Something interesting happened yesterday. I was engaged in a discussion in a social media forum. I had posed a question about NLP and someone had made a good attempt at answering it.
Here’s what happened next….
I responded having scan read the answer. I intended to be encouraging and at the same time I wanted the person to stretch a little more.
Another trainer then made a comment that I took as a criticism. I made what I thought was a healthy response that avoided creating more problems. The trainer then answered more fully due to my prompting.
I reflected on the thread and here is my thought process.
“I’ve stuffed up! I read the first answer too quickly and responded too quickly. It means my response makes it look like I don’t understand the process”
This is just a sample of my internal dialogue. For those of you familiar with Transactional Analysis you may have already noticed some driver behaviour and some mini-script indicators. My original behaviours were carried out in a Hurry Up way which then opened the door for me to beat myself up from my Be Perfect driver!
Luckily I was able to spot what was happening even though it took me until 2am to become full self-aware again.
So how do you handle old patterns interrupting your happiness?
Here is what I did. At 2am this morning I realised my internal dialogue was preventing me from sleeping and I was running my mini-script. In other words I was not seeing myself as okay because in my perception I had made a mistake.
So I picked up my journal and wrote out my thoughts and feelings using this to get some distance and perspective. I went “meta” to my own process (NLP term) which could be described as observing myself by taking a step back. This allowed me to realise what I was doing.
Having done that I went to sleep.
This morning I reviewed the thread. Looking at the other trainer’s comments I can now see they were not really critical at me but pointing out some important distinctions. I have prepared a response now that acknowledges and thanks the other trainer. I have clarified my own points and owned up to my process.
I have not yet posted it as I have decided to run it past my coaching supervisor first who is also a TA expert. By doing this I can make sure I am not adding to or inviting a psychological game.
I chose to share this so that you could see how I manage my own process as I think it can sometimes be useful to know what other people do to manage their happiness.
If you are reading this while in a very challenging place in your life remember it is okay to ask for help if following my process is not enough to break the pattern. There are many amazing coaches and counsellors out there.
I’ve used a lot of jargon in this blog so please let me know if you want more clarification. One of the modules on my Association For Coaching recognised course, Psychological Approaches to Coaching is based on using TA in Coaching or you could read the excellent book by Julie Hay, Working it out at work.