Having an open mind and an open heart, part I

As part of the curriculum at coaching school we practiced coaching each other while supervised by our instructors. I found it to be the best part of my education there. ADDCA. Mostly I got a lot out of when I was coaching. But I remember one particular time that I got a lot out of being the volunteer client.

I was being coached by a classmate who was German. Her name was Cordula. (Sp?) I was having trouble thinking about what to talk about. I didn’t want to bring up anything super deep or potentially time consuming. All I could think of was talking about how I get angry when behind the wheel. I am a very good drive. I happen to be gifted when it comes to spacial relationships. And I don’t have a lot of patience for those who are not as adept as I am on the roadways of the Greater Boston area. 

Honestly, I didn’t even think there was much to talk about on this topic. But Cordula did a great job pulling out some typical ADHD negative thinking. As it turns out, she helped me realize that I was driving around assuming that everyone was a self-entitled, self-important, asshole. As a result, I was almost looking for other drivers to piss me off and was taking it personally when they did something outrageous. I would let the anger smolder and really upset me. Once Cordula helped me realize this, she proposed other options. Maybe someone in the other car is struggling with ADHD, had a tough day, etc. 

The bottom line is that assuming something kind hearted about the person who just cut me off does two things. For one, it allows me to have empathy instead of anger. And, it allows me to move on. Even if they are all bad people, it doesn’t serve me to think that. The anger doesn’t help me. In fact, it hurts me. A valuable lesson in and of itself. But, it has brought me more in subsequent years.

To be continued…

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