs a professional who can help her to take charge and make the best of her life again.
Essentially, what a life coach does is to minimise the impact of the ‘misfortunes’ on her life and see this as a test of her love for the child and how she can grow strong enough to face this and the other challenges of the world. The life coach will also help her see other misfortunes bigger than hers. Also, she will be made to see living examples of how other parents are managing their autistic children successfully. She will also be encouraged to join networking groups that are made up of parents who have autistic children so that they can share and learn from one another. These are just some examples of what a life coach can do more for his/her friend.
- What can you do to convince your friend to seek help?
- What will you tell her?
- What role can you play to support her so that she does not get more miserable in her life?
- What can you do to tell her she is not alone in this?
LIVING PERFECTLY IN AN IMPERFECT WORLD
Q: It is becoming difficult for me to work in my organisation. The struggle to manage the realities of the workplace and living my Buddhist beliefs is becoming too much for me. I have to deal with very difficult and unreasonable people and I have to be understanding and adjust to ‘tough nuts’ in my organisation at the same time. What do I need to do to stay happy or is it time for me to move out of this place?
A: Your issue is your belief that you must live a 100 per cent perfect life where you have no conflict but only peace and harmony with everyone in your organisation and in this world. In reality, you know it is near impossible for this to happen to you or anyone. In Coaching, we describe such a person as ‘significant’. They want perfection, set sky-high rules for themselves and others because they are afraid to fail. But in reality, they fail badly because they are seeking something that is unreal.
It is your perception rather than the world that is wrong. Quitting or doing anything else to avoid the situation will never make you happier. As a leader, I would suggest you deal with it squarely rather than taking flight from it. Learn to live in an imperfect world. Adopt a ‘game’ outlook where you take it easy and enjoy the life you have. There is so much ahead of you.
- What are the religious values that are currently in conflict with your workplace duties?
- What is the worst that can happen if you allow things to take its course?
- What are you really afraid of accepting? How is this helping to make you happy?
- How can you still see harmony between this belief and what you need to do as a responsible person?
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