So many people I know care. They care about how people hurt, how they succeed and whether they are happy and feel loved or not. The price of that care is that whilst they may not be people pleasers, they do go out of their way to support and help them to make them happy. Going out of their way and compromising their own well-being is not a great idea for so many reasons.
The thing is, we can’t sort everything out for people. Everyone has to want to be happy and to be successful. They also need to back the words with some sort of action too even if that action is to pick up the phone and say ‘help!’ The same applies to business regardless of how much you care for success and happiness.
Service in business
When trying to serve the needs of customers or helping friends, there has to always be a meeting in the middle somewhere. We cannot ever solve problems until they are ready to be solved. If a customer can’t pay, won’t book you or keeps coming up with excuses, that is often your time to step back and wait. There is a difference between dealing with objections and recognising the signals that the time is not right yet. It is subtle but the signs will be there. There will be a glint of eagerness, a move, a word that belies a feeling that the time is right and they just need a little more confidence that now is as good a moment as any.
Why step back?
Years ago, I realised that helping people doesn’t necessarily help them, certainly not if you take over. The danger is that if you turn to your own life, if only for a moment, they might slip back to where they were before and it will be seen to be your fault in some way. Then you fall foul of their anger and disappointment and your life falls apart because you’ve had no time to look after your own needs.
The solution is simple.
We are the only ones who can fix ourselves. I can only fix me.
You are the one to fix you. We may help each other but offering support is not the same as taking over.
My approach ….
I offer a simple smile of encouragement and wait until you are ready to respond.
I deal with my stuff and give you space to deal with yours. There is no drama or nor are there expectations.
If you ask me what I think, I will answer as truthfully as I can.
If you need me to be a sounding board for your thoughts I am here to listen.
If you are desperate for a shoulder to cry on, to express your grief they’re padded and I’ve got a box of tissues too.
If there is deep down bottled up frustration and pain and you could do with someone to hold the punch bag, I am strong.
If you have crazy ideas, dreams and fantasies to share, I will ride the waves of excitement with you.
When you are exhausted and can do no more and can’t think straight, I can hold you while you sleep and heal.
I can be all these things but I cannot do it for you. That would not be healing nor is that delivering a valuable solution for your needs. That would be my ego taking control and riding on your need and keeping that need alive with you trapped within its clutches. That is never a healthy thing to do.
For the friends and the clients I coach, the ones who need my particular flavour of support, I will always seek to just hold the space for them to be who they need to be, however mad it gets. Then between us we find ways to empower them to be all they they can be. Invariably they empower me too.
It is a journey that is beautiful, inspiring, challenging and exhilarating. We can also be assured too that the baggage is left on the roadside. We will not carry it with us. My vision is that it will grow into a magnificent tree to provide a bit of shade for those who follow behind us.
Unconditional love with total acceptance and no attachment to the outcomes is easy once you know how. It is beautiful too.
As a result I will rarely fall foul of the angry email of betrayal and disappointment only when I slip on my own path when I have allowed myself to be less aware than I could be. But then I accept that of myself because I am human just like anyone else and I feel things too. The difference between me and some others though is that I don’t let those things define me, rather they are my sculptors making me more me!
I know that I am free to be me. I am free to offer this unconditional love and acceptance as that frees me to be the best that I can be. My wish is that this be true for you too.