It happens to us all – insights of a struggling coach

coach coaching mindset Mar 02, 2022

This blogpost is all about struggling. When we are looking to achieve dreams and goals, whether in business or in life, we all have those days when we are struggling. For me there was a day when the tipping point led to me yelling to the Universe “Really?! I’m struggling here!!”

I was packing my bags for a year of adventure, slipped and grabbed one of the metal rail bars. Almost watching in slow motion, my entire wardrobe fell apart like a Rube Goldberg machine and ALL of the clothes were on the floor and me in the middle of the heap.

If we look at the bigger picture of what happened here, the chain of events that day: My struggle started with an email, What to do in the eye of the struggle hurricane, what was really going on, how to decide to be instead and what to do next, post struggle meltdown.

My struggle started with an email

If I wind the clock back before I even started packing, I know that I went into that wardrobe in a mood. Let’s say not at my best state of mind for the task at hand. And it started with an email. An email that I should have not seen. I did what I tell clients not to do. We aren’t perfect after all. I hit send/receive button “just to check”. I was not in the mindset of checking emails. I wasn’t fully paying attention to what I was doing with them.

And then THE email came in that started it all. It was from a lovely former client of mine, letting me know that she had come across someone who had duplicated the look feel and copy of my website. In essence, no biggie, it has happened before. But that email and the mystery person who was doing it, kicked off my struggle day or event.

What to do when in the eye of the struggle hurricane

Back to the wardrobe. When I was in there watching it all break down around me. Time slowed down and I knew as I stood watching and surveying the carnage of what I had just created, that I had an option. The event had already happened, but I did have a choice of how I reacted to the event. That is the first step when in the eye of the struggle hurricane, the awareness that you do have a choice as to how you are going to react. Following that, we have to understand our options and consciously decide how we are going to be reacting.

I had two options following the absolute carnage:

Option 1 – Be like a toddler on the floor in a diva tantrum of what I had just done.

Option 2 – Laugh and use my old favourite line of “well that’s interesting”.

The line ''well that's interesting'' is great line to use for when things don't go to plan. If you smash a glass on the floor into a million pieces – well that’s interesting. If you have been working on a report for two hours, your computer crashes and the file is lots – well that’s interesting. A potential client that you were 100% certain was going to work with you and backs out at the last moment – well that’s interesting. And especially if someone is copying your website – well that’s interesting.

That is what I had forgotten to do after reading the email that kicked off the secondary wardrobe incident. I had forgotten that I had a choice of how to react to the information about the website. The point of “well that’s interesting” is that I can’t even say it now without smiling because I have done this for years. At some of the funniest and truly non-funny things that haven’t gone to plan.

The golden nugget here for you, you can’t be stressed/struggling and mad when you are smiling. Try out “well that’s interesting” in your life when in the eye of any struggle hurricane, see if it works. And if not, then create your own struggle break state.

What was really going on?

What was the true reason why this email acted as a catalyst for my struggle that day?

This can be very well explained by the advice that my old swimming coach gave me. “Swim as though you are only competing against yourself, the only race that you control is the one in your own lane. You can’t influence what the others do, but you do know if you swam your best and won the race you were having with yourself in your own lane.“

I had stopped only being in a competition with myself and started to look around too much. I started to look at the person who was copying my work, what their services are and their positioning using my copy were. This had then become a conversation about plagiarism in coaching and across any industry. It quickly escalated from 1 person, to an industry, to the whole online education space.

That was quite some leap in under 2 minutes. I was focusing on the other lanes. There is a big difference between struggling because of what is going on in your lane, and struggling because whether consciously or unconsciously you are struggling with others.

Can you feel that divine energy there? Feel that flow that happens when we are focused on our own lane and not giving our energy to others. So ask yourself if you are struggling right now, is the struggle internal or are you struggling with others?

How to decide to be instead

Having gotten past the eye of the struggle hurricane and we’ve identified whether the struggle is internal or external, what’s next? Remember I said that we don’t have a choice what happens, but we have a choice of how to react to anything in life. That is the next step. What is your dream way of coping with struggle?

Is there anyone in your life that you really admire who has had struggles in their life? Can you identify their coping mechanisms and specifically what it is that you admire about them? If there is someone you admire and you can work out what they specifically do, then how can you model them?

That is to say, how can you replicate their behaviour for coping with struggle, so that you behave in your desired way? There is a caution here that deciding how to be in struggle is easier to do BEFORE you are struggling. It can become automatic behaviour, especially if we have seen one or two more decades, that we have a habit-based behaviour on what to do when struggling.

Deciding how to react beforehand is the key. And then run a scenario, that if you were to struggle again, say with an email coming in about someone duplicating content or work, how would I LOVE to react. By running the scenario, we are creating new neuropathways so that when we are in struggle and you want to engage the new behaviour, the neuropathway has already been created and simply needs to be retraced by your mind.

And what to do next post struggle meltdown

And that is how your unconscious mind will know what to do next in a struggle meltdown to eliminate the impact. Then my advice is not based on being a master coach with thousands of hours of experience, it’s based on being human. Go and do something fun. Something that makes you laugh, makes you smile, remember what I said about smiling and the impact on our mood.

Do that even for 3 minutes and you will see a difference. The struggle will still be there, but you will approach it with a different mindset and strategy for dealing with it.

Which is exactly what I did. I engaged my funk plan (what to do when I’m in a funk) which includes a funk playlist, I danced around and sang, laughed at the carnage. And once done, checked in at the wreckage, with a “well that’s interesting” and go to sorting out the mess. Once this was done I went back in the afternoon to working, and responded to that email and handled the duplication with a totally different mindset and energy.

If you're looking for support to move your business and life forward, you can work with me in the following ways:

Firstly a 90 minute on demand session, for a super boost of top-line strategy for how to kick off your 2022 for success.

Secondly a private accelerator day in person or on Zoom and 30 days of support, including 2 121 sessions. 

And if you are ready to work together 121, then why not come and listen to the podcast over on Apple Podcasts called Wielding Legacy


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