"Darla," a working mom, was overwhelmed, stressed, and
“burnt out.” She dreaded waking up to face the new demands
each day would bring. She related that even though she was well
liked and respected by all of her friends, family, co-workers,
and neighbors, she “didn’t have a life,” would be close to tears
by the end of a day, and no longer was able to cope. Darla
lamented that she had eighteen to twenty categories of tasks
that she must balance each week, with three school-aged children
in seven after-school activities. Her husband traveled often.
She suffered from headaches, irritable bowel syndrome,
forgetfulness, and she had problems sleeping.
HOW THE COACH WORKS:
I wanted to help Darla recognize two things. One was my
concern that she was on thin ice at this point of her life, and
that it was “costing her,” emotionally, and physically.
Secondly, we sometimes make choices on the lifestyles we
embrace, and she chose to live her life in this
fashion. While this statement might seem a bit harsh, (and I
certainly pride myself on bringing compassion to my client/coach
relationships), sympathy was not the element that a good coach
would use to help Darla find balance.
We identified Darla as the Type E
Woman--Everything to Everyone, with the “disease to please.”
(concepts coined by the late Harriet Braiker, Ph.D). The people
pleasing habit is difficult to break, but overload and
resentment are a high price to pay for someone else’s approval.
Darla made the choice to take some small risks in changing
behaviors and belief systems with the guidance of a coach,
rather than continue on this self- defeating path where she
might likely wind up physically out of commission.
We worked on the importance of
organization and reality checks. When I asked Darla to calculate
the number of minutes per task for each task in a one-week
period, she was amazed to discover she had scheduled 30-34 hour
days, and 175- hour weeks! (No wonder she felt overwhelmed with
her to-do lists). We developed methods of organization and
priority plans that worked for Darla. Darla spent part of each
coaching period learning how to say, “NO” to the things she
truly did not want to do, or sacrifice her precious time for.
She learned to schedule “ME” times for 30 minutes each day.
Most important, Darla learned that she
always had choices—she did not need to do anything. She
chose to do whatever she thought was important enough to warrant
her efforts. We worked through her guilt, and she accepted the
fact that this was not being selfish, for research shows that
truly successful people who are satisfied with their lives make
these kinds of choices all the time.
A Coach can help you achieve harmony
in your life. That means you have time for family, job,
community, personal, social, religious or spiritual endeavors.
Balance is not stationary or static. The dynamic is that it is
always in motion, seeking its center. Achieving a balanced life
means you need to adjust and shift, remaining flexible daily to
keep it. A coach introduces new concepts, while supporting your