Updated: Feb 4
The little light kept on blinking. Orange. Weird looking.
It was a stark reminder.
Firstly. I should manage my time better. (Yeah, I know!)
And secondly, stop ignoring the sign.
Engine lights are important things. Don't ignore them.
Thankfully, my car was still under a service plan. Phew!
Engine light. Google pic.
But sadly, we don't come with service plans. Imagine that.
Closest thing we get to blinking engine lights are normally one of these four things.
(There are definitely more - but for now, let's stick to even numbers and keep the odds low).
BLINKING LIGHT #1: You Keep On Making The Same Mistake
Yes, calling it what it is. No use dancing around the issue.
You've missed the take. Again. Like a lousy fieldsman in cricket.
Image from www.firstpost.com
Someone once said if you do something wrong once, it's a mistake.
If you do it wrong twice, it's a choice.
Perhaps that someone was right in some ways. But, I think the matter is a little more complex.
Mistakes are of course decisions. Albeit not always conscious decisions. That may very well be the mistake behind the mistake. You do something without considering it.
The issue however, isn't making mistakes. (Which, when approached in a healthy way could be fantastic learning events.) The issue is making THE SAME mistake.
"Why do I always fall for the same guy!?"
"Why do I always spend too much on my credit card?"
"Why do I always fail keeping to my exercise plan!?"
"Why am I always the one to blame when I try to help people?"
"Why can't I just stick to a diet?"
Yes, and so it goes. Same thing repeats itself in different areas of your life.
The obvious answer to the 'why' question is simply this: we've learned to respond (or rather, react!) to certain 'threats' in a certain way. It's a defence mechanism that kicks in - believe it or not, it's trying to protect you.
Falling for the same guy (ironically) keeps things predictable (and under control).
Spending too much on your credit card (ironically) buys you things that make you happy (for a moment).
Not keeping to an exercise plan brings the illusion of free choice.
Always trying to help others ensures you're at least always getting attention (even negative attention).
Not sticking to a diet ensures the protection of your comfort zone.
A good coach will be able to help you spot these repetitive patterns and also the motivations behind them. Online coaching, whether life coaching or business coaching, makes it easy to connect with a coach these days.
From there? Easy peasy.
Once identified, it empowers you to choose differently. Now, it's not a reaction anymore, but a true response. You've thought about it and the power of the defence mechanism has been broken.
If you make the same mitsake now, it's intentional. (see what I did there)
BLINKING LIGHT #2: You Make Decisions From A Place Of Negative Emotions, Usually Fear
Tony Robbins has this great thing he says about making decisions. (Okay, the guy has a hundred great things to say, but this one stuck with me).
"The quality of YOUR LIFE IS determined by the quality of Your decisions"
When we make fear-based decisions, we normally end up making the wrong decisions. And like Tony points out, decisions have consequences. A succession of bad decisions will have a massive impact on the quality of your life.
But, how would I know if my decisions are 'fear-based'?
It would be reactive. There's a reason FOMO causes you to buy stupid things at high prices.
Fear Of Missing Out is a great example of making a fear-based (emotional) decision.
Our emotions are truly powerful. In fact, how we experience every moment of every day is emotional. Think about it for a moment. How you feel in a moment determines your experience of that moment.
So, how we react to our emotions determine our decisions.
Fear based decisions. Photo from Pexels
A clever coach could help you to spot this. To identify your habitual reactions that lead to bad decision-making.
Now, a beautiful thing happens: you have a choice before you decide.
You can choose how to respond.
It's empowering. Liberating. Daring you to ask different questions about your life.
Oh, and Tony completes the phrase like this:
The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your decisions. And the quality of your decisions is determined by the quality of the questions you ask yourself.
A great coach can help you ask quality questions. Awkward sometimes, but quality.
Just a note. Coaching isn't therapy, but it can be very therapeutic to speak with someone about your life.
BLINKING LIGHT #3: You Answer The Toast And Put Jam On Your Phone
Your distractions are becoming entertaining. Not to you though. But those staring at you in wide-eyed bemusement.
Your mind isn't quite where it should be. You don't immediately notice this. The expression on your children's faces begin to give you a clue.
Maybe you're just too damn busy. Scattered focus, is really no focus at all.
Lots of energy being expended. Very little to show for it.
We've all seen Dinner For One every New Year's.
Yes, this kinda reminds me of that.
Dinner for One depiction. Photo from www.openculture.com
The focused and conscientious butler starts out superbly. But, in his efforts to try and please Miss Sophie and her imaginary guests, James becomes intoxicated by overindulging on expectations and other people's agendas.
If you answer your toast in the morning, you know.
Once again, coaching could be of great help to determine priorities. Not everything that seems urgent is, and ditto for things that seem important. Coaching can help you identify time-wasting activities, pseudo-important energy-consumers and the ever-present other people's urgent agendas.
But what if you could pay attention to those things in your life that are not too urgent, but really important? Moving from distractions and crisis management to a place of flow and being.
You can still jam the phone if you like. Just to amuse the kids.
BLINKING LIGHT #4: Cowboys Cry. In Front Of Their Horses.
Yeah this wouldn't have been cool in the Wild Wild West back then.
But. We're here. Now. 2023. Aaaaaaaaanything is cool baby.
Or is it?
As I pointed out at #2, emotions are important.
Being a musician, I like to say that music is audible emotions. When we're busy scoring a moving movie scene, it's sometimes tough not to get...well...(gulp)...
Ahem. Focus! Be strong.
Actually, no. Cry. Ugly if you want to. Enjoy it. Feel the pain and sorrow. Be swept away by the joy and adventure. Imagine life with no emotions. No feelings. No ups or downs. Just bland. Like a doughnut with no icing or sprinkles. Yuckeyness.
But. (you know there's always a but somewhere trying to make a counterpoint - big buts, normally).
But, you are not your emotions. You have them. You're not them.
When your emotional state becomes a hindrance to functioning normally (jeesh, I know. Very relative term!), then a series of conversations with an aware coach can work wonders.
How would you know, though?
In the simple things. Emotional outbursts are a good indicator. Even little things upsetting you more than it should. Crying without reason. Getting (surprisingly) angry at things or people. Withdrawing from social interactions. Watching FRIENDS. Again. Without friends.
Watching television alone. Photo Unsplash.
Get a coach.
Developing and living from a beautiful emotional state is easier than you think. And entirely doable.
Do yourself a favour. Watch this one by Tony.
Thank me later.
If you enjoyed this or found it insightful, please share.
Also, leave me a comment below.
Do you have a coach? What was your experience of coaching?
By the way, if you're interested in coaching, also check out my Smart Coaching options.