Last month I wrote about missing an appointment with a client and how I had practiced rebuilding trust. Well, was I surprised when my client supported me in discovering the truth of the matter!
As I wrote in May, I immediately emailed my client and then sent her the text of the newsletter on rebuilding trust as soon as it was written. All this to dissipate my guilt* and shame*. My supportive client, Diane, spent time unraveling the truth behind the story. She remembered that she had opened Zoom (online video platform) on her computer and saw she was in my personal Zoom Meeting Room where we had met earlier that week. She closed out of the program and went on to her meeting on another Zoom site*. I read the email message (hours later) that she was waiting on me to come online. Then I made up the story that I had missed an important coaching session. Yes, I “made up” the whole story and allowed the emotions of guilt… even shame!
I’ve been facilitating my Coach Deep Online Program this spring and we have looked deeply into the research on emotions. We create “ruts” or habits for certain emotions. Those emotions are easily allowed to be felt strongly around certain situations. Consider how most people feel happiness, even joy, when seeing puppies or kittens. The part of me that feels shame comes up when I judge that I have made a “big” mistake. Translate that to a situation where I didn’t keep a promise to someone I care deeply about… like all my clients. When I thought I had missed a coaching session, my habit was to go directly to “shame”. It is interesting that my intuition tried to support me in finding the truth of the matter. Intuition said at one point that I must be wrong, that the appointment had been cancelled. Another part of me, the one with the habit of being responsible; i.e. never making a mistake… said that had to be wrong and that the message from Zoom proved it. I discounted my intuition and stayed in my rut.
Once Diane supported me in getting to the whole truth, I moved immediately into relief and finally found the humor of it all. So, what did I learn from this?
- Emotions come with an event.
- Emotions may be a habit… like a rut in the road… once your tire is in it, it may be difficult to get out of it.
- I am able to experience more than one emotion at a time. When my Intuition spoke, I felt confused, a bit of relief… and then quickly dismissed it to live my habit.
- It serves to ask myself if I know a story to be completely true before I “buy it, hook, line and sinker”. (Sorry, Texan Speak coming out in me!)
- When Intuition speaks, it truly serves to slow down and carefully look, feel, and discover the truth.
*What actually happened is that I had not “Ended the program for all” at the end of our coaching session earlier in the week; I had left my Zoom open to Diane.
* Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a universal moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation.
*Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.