I felt overwhelmed as I was talking to her and it was obvious that she had so much on her shoulders that she wasn’t sure what to do next. Her husband had suddenly gotten sick over the summer and within a short amount of time her strong husband that she depended on for almost everything now depended on her for even the basic things. She and he were unsure about his care, their stress was high, and she needed to able to work and care for him.
As we talked my heart ached for her and my desire was to just take it away, but that definitely wasn’t within my ability. As her coach it was in my ability to lift some of the burden off of her shoulders by helping her move forward toward what she could do to make life better and feel more in control.
So I took a deep breath, and we looked together at her situation and what she could do herself to make life better for the two of them. We plotted and planned, trouble shooted and sat in the sadness. And at the end, we worked through some next steps for the two of them to be able to work through some of what they were going through.
In order for us to do this, we had to figure out what was in her ability to control and what was in her ability to influence in her and her husband’s life. The fact is that a lot of what was happening in their life she could not control or influence. So we needed to make sure that what we were focusing on and the action that she would take would be funneling her energy into what she could do.
This is something that we all need in moments when it comes to what we are encountering. Sometimes what we are going through is so overwhelming that we don’t know what to do first. That’s when it is time to step back and evaluate (using this method from Stephen Covey:
What I Can Control:
What I Can Influence:
What I Can’t Influence or Control:
Once we were able to separate out some of these aspects of her situation. We were able to work through things she could do to make things better and how to start moving toward that better. I am happy to say that even within that one week after we met life started to look much brighter.