Reflections On Structures In My Life

What would my life be like if I replaced all the structures that don’t work with those that empower me?

I would probably have less anxiety about certain things.

Here are 10 Structures in my life that do not empower me / What I replace each with to feel more empowered.

1.Eating after I get home from work at night. / Make sure I have time to eat before I go to work, and then go straight upstairs when I get home.
2.Not saying “no” enough to friends and at work . / Saying “no” more often.
3.I let family interrupt my ICA time. / Make this time non-negotiable.
4.I let my husband distract me when I’m working at home because I feel guilty that I’m not giving him attention when he wants it. / I need to set boundaries more often. He’s a big boy, he can handle it.
5.Spending too much time on the Internet. / Limit my non-ICA time computer use. Only check E-mail 2 times per day.
6.Sitting with my husband at night while he’s watching TV because I think I should, even though I would rather be reading or sleeping. / I should just go to bed and read.
7.Eating instead of drinking when I’m thirsty. / Always drinking a glas of water first and waiting a little bit to see if I’m really hungry before I eat a snack.
8.Drinking too much coffee. / Substituting water or herb tea for every other cup.
9. A relationship I have with a certain friend doesn’t really empower me. I thought it did, but now I’m beginning to see that I waste way too much time on this relationship mentally and emotionally. / Do even more self- care. When I concentrate on my own life and issues, I feel more empowered.
10.Not excercising enough. / I walk with my dog every day, and meet a friend once a week to do Nordic Walking in the woods, but I know I still want and need to do more aerobic exercise or work with weights. I have everything at home and still don’t do it. The structure of going to an exercise class might help.

How can I use the identification and development of structures in my coaching practice.

I have to think more about this but I think I would explain the concept of “structures” and help the client identify structures that are working and one that aren’t. For a client that is stressed out I might suggest planning a time every day to do one thing that is important to them, even if it’s just doing nothing and scheduling this time in their planner so it is non-negotiable, and then after that, maybe an evening every week. It’s important for the client to realise that it’s their life, they get to choose.
Another idea for someone who takes on too much, is to plan extra time for every activity they do, maybe even twice the amount of time they think they need for the activity. When you do this, you automatically slow down because you have enough time time in between activities to re-group and you don’t take on more than you can do.

How can I support clients to identify the structures that will support their goals and the structures that might act as barrier or blockers?

First, it’s important to find out what is working in their lives and what’s not. Then, find out why they think certain things are not working, and ask what they think they might do diffently to get them to work. Then I would introduce and explain structures. I think most people are not even aware that certain structures support them and others don’t. It certainly takes the guilt and self blame out of the picture.

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August 2007
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