Coaching session in the spotlight: how to uncover unconsious behavior. — Helping you get in tune so you can bloom
I like to get to know different types of coaches to learn from. So over the last 20 years or so I’ve worked with different coaches as me being the client. I’m a firm believer in letting other people in your life with wisdom and insights of their own so you can grow from their knowledge and wisdom.
When something in my life keeps nagging and I can’t seem to solve it on my own, I look for someone who can help me with it. I always look for someone new so I can learn new things, insights, and ways of working.
But I’ve always had a “love-hate”- relationship with my coaches. I never felt comfortable. I never had the feeling that one of those coaches got to the core of me. I always ended up leaving a little bit frustrated as if things were still left unsaid and left uncovered. As if things were missed that I wanted those coaches to see and bring to the surface.
As I never really understood what that feeling was, I never really dove into it. Why didn’t I?
The reason I sought out another coach at this time was because I’m experiencing certain emotional events that I experienced back in 2014. It’s like a rerun but somewhat different. I talk about this specific topic in my workbook.
As I’m re-experiencing certain things I know I’ve missed the lesson in it for me the first time and I feel that I’m missing it now again. I feel that I’m not fully diving into this experience and I’m missing the cues in my circumstances.
So last week I went to my new coach. I had the intention for these talks to NOT stay on the superficial level of experiential, circumstantial, “relationship-ential” levels of conversation. I wanted to dive deeper into the underlying concepts and beliefs. I wanted to go beyond the stories and dive right into what lies behind/underneath these stories.
And by this, I mean talking about “how this and that has happened to me and how that has made me feel”, “how my life consists of this and that”. I wanted to go beyond “this and that”, beyond my work, my money issues, my dogs, my relationships….I wanted to go beyond.
The session with my coach
So I started our conversation with expressing my intention for “not wanting to talk about the stories”.
And the most interesting thing happened after that. This is what happened during our first session:
- I expressed my above-mentioned intention.
- She expressed her need to “get to know me”.
- I replied that I didn’t want to talk about the stories but go beyond that and elaborated on that.
- She expressed her need for more context.
- I tried to explain more about the concepts that interested me and how I wanted to talk about that instead of the stories.
- It was still too vague for her and she still needed more.
- I started to feel uncomfortable and a little bit irritated. As if I needed to help her help me.
- I proposed that she asked questions that I could answer.
- She asked questions.
- Those questions led to me telling her about the year 2014 and what happened during that year as well as about the years after that and how I’m re-experiencing.
- She started to talk about emotions and asked how it was for me to talk about this and if I could let those emotions be.
- I got a little bit irritated because I have no trouble expressing my emotions. I realized and expressed at that moment that I didn’t want to talk about this (as I expressed at the beginning of our session) because I didn’t feel comfortable sharing this during our first session. I didn’t feel the trust needed for that to happen. I didn’t feel the openness to talk about those events.
I realized at that moment that in every coach session I ever had, I ignored my own feeling and talked about things that I didn’t want to talk about YET. I needed some time and space to feel comfortable in order to open up and share what’s inside of me.
I never felt comfortable and therefore never truly opened up.
I have always ignored my own inner compass telling me I wanted to slow down in these sessions. This was a huge insight for me.
- She seemed a bit surprised that I didn’t feel comfortable enough yet and asked how I interpreted this session and the room we’re in.
- I replied that it feels “professional” to me and that I have a certain distance within myself.
- She replied that she felt that distance before.
I got a little bit irritated — again- because I believe that your own feelings as a coach are a huge guideline in the sessions and I wondered why she didn’t use her feeling to interpret what’s happening with me en between her and I.
- We ended the session talking some more about the stories that I intended not to talk about.
After the session, I got home and I felt extremely tired, had a headache and felt disgusted. I felt that I ignored my inner guidance and my body was reacting intensely to that.
I went to bed early that day and the next day I started writing to uncover what happened in that session. Because in a coaching session certain unconscious patterns are being played out just as in ordinary life. The way you talk, the way you move is the same as your behavior outside the coaching room and by looking at what happened you can uncover unconscious behavioral patterns and beliefs that you can work on.
What I uncovered from that session.
At points 1, 3 and 5 I tried to explain what my intention and desire was.
Underlying this is my true desire of wanting to feel comfortable first. As this was yet unconscious I tried to talk with my coach in such a way that I didn’t go too deep into details too soon (or too deep into details, period!), as my intention was to uncover the underlying patterns.
- My conscious pattern is staying vague and talking about concepts.
- My desire is feeling comfortable and safe. In this case, comfortable enough to talk about the things I want to talk about when I’m ready.
- My unconscious pattern is fear of being my true self and therefore I’m afraid to express my true desire and act upon my desire of feeling comfortable and safe before opening up.
At point 8 I gave away my say in the process by asking her to ask the questions so she would get her need for context and more info, thereby ignoring my own desires and needs.
Underlying this was the fear of speaking my truth and being ridiculed, ignored or being wronged for doing so.
- My conscious pattern is to give up my strength and say during an interaction with someone where our needs differ.
- My desire is to speak my truth and stay true to myself in such an interaction. In this case staying true to my own desire to not talk about the details and make sure I feel comfortable.
- My unconscious pattern is fear of being my true self and I give away my own power by feeling and thinking that the other person is more important than I am.
At point 10 I crossed my inner boundary by doing something that I didn’t want to do.
Underlying this was the same fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of being ridiculed. Fear of being wrong. To not be rejected or ridiculed I opened up at the expense of my own needs.
- My conscious pattern is to ignore my inner compass and my own needs and to do, be and say what is expected in that situation.
- My desire is to stand in my truth and to stay true to my own needs. In this case, staying true to my intention to not talk about the details. No matter what the circumstances, no matter how strong her need for more context is. If I’m not ready, I’m not ready.
- My unconscious pattern is fear of being my true self and therefore I don’t speak my truth and I put other people’s needs before my own.
As staying true to myself is on the one hand still an unconscious process, on the other hand, I do react strongly when I don’t stay true to myself. I felt disgusted, tired and awful after the session.
Not because my coach is awful, but because I crossed my own inner boundaries.
The desire to stay true to myself has become so strong that I physically react when I don’t. This was the catalyst for me to dive deep into this session and uncover why I felt so awful.
And with that I found the answer to my question as to why I never felt comfortable with my coaches and why I always had the feeling something was still uncovered, as well as missing an opportunity to speak my truth and breath through the fear and analyzing that missed opportunity so I could do differently in the future.
How you can benefit from this
So, how can you use this story to your benefit?
First of all, you can use it as an example and see how this process can benefit you in your journey to living more consciously. You can use the format I used for your interactions and experiences.
Second, I hope this motivates you to look closely at your interactions and experiences to see what you do and why you do what you do. Are you playing out a certain pattern? Are you saying and being the person you truly are? Are you afraid of your own truth?
Lastly, by being more in line with who you truly are you are an inspiration to the people around you. You are an example to those who secretly want what you are and are afraid to truly be themselves.
The key to this story is two-fold.
- Feeling your emotions is beneficial for your personal growth. Emotions are your guidance system as to what is good and bad for you. When something happens that makes you feel real bad it’s important to feel that emotion in order to transform it.The emotion will keep surfacing when not worked through, whether that’s in repeating thoughts, tension or bad sleep. The emotion is telling you, you need to take action and step up for yourself. The emotion is your guide as well into what went wrong (or well) and can help you direct your future thoughts and behaviors to be more aligned with who you truly are.
- Analyzing your emotion and what triggered that emotion can help you in uncovering what’s still unconscious. You can bring that into consciousness and transform it.If you feel bad about something that you thought, did or say in interaction with someone else or to yourself, you can look into the WHY you did that, WHY it feels bad and WHAT it is that will make you feel good.
Let me know what you do when you feel bad after an interaction with someone and how you analyze the why and what of that.
Originally published at www.consciouslivingwithcarmen.com on May 19, 2017.