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?