Katie Woods-Ruddick KWR Learning and Development, NLP Master Practitioner and Coach.
Working with the talented Claire Bradshaw whilst attending Florence’s inaugural NLP Master Practitioner course, I identified a personal trait, a pattern, which I wanted to break as it was no longer serving me or others well………
I was curious to discover personal insights into how during a coaching session I am able to apply the questioning and listening skills that are useful in these environments allowing people to find their own solutions, and yet on a personal level, when close friends, colleagues and family are faced with stressful, emotional and challenging situations a desire to protect them takes over. The session with Claire concluded with the discovery and recognition that it is okay to let people you love hurt and letting people make things right for themselves would serve everyone much better. This was a pattern that needed breaking!!
I had the opportunity later in the course to be superbly guided through the thought provoking exercise “Imprinting” by Jim Maguire and it provided further insights into how this pattern had developed even more surprisingly where and when it all began!
As the unconscious mind has continued to process this information the desire to ‘protect people’ and ‘make everything okay’ for them has seemed to reduce perhaps even diminish. The benefits of not feeling responsible for others happiness and the need to ‘remove’ any pain has been quite liberating and a recent situation has really tested how far I have moved on.
My oldest and dearest friend recently received the devastating news that her husband was terminally ill. During the initial conversation I was faced with a huge limiting belief of “I can’t do this, I am not strong enough.” The old me would have sprung into action and said comforting words and described what actions would be needed to protect and make the pain go away.
However there has been a shift in me, and my response was simply to remind my friend that my support was unconditional and available at any time that it was required, and would be in whatever form she needed. There was no suggestion of what I could do to help or what I thought would make things better / easier, this was something I knew she could work out for herself. Her journey has been and will continue to be filled with a range of emotions and my support will continue as and when she asks / requires. I know I can’t take away the pain but that’s not my place to do so, finding her own way through will serve her well.
My friend, who happily throughout her adult life has allowed others to sort out finances, legal aspects, and other such ‘grown up’ tasks, never ceases to amaze me on a daily basis. From sorting out a car that won’t start, dealing with a broken boiler, meeting with social workers and nurses, all whilst caring for her sick husband and supporting their children. The friend who once said “I cant do this, I am not strong enough,” is barely recognizable.
I know that whilst the situation dictates sadness and sorrow, it has also brought forward newfound skills, confidence and courage; in the darkest of hours she has found a way to shine. She now has the knowledge that she can cope and she is strong enough and this will serve her well in the coming months / years.
Seeing what she has achieved, knowing what she might not have, had the old ‘protective me’ appeared, has signified an unhelpful pattern well and truly broken!