Don't Disregard My Lived Experience

Coaching is an amazing practice to support you if you're looking to grow and get unstuck from your current situation. It is a positive forward focused practice and I use it along side mentoring with the incredible women that work with me.

Whilst the work that I do is positive and it gets you really thinking about your own stories and beliefs it isn't always helpful to put a positive spin on something.

For somebody that has felt that they have been treated badly by another person .. for example micro aggression's, racism, sexism, any kind of bullying or bias behavior or abuse ( the list goes on) trying to re-frame their experience will not land well.

Being told that we get to choose how we react, and respond, to any situation is a positive re-frame. But how will that help somebody that has suffered at the hands (or words) of another. I think that this is a very quick way to ruin any chance of building a trusting, safe relationship between the coach and the coachee.

Dismissing somebodies lived experience, trying to tell them that for them to feel better they need to learn to respond differently to the situation, is not empowering. It is shutting them down and completely ignoring their, real life, lived experience.

The message, that it doesn't matter what you have experienced because you get to chose how you feel about it, doesn't quite cut the mustard does it?

The intention behind this message is positive and of course well meaning yet I have witnessed the anger and upset it can cause for somebody. It can completely destroy relationships and cause even more harm.

I was having this conversation with a peer coach, who I was doing some reciprocal coaching with, and as we were talking I felt quite strongly about needing to share this message. I was going to hop on a live but thought better of it and decided to sleep on it. So now I'm here sharing it in a blog post with you.

I'd love to know you feelings and views on this. Have you ever had your feelings about how you've been treated dismissed by somebody?

I think we're pretty guilty of doing this to our children time and time again. As a parent to 2 young boys I am conscious that I don't do this to them. Allowing them to share about something that they experienced without feeling the need to play down how they felt about it. Most of the time just giving them space to share whilst I'm fully present is enough for them to process what has happened.

There is no need for me to tell them that they should choose not to be upset by it and focus on something more positive. Instead we can gently explore what it was about it that made them feel that way. We can explore how they would like to feel and what would perhaps help them to feel better about the situation.

As always the most important part is to now interject our thoughts or feelings into it. This is their lived experience and their story.

As a Coach who is also a qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist I am able to work in a very bespoke and individual way so that you are comfortable to work through your experiences and then focus forward.

Please book a discovery call with me if you'd like to find out more about how we can work together

Melissa x

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