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Ordinary People Taking Action
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Imagine a rubber bouncy ball. In fact, imagine a ball of any sort. When the ball is at its best, it is inflated so that when you drop it, it bounces. Without air in the ball, the ball just doesn’t work properly. Period.
I shared this with a client, Ana, the other day. She told me she was completely with me. From my perspective, she was currently the bouncy ball with the small leak – and if she leaked too much more, she would be completely deflated.
At first, Ana was going to say something, yet whatever it was, she stopped herself and allowed some silence between us. I could tell she was in reflection and, based on her body language, defensive. One of the most powerful things I think we can do as humans is allow for there to be silence. A chance to reflect, to think, to ponder, to breathe – without the distraction of noise. Those who work with me know that quietness between us never makes me uncomfortable – and for my clients, it doesn’t take long for them to appreciate the silence as well.
When the silence was broken, she simply said, “Thank you.”
More silence, by us both, was followed by her saying, “The analogy of the bouncy ball, especially the deflated bouncy ball, is a powerful one.”
We both chuckled.
We talked about whether Ana agreed with my perception of her. After a bit of reflection, she said she did. She explained to me all the things at work that were energy (or air) zappers. She shared with me a few things in her personal life that were zapping her, too, and how she was reacting to everything around her. All of this was leading her to feeling, well, deflated.
Our time for this session was coming to an end. I did have the opportunity to remind her that we are always in choice. If she were indeed a deflated bouncy ball, what choices was she able to make that would allow her time to add air to herself, to her ball, so that she can work better?
If we are a bouncy ball, we are no good to ourselves or others deflated. Ana said it’s an interesting, and helpful, visual to think of herself as a deflated bouncy ball. She agreed to do some reflection, asking herself the following questions:
· What are the things that give me energy, and how can I do more of these things?
· Of the things that drain my energy, is there anything that I can let go of?
· What’s the challenge, the real challenge, of allowing myself to become too “deflated”?
· What do I want?
· What are the things that are most useful for me and how do I prioritize those things?
As we said goodbye, she said, “Wow, that is impactful. I need to take care of myself – stay inflated.”
Author note: to protect the identity of my clients, names have been changed as well as the date of this coaching session. The details are truthful, yet it is important to me to always maintain the confidential agreements in place with my clients.