"Inspiration for When Times Get Tough,"
Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ Coach
At EQ Central, we believe in solution-oriented
problem-solving, not emotion-oriented problem-solving.
Actually that's one of the major differences, I think,
between coaching and therapy.
CLIENT: My house is burning down!
THERAPIST: Oh, you must feel scared.
COACH: Well don't just stand there, call the fire department.
When I was in my twenties and the crisis-du-jour at that
stage of life was a backed up toilet, a freezer gone bad, or
a fallen soufflé, I went into denial when my mother-in-law
said, "Things come in threes. That way you get them over with."
It's often been true, except when they came in 4s and 5s.
Put it this way, "there are times . that try men's souls."
How do we get through them?
· Watching "Rocky," or "Chariots of Fire"
· Quotations: "When you get into a tight place and
everything goes against you until it seems that you cannot
hold on for a minute longer, never give up then, for that is
just the place and time that the tide will turn." ~ Harriet
· Inspirational websites - http://www.susandunn.cc/inspirational_quotations.htm
· Music! Read about Beethoven's life-going deaf, when music
was his life-how he took a board and placed it between his
collarbone and the piano strings so he could feel the
vibrations. And then listen to his "Eroica."
· Go talk with someone. Quite often you hear something
worse than what's going on in your life. There's truth to -
"If all of our problems were strung line-to-line, You would
take yours, and I would take mine." Is it so bad, I think,
that my house won't sell, when Phyllis has just found out
her husband has Alzheimer's?
· Find a listener-a coach, therapist, minister, healer,
or animal companion. The reason we love dogs, someone said, is
because they never ask us what's wrong.
· Schedule massages; those, and a therapist will bolster
your immune system which has just taken a hit. "Emotions"
are all over our bodies.
· Vision getting back up again, 9 times, now 10. It
doesn't matter how many times you go down, as long as you
get back up one more time than you get knocked down.
· Study Resilience, an EQ competency. As I say in my
distance learning course "Resilience," it the ultimate
· Put a pencil crosswise in your mouth and make like
a smile, and enjoy the physiological benefits.
· Sometimes, unless it's a real tragedy, get excited.
"Watch out for emergencies," said Fritz Reiner. "They are
your big chance."
· This is so old and so good - the Chinese symbol for crisis
is on my office wall - crisis = danger + opportunity. Look
here: http://pw1.netcom.com/~spritex/crisis.gif .
· Know that one day you'll understand. I always have.
We must live forward and understand backward. If it's too big to
wrap my mind around, I don't.
· Practice the EQ competency of being adamantly and
relentlessly self-forgiving. "A mistake in judgment is seldom
fatal, but too much anxiety about judgment is."
· "Let go and let God."
· Keep your knees bent, an analogy from water skiing. If
you let fear overtake you and get brittle, you'll get
creamed. Be like a 4 year old learning to ski. Go with it.
· I affirm that I am not hopeless and helpless. If it comes
down to only this, and once or twice it has, I remember
Victor Frankl's words: "Everything can be taken from a man
but one thing: the last of the human freedoms-to choose
one's attitude in any given set of circumstances-to choose
one's own way."
· Choose to use the better defense mechanisms [smile].
Rationalize (this hot poker in my eye really isn't so bad)
instead of getting paranoid, or getting drunk.
· Get in touch with my body. As coach Suzanne Brown says,
this puts the bOuNCe back in the Brainiac . or the Sad One.
I dance, or hike, or swim.
· Have faith that everything always works out for the
· Understand, from experience, that "this too shall
· History - Churchill and his "Never give up," and he said
he chose to be optimistic because he couldn't live any other
way, and that success was tripping from failure to failure
without losing your enthusiasm.
· Call the friend who will say "Poor Baby," or I call the
one who will give me a kick in the butt, whichever you need.
That's why it's nice to have lots of friends.
· Call in the favor with your 'ultimate friend' - this
time she listens to you talk/cry/whine/scream/swear and say
nothing. Your turn.
· Do something that makes me sweat.
· Find a child and let it nurture me.
· Take action when you can to remedy it.
· And, like the 12-steppers, pray for the wisdom to
understand what you can fix, and what you can't, and to be
at peace with it.
· Ask for help, and accept someone's approximation of
And I expect to be blessed. I remind myself of the many
times I've walked out into the garden, or been sitting at an
outdoor graduation all unawares, and a butterfly has come
and lighted on my shoulder.
Or yesterday, when I walked out to water the garden and
somehow made myself a rainbow.
Life is like that!
©Susan Dunn, MA Clinical Psychology, The EQ CoachT,
http://www.susandunn.cc . Susan is the author of "Live Your
Life with Emotional Intelligence." We offer customized
coaching programs, EQ coaching is included FREE with every
one-month coaching contract.
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