Bruce came to coaching because he wanted to manage his emotions and get some new tools to help with song writing. He told me he was a person with Asperger’s and there were times where he felt his feelings were taking over his life. This meant that he could experience intense anger towards himself and others. There were times he would literally want to explode. He wanted to be able to think past these moments and regain control of himself.
His goal for transformational coaching was to work with these emotions and find ways to let his anger settle.
Getting aware of what was going on day to day/ applying already successful techniques to other situations. The first thing Bruce worked on was his understanding of how human emotions operated and he started to notice those moments when emotions felt helpful.
He began to build a ‘toolbox’ of these helpful moments. He used a journal to record those times it felt like progress had been made. He looked back at previous situations that would have been overwhelming and noted down when he was able to use the developing toolbox successfully. He concluded that he should introduce forgiveness into his thinking- that it’s ok to feel whatever it is, that there is power in taking steps to do something about difficult feelings, that he could then handle those situations in future. He realised “Progress isn’t an upward trajectory.”
Taking the time to experiment with new techniques. Having found some techniques that worked, Bruce spent time seeing what worked best. This process helped him see he usually had an answer for how to proceed in most situations. He learned it was ok to sit with a feeling if he wasn’t sure. He started to replace older negative self-narratives with newer shinier self-confident ones. The result of this was he felt relieved, it was like “riding a bike when someone lets go and you’re doing it on your own.”
Bruce said it was now possible to think about the past, moments of being an awkward teenager. “You were 16,” he said, “did you know any better?”. He also concluded that “If you don’t give yourself self-love, other people won’t necessarily.”
Bruce noticed some changes:
Firstly, he said that “Once you tap into the truth and failure is part of things, you can accept ‘I can be better next time but now can I learn from that?’” This was the freedom he talked about. He could rely on being able to get from under the past.
Secondly, he said “You are in control and you always have been. The Inner Critic can make you feel difficult, but once you’ve been in the driving seat you can steer. It can change your life. From ‘chump’ to ‘acceptance.’” He felt strong. He felt resilient.
Conclusions? Bruce’s realisation was that you can go from the edge of feeling suicidal to finding ways to live with your demons and find a balance. That you can fall in love with that process. “This means you can welcome the challenges because you know how you can learn from them,” he said.
At this point he knew it was time to end his coaching. He could find his way through every day. He could sense his own strength and feel proud.
#Aspergers #difficultfeelings #courage #transformation