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.