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Coaches are not the "tinker bell" of society

Updated: Jul 21, 2021


Accredited Executive Coach, Career Coach │ Toleen Badawi, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, UAE

When it comes to perceptions of people based on their professions I found that coaches carry a heavy burden of being the "positive" beacons of society or what I like to call the "tinker bell' of society. We are expected to carry everyone through the trenches and the hardships that they face in their life (even though our clients that we guide and we don't actually do the work for them). We are always expected to face life with a smile, a positive and happy outlook on life. Although that is a very admirable and heroic perception I struggle with that expectation. It puts me and many like me under pressure to always appear strong and unhinged.


The truth of the matter is that yes we are potentially more equipped with tools to help us navigate through negative moments and find ways to get out of them with the least damage possible. Notice my choice of words as I find that to be paramount. We navigate through negative moments; meaning we actually have them and sometimes more than others as we become sounding boards to many people. Officially to our clients and unofficially to our community of family and friends.



During this global lockdown caused by the infamous Covid-19 very much like everyone else we, too, experience lows, discouragements and yes sometimes our own version of meltdowns. So how do we navigate through these feelings? I'll tell you what I do and you are more than welcome to use all of them or what works for you:




  1. I acknowledge my emotions and dig deeper into what I'm feeling and where is the gap between reality and expectation. When struggling to identify the exact emotion I refer to the wheel of emotion so I know the root of my feeling. I work so hard on understanding this bit and my aim to boil it down to a word or a simple phrase that helps me work through it. For example I realized that my pain around the current quarantine situation was the feeling that I'm constantly "waiting" more so it is the feeling I have for the year 2020. That is difficult for me as I am someone that do not enjoy waiting. It takes the control out of my hand and makes me have to depend on whomever or whatever I'm waiting for. Feeling out of control means I am focused outside my circle of influence and I am beginning to feel helpless. Feeling helpless means I'm am fearful. Why is that significant? Because not too long ago I thought I was angry at the situation, then I thought I was sad. The truth is that I am scared and fear comes from lack of trust while fear comes our of a feeling of injustice and sadness stems from remorse. So now my role is to narrow down what is the root cause of my fear and where my lack of trust is coming from.

  2. Considering that I have been holding on to this for some time now. I give myself permission to release it into the open. Ok confession time her; sometimes it overtakes me when I least expect it but most of the time I see the signs and can willingly release it. In any case I have a few options depending on the severity of the situation. a) Work on distracting myself while assuring myself that this is just a passing experience and it will all pass. This usually works if I catch the storm at the early stages and I can use proper argumentative reasoning to show myself that what I'm feeling is tainted by a negative perception. This is the essence of proper positive talk. So for example in the example of the fear. engaging in a written or verbal conversation on where this lack of trust is coming from. Believe it or not the best distraction for me is diving deeper into my work as it gives me real meaning and find answers. b) I engage in a good physical activity like a good cardio work out while listening to something that at the moment becomes a state-breaker. If I want to break out of my mental state what is better than a good run while listening to a motivational speech, a good insightful book or some really good music that breaks your mind out of your mental shackles. Again this allows us to observe the emotion from a healthier angle. c) In extreme cases I will allow myself a really good cry session where I can cleanse and release all the built up frustrations while gratefully leaning on those that I consider to be my star team. This requires a safe space, vulnerability and a couple of ears and hearts that will welcome you in your vulnerable state.

  3. The re-birth of the Phoenix. The final thing that I do after this emotional storm, I take advantage of the rebirth of my mental and emotional phoenix. I take advantage of my new fresh eyes and new perspective by revisiting things in my life that require a creative thinking and a different mindset. This helps me come up with new ideas, gain new insights that become tools and new found strengths that I use for me and my clients and my community.



You too can use these or any other way that helps you regain that persecutive on yourself and gain insight and new found strength. I initially began to write this blog to remind people that coaches like all other people feel helpless, weak and defeated many times and they are not like fairies constantly happy throwing fairy dust on everything so it turns happy and positive. We are inner warriors and we fight on a daily basis to help ourselves first and then those in our circle to find their inner strength despite the odds. In fact we (I know at least I do) believe that it is in defeat and moments of weakness that we find true strength.



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