Archive for May, 2010

Beatings will continue until morale improves

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

It’s been about three weeks since my last post. I wrote about one of the main reasons why it’s been so long in a post I wrote for another blog, which I titled A Love Story.

I was a software engineer and manager for over 25 years before I became a life coach for people with chronic illnesses. One of the ways we kept our sanity while working under tight deadlines in sterile cubicles was by putting up posters that poked fun at corporate life. One of my favorites was one that said, “Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves!” Whoever came up with that saying had a sardonic sense of humor, because beatings would continue indefinitely since they would obviously cause morale to go down instead of up. In addition, the quality of the work that employees produced would also go down if there were ongoing beatings.

Clearly the poster was not meant to be taken literally, since companies do not physically beat their employees. But it contains a large measure of truth. And as I’ve coached many clients over the past eight years, I’ve come to believe that the poster applies not just to companies, but to people as well.

The reason I say that is because of how often I see my clients, and for that matter, family members and friends, try to change their behavior by criticizing themselves, sometimes very harshly. The way I see it, when people do that they are beating themselves – maybe not severely, but it has the same result as any company administered beating would: lower morale and poorer quality of work.

My experience as a life coach for people with chronic illnesses, as well as a person with a chronic illness himself, is that talking to ourselves in a respectful and encouraging way is much more effective in bringing about the desired behavior changes that allow us to take better care of ourselves and have a much higher quality of life.

My next Coaching/Support Group for People with Chronic Illnesses will start on Thursday, June 3rd. For more information, go to Coaching/Support Group information.

Do you have TLCC Deficiency Syndrome? Here’s how to treat it

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

You won’t find TLCC Deficiency Syndrome in a medical dictionary, but in my many years of coaching people with chronic illnesses I’ve found that it describes what many of them have. TLC, of course, is an acronym for “tender loving care,” and the last “C” is for compassion, so TLCC Deficiency Syndrome is the condition of lacking the needed tender loving care and compassion that people with chronic illnesses often experience.

Many things can cause TLCC Deficiency Syndrome. Some of the most common are new symptoms or a worsening of symptoms that are already present. I’ve observed that when people have flares or develop new symptoms, they usually get the treatments they need to combat those flares and new symptoms, but they often ignore the need for extra TLCC that almost always accompanies them. I’ve also often seen people’s families and friends provide lots of logistical support, such as rides to doctor visits, advice, etc. in those situations, but overlook or not fully recognize the need for extra TLCC their friend or family member has. As a result, the TLCC Deficiency Syndrome goes untreated.

So what do you do if you have TLCC Deficiency Syndrome? First, let your friends, family, and others in your support network know that you need more TLCC, and ask if they would be willing to give it to you. Chances are good that many of them will.

However, there will inevitably be times when you are suffering from a TLCC deficiency, but your friends and family aren’t able to give you the TLCC you need. When that happens, it’s up to you to give yourself the extra tender loving care and compassion that you need and deserve!

Here’s how: First let in and acknowledge to yourself how unpleasant and painful living with the symptoms of your illness has become. Now you may find doing that to be difficult and uncomfortable. However, the discomfort won’t last long and your TLCC Deficiency Syndrome treatment will be much more.

Once you’ve accomplished the step of letting in and acknowledging how painful your symptoms have become, then complete your treatment by giving yourself the same compassion you would give to someone you feel close to and care about, such as a child, a spouse or partner, or a dear friend. When you do, I’m certain that you’ll feel much, much better. Not only that, but you may find, as I and many of my clients have, that the treatments you’re undergoing for your illness become more effective.

Tom Robinson – Life Coach for People with chronic illnesses