“I was very productive last week. Today I should have been happy and cheerful, but I feel like I have done nothing, I am tired and sad”,- said the client, starting the coaching meeting.
“At the beginning of the week I received a lot of tasks during the working meeting. I was very happy. I am usually glad when I have a lot of work to be done. In that case only I feel worthy, reliable and competent. When I started planning my working day, I saw that I had a lot of work to do. I told myself that it is OK. I can work overtime. They trust me, that's why they give me more tasks. I have to live up to their expectations. I don't like when someone complains about the fact that there are a lot of things to do, or someone scamps to finish the job earlier. Even when I have to go home late, I do my job to the end.
“Well done, you're so good," I replied.
This answer seemed unexpected to the client. There was a silence for some time. We continued our meeting speaking about good and bad, about the desire to be praised by those around you, being afraid of criticism and getting a “bad” label.
Sometimes we do everything to escape from being called “bad”: bad worker, bad mother, bad father, bad child, bad husband. What is really bad and good? It is very abstract, isn't it? For someone, it is terribly bad to be 5 minutes late for a meeting, for another, it doesn't matter to be half an hour late. For one, it is bad to finish the job early, for another, it's good. For some people, it is good to have a rest, for others it is bad and inadmissible. Bad and good are not only abstract, but also very subjective. Often we consider good things, which are accepted in society or in a group, in the family, in the company of friends, in the workplace. And everything else is bad.
What are the consequences of this good-bad division?
- First of all, you lose your flexibility, creativity, you make decisions based on standards, which is not always effective, because the same standards cannot be effective in different situations.
- You lose your change adaptability. This leads to stress and reduced employability.
- One of the biggest problems is that you can't accept the other person as s/he is. You try to change him, which inevitably causes conflicts.
When you don't give yourself the right to be bad, you don't give it to anyone. If you demand from yourself to be good, you demand that from the other person, you demand from them to be as good as you are, to do things by the same way as you do and to follow the same standards and rules as you follow. YOU DEMAND NOT TO BE DIFFERENT.
And what if you give yourself the right to be bad? Believe me, you will not be the "bad" you imagine. I remember the feeling of freedom when one of my teachers threw me a coaching challenge. The task was to be a bad coach. How many new opportunities did I discover for myself during that one session when I had to be a "bad coach"? It was just indescribable.
So, if you are keen to be only good, at all costs, even sacrificing your own health and your own needs, suppressing your emotions, just now allow yourself to feel, enjoy and use the opportunities of being "bad".
Give yourself the right to be bad and get:
- Relationships with less conflicts
- Capacity to make effective, flexible, creative decisions
- Happiness from doing your job, ability to adapt quickly to changes, less stress
- Acceptance that people are different. You differ not only from other people, but also inside you. So in different situations you are free to make different decisions, they will be just your decisions, DIFFERENT decisions.