You’re Brainwashing People

The mother of one of my client’s accused me of brainwashing her daughter.

 

My first instinct was to be pissed. Super pissed.

 

“Who does she think she is? How dare she? She’s never even been coached by me!”

 

My brain was having a field day with this piece of information.

 

I was making this one judgment mean all sorts of things about me.

 

Like, I wasn’t a good coach, my coaching wasn’t working, and I didn’t know what I was doing.

 

My brain told me that this meant I was failing and was going to continue to fail.  I SPUN OUT over this.

 

That was my old programming talking.

 

So I asked for coaching on it from another coach (good coaches get coached too).

 

Do you know what she said to me? “She’s right; we do brainwash people.” 

 

There I sat, wide-eyed, mouth open and slightly irritated that my coach wasn’t taking my side (even though I knew she wasn’t supposed to).

 

She reminded me that when someone says something that causes a knee jerk visceral response, it’s because there’s a part of us that believes it’s true.

 

My anger, irritation, and discomfort were coming from my objection to the truth in her judgment.

 

But the fact is, there is a little bit of truth to all judgments.  We are all bitchy, rude, sarcastic, unkind, and judgmental sometimes. That’s what makes us human.

 

The mom WAS right, I am brainwashing people with coaching.

 

Most of us are “brainwashed” to believe that people and their behavior are the cause of our pain. We are programmed to believe that the people in our lives need to act a certain way so we can feel better.

 

I am re-programming, people to believe their thoughts are the cause of their emotions, not their kids, husband, ex-husband, or stepkids. 

 

That mom, of my client, she wasn’t upset because I was brainwashing her daughter.

She was upset that I wasn’t brainwashing her daughter to behave how SHE wanted her to.

 

She wanted her daughter to behave a certain way so she could feel better.

 

The Mom didn’t know she could just change how she was thinking, to change how she was feeling.

 

The Mom didn’t realize that she was brainwashed too.

 

We are all brainwashed to some extent by the things we’ve been taught, beliefs we’ve held onto, and thoughts we’ve never questioned.

But each one of us has the power and agency to analyze our ideas, beliefs, behaviors and decide whether or not they are creating the results we want in our lives.

 

I choose to be deliberate about mine, are you?

It’s All Their Fault

We LOVE to blame others for our pain, amirite?

 

That coworker is so annoying.

 

Your kids are exhausting.

 

The traffic made you late.

 

Your mother-in-law drives you nuts.

 

Blame is something we are taught as a child, and then we hone the skill as adults.

 

Blame feels gratifying, vindicating even.

 

I was a big fan of blame. Blame, and I were hella close. I wielded blame like a weapon.

 

It was my job’s fault I was miserable, stressed, and fat.

 

It was my husband’s fault I was exhausted because he didn’t help with the dishes, laundry, or the house.

 

And it was the stress of blending a family that made me look so forward to that glass of wine at night.

 

Why did I blame everyone and everything? Because it was easier.

 

If I blamed someone or something else, then I didn’t have to look at me and my actions.

 

Stepping back and taking responsibility would be hard. It would be uncomfortable.

 

Our brains don’t like us to get uncomfortable.

 

Blame keeps us comfortable in the familiar discomfort of being the victim.

 

Blame keeps us powerless and at the emotional mercy of everyone and thing around us.

 

Placing blame was easy, but it wasn’t fucking fixing anything.

 

I was gained weight because I was overeating and not working out.

 

My job stressed me out because I didn’t draw boundaries and maintain them.

 

My husband didn’t help around the house because I didn’t let him.

 

I was afraid he wouldn’t “do it right.”

 

I drank wine so I wouldn’t have to feel stressed, tense, and restless.

 

I was the only person to blame. I was the problem.

 

The beauty of this was that it meant I was also the solution.

 

I didn’t have to change jobs.

 

I didn’t have to change my husband.

 

I didn’t have to drink wine.

 

I just had to work on me.

I had to work on my brain.

 

Yes, it was uncomfortable.

 

No, it wasn’t easy.

 

But it was 100% empowering, and I’ll take the blame for that, any day.

It’s Not Supposed to be This Hard

It’s not supposed to be this hard.

 

I remember sitting in the waiting room of our Therapist’s office, patiently waiting for him to retrieve me.

 

I couldn’t help but wonder, is it supposed to be this hard?

 

Should being in a relationship be this hard?

 

Should we be fighting this much?

 

Is it normal that the kids are bickering so much?

 

If it’s meant to be, should it take this much work?

 

Is this normal?

 

I believed it wasn’t, and that belief was making me miserable.

 

So, I blamed everyone and everything else for my misery.

 

I blamed the exes for being difficult.

 

I blamed my husband for disagreeing with me.

 

I blamed the courts for not supporting us. 

 

The more I blamed, the more I tried to control, which only proved how little control I had, and the more miserable I became to the point I was clinically depressed

 

Therapy saved my life. Therapy saved my marriage. But therapy wasn’t making me happy.

 

Nothing was making me happy.

 

Why?

 

Because happiness is an inside job.

 

It’s something we give to ourselves.

 

Happiness didn’t happen until I started to own my shit.

 

Change requires awareness and taking responsibility.

 

I had to become aware of my thoughts and beliefs and how they were causing me to show up in my life.

 

I had to take responsibility for how I had behaved and realized the experience I had was one I had created.

 

Because I believed that “It shouldn’t be this hard,” I felt like everything I was doing was wrong.

 

I was afraid it meant I was failing as a mom and wife

 

I was terrified of failing, so I tried to hold on tighter, have more control, which only caused more tension and arguments.

 

I was perpetuating my misery by holding on to this belief.

 

The truth is blending a family comes with challenges, but you are the one who makes it hard, or not.

 

Not sure where to start?

 

Neither did I, let me help you.

 

Together we can control the chaos of your mind and your family!