How Changing Your Focus Can Lead to Inner PeaceFeb 28, 2022
Sara trudged into my office for an individual coaching session, balanced on the edge of her chair, and tearfully confessed that she was feeling “overwhelmed.” Her hands were like restless birds going from her lap to land on the table only to take fight again so she could rummage in her purse as she talked about all the things causing her stress.
Sara is in her early 20s, has a nine-month-old daughter, and lives with her fiancé. She goes to school full time and works weekends. Sara described feeling like there was never enough time in the day between school, studying, work, caring for her daughter, and trying to keep a clean home. She was so upset that Joe could not seem to get his dirty clothes in the hamper or the dirty diapers in the pail. She also noted that he may be doing less to help around the house because she picks at what he does and he said in a recent argument “why bother when no matter what I do it is never good enough for you.”
It soon became clear that the real issue was that Sara was focused on the negatives instead of the positives. She saw the glass as half empty. My job was to help her shift her thinking so that she could see the glass as half full. Not to change what was in the glass. So as we continued to talk I asked questions and made suggestions that helped her make the sift. By the end of our talk, she was sitting back in her chair with hands that had found permanent perch in her lap. Sara’s eyes were dry as she spoke proudly of Joe who she admitted took great care of their daughter, was loving and supportive, and had so many good qualities that outweighed his shortcomings. Armed with ideas about how she could make adjustments in her schedule, pick her battles wisely, and focus on the positive she glided out the door.
At our next meeting, Sara was all smiles as she told me about the great week she had. Now, she gets her daughter ready in the morning while Joe gets set for the day. Joe takes the little one to daycare while Sara gets ready and has a bit of alone time. Joe still can't find the hamper or the pail but now Sara just grabs dirty socks and soiled diapers as she walks past. She said that tossing them where they belong takes a lot less time and energy than arguing. Sara is complaining less; Joe is doing more. One good coaching session was all she needed to reduce stress and increase joy.