INSIGHT OF THE WEEK
“If your happiness is dependent on someone’s cooperation, then you will always be at the mercy of someone else, and that’s not a great way to live.” -Kim Ades
Different Circumstances… Same Problem
In this podcast we look at three completely different circumstances to uncover that the source of each struggle stems from the same core issue.
1- A woman who’s lack of intimacy in her marriage is eating at her self-confidence.
2 – A man who can’t stand how his wife parents their children.
3 – An entrepreneur who has an incompetent employee that is driving him crazy.
WHAT DO THESE 3 PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON!?!
Find out as David Wolf interviews Kim Ades in this unique episode of Resilience Radio.
In this episode of Resilience Radio, we explore:
Take a Listen!
How Journaling can Uncover our Roadblocks
David: Welcome to Frame of Mind Essentials, where we teach the essentials of Frame of Mind Coaching™ through a journey of engaged dialogue, inspired by actual journal passages. I’m David Wolf, and with me to bring Frame of Mind Essentials to life is Kim Ades, President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™. Hi, Kim.
Kim: Hello! I’m happy to be here today.
David: I’m happy to have you here. Tell us about today’s journey.
Kim: Today we’re going to read through three very different journals and discuss them. We’ll look at them separately and then together, and we’ll tie some strings between them and show you how one area of life may impact another. You might think that they are unrelated, but when you’re listening to these journals, ask yourself, “What do they have in common?”
Kim: The first journal is about intimacy between a husband and a wife:
“How do I describe my marriage? We coexist. We’re partners and even friends. Sometimes we go out together to see a movie or go out for dinner. We have some laughs. We enjoy some of the same things. He tells me he loves me, but we haven’t been physically intimate for a long time. There are times when it confuses me and eats me up inside. There are other times when I am perfectly happy just the way things are. I often wonder if he finds me attractive. I’m not sure if this is normal. Is this how things unfold after a long marriage? I’m not sure.”
David: All right.
Kim: Journal number two covers the different approaches that two parents have when it comes to raising their kids:
“I just got into a massive argument with my wife. We just don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to raising our kids. She wants to be “their friend.” She’s soft on them and let’s them walk all over her. I’m much tougher. I want to make sure they grow up right. I want to teach them discipline and personal responsibility. She does everything for them and then covers up for them. How will they ever learn? They’re just going to grow up to be spoiled brats.”
Kim: Journal number three is written by an entrepreneur about someone who works for him.
“I have an assistant who is fairly new on the job. She constantly walks into my office while I’m working and interrupts me with questions that she could easily figure out on her own. I get very irritated and find myself seething inside. I don’t say anything though because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I just don’t feel equipped to tell her that she’s annoying me. I’m afraid that I’m too abrasive.”
Kim: Let’s play around with these. If we go back to the first one, it’s interesting because the journaler seems resigned, to some degree, when it comes to intimacy.
David: Right. She’s accepted the situation because she doesn’t really feel that he or they can change it, right?
Kim: Yeah. She’s coexisting. At times, everything is perfectly fine and she doesn’t feel any internal turmoil. But other times, she just doesn’t understand how her life has turned into this story.
David: Right. She may have had some expectations at the beginning of their relationship about what their marriage would be like, and she’s seeing a gap between what she expected and what is currently happening.
Kim: Exactly. In the second journal, we have a husband who is clearly upset and angry with the way his wife raises their kids. He feels that she’s spoiling them that there’s a better approach. His approach is to be a little tough, more strict and to teach his kids what he thinks is important for them to learn: discipline and personal responsibility.
In this case, you have a person who is unhappy with the behaviors of his wife. Are you starting to see the connection?
David: The first case is about their direct intimacy. The second case is about the way they’re raising their children. Are their children a projection of the dysfunction in their relationship?
Kim: Well, in the first case, the wife is wondering about the behaviors of her husband. In the second case, the husband is not happy with the behaviors of his wife.
David: Okay. So “behavior” is the word that I’m hearing you emphasize. Is that right, Kim?
Kim: That’s right.
David: They’re not happy with the behaviors of the other person in their partnership.
Kim: Exactly. In the first case, she wonders if her husband even finds her attractive. In the second case, I’m guessing that he’s wondering why the heck she’s doing what she’s doing when it’s clearly not in the best interest of the kids, right?
Kim: Now, in the third case, there’s an owner of a company who is getting irritated with someone who walks into his office while he’s working and interrupts him with questions that she could figure out on her own. He doesn’t like her behavior.
David: So once again, someone doesn’t like someone else’s behavior in a coexistence of some kind. It’s ranging from a marriage, to parenting, to the work place.
David: But the essence of it is that they’re expecting a certain behavior from someone else and are disappointed when they don’t behave that wayy
Kim: Right, and it comes out like this: “I don’t like what you’re doing. I don’t like the way that you’re intimate with me. I don’t like the way you raise my children. I don’t like the way you interrupt me when I’m working.”
David: There’s a bit of a spectrum. Number one is the most complacent and willing to accept it, and the third one is downright angry about it.
Kim: Yeah. He says, “I get very irritated and find myself seething inside.”
Kim: There is a similarity between the first one and the last one. In the first one, she just thinks about her intimacy in her head − she doesn’t confront him about it. In the last one, he says, “I don’t say anything because I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I just don’t feel equipped to tell her that she’s annoying me. I’m afraid that I’m too abrasive.” He also internalizes his feelings and as a result, he’s boiling inside.
David: So he’s not expressing his anger.
Kim: Correct. In her case, she’s not angry but she’s hurt. In the last case, he’s fuming. And in the case of the father who believes his children should raised differently, he’s vocal about it. He just got into a massive argument with his wife. But as vocal as he is, he’s still at a standstill. So you have three people with different approaches and different thinking patterns, but who are all stuck with the same idea that someone else is treating them in a way that is less than stellar, right?
How to Stop Getting Upset Over People’s Actions
Kim: If we look at the Frame of Mind Coaching™ Principles, we can address each of these in a very similar manner. The first thing that we want to look at is the idea that the way you feel is a function of your thinking. It’s not a function of the way anybody else behaves. That’s the first thing we want to teach each of these particular journalers or clients.
Kim: Because one is seething, one is hurt and one is in a massive fight, right?
David:Yeah. And you said that the way you feel is a function of how you’re thinking.
Kim: Yes. In each of these three cases, they’re pointing the finger at the other. At Frame of Mind Coaching™, we teach that the way you feel is your responsibility. It comes from your thinking, it doesn’t come from somebody else’s behavior. We want to put the onus back on the journaler or the client and say, “The reason you’re upset has nothing to do with the other person. The reason you’re upset has everything to do with the way you’re thinking about the other person.”
David:So you’re shining a mirror on the pattern you see and saying “Here’s how you’re thinking that is making you feel this way and you can change it, you can make a choice.” Right?
Kim: That’s exactly right. When we coach people, we see that people often feel like victims. They feel like they’re at the mercy of other people in their lives. It could be their bosses, their spouses, their children, their mothers, their sisters, their brothers, whoever, but somebody else did something to make them feel badly. That’s when we say, “The reason you’re pissed off has nothing to do with what anybody else did, it has everything to do with the way you think about what somebody else did, so let’s stop using them as an excuse for your misery.”
David:That sounds so elegantly simple.
Kim: Their reaction is often something like, “Yeah, but it takes two to tango.” “I can’t work on this parenting thing by myself.” “It takes two people to be intimate.” “In a work environment, we’re a team and there are other people involved.” That’s the first and most important mistake they’re making. It does not take two people to tango. It only takes one.
Our listeners are probably thinking, “How can you tango by yourself?”
David:That’s exactly the question I had. I thought you were about to say that you need to form a team with this person so that you can coexist with them.
Kim: Not at all. Because if your happiness is dependent on the other person’s cooperation, then your happiness is always at the mercy of someone else, and that’s not a great way to live. If the other person is unhappy, then you’re going to be unhappy too. That’s not how we equip our clients to take responsibility for the way they feel.
How to Build Relationships Without Setting Boundaries
David:The word “boundaries” comes to mind. Is that what this is about? Do we draw a line between us and the other person?
Kim: You’re exciting me here because I love it when people bring up the idea of boundaries.
So what is a boundary? A boundary is like a line that you draw in the sand that says, “You’re not allowed to pass this line.” The intent of a boundary is to prevent someone else from taking an action that you don’t want them to take. But at Frame of Mind Coaching™, we say that what you focus on grows. And so when you create a boundary, what are you focused on? You’re focused on that which you don’t want the other person to do.
Kim: A boundary makes you focus on what you don’t want. In other coaching programs, they teach you to create boundaries for self-preservation reasons. But we don’t want to create boundaries, we want to lower boundaries. We want to create ease and we want to help you turn towards that which you want, rather than that which you don’t.
David:I get it. Boundaries, by definition, are a type of negative energy. They keep you focused on what you don’t want.
David: We want people to work together in harmony by focusing on what they want.
Kim: Exactly. So let’s apply the boundary concept to the journal from the guy who’s assistant constantly walks into his office while he’s working and interrupts him. If he were to create boundaries, then he would say to her, “When I’m on the phone or when I’m busy, do not come in.” Does that build an alliance? Does that build a relationship? Does that create something wonderful and lovely in his work environment?
David:Of course not.
Kim: No. That’s pretty harsh, right?
David:Yeah. And he’s focusing his energy on what he doesn’t want.
Kim: Exactly. Instead, he could say to her, “The best time to talk to me is between 2 pm and 4 pm. In fact, let’s schedule regular, 15 minute appointments during times when I can give you my full attention.” Look at the difference.
Kim: It’s night and day. He’s focusing on what he wants. He wants a great relationship with his assistant. He wants her to feel welcome. He wants her to be successful. He wants her to get her answers to the question she needs. He wants her to learn so she has less questions overtime. And so he’s creating a system that enables that.
David: That’s so useful. And redirecting away from boundaries profoundly distinguishes Frame of Mind Coaching™ from other methodologies.
How to Up Your Employees’ Independence and Performance
Kim: We jumped ahead. Let’s talk about the idea of it taking two to tango.
David:I was dancing a little fast!
Kim: You were dancing a little fast. Let’s look at this particular example. In order for him to implement what he wants, who needs to take the lead, him or her?
Kim: He does. If you and I are tangoing and you’re taking the lead, if you suddenly change the steps, you can make it go from a tango to a cha-cha Then I have a choice. I can either stop dancing or I can follow along. So does it take two to tango? Does it take two to constantly move in the same way in order for something beautiful to happen? No. You can change the steps to change the dance.
Right now, we have a dance between an entrepreneur and an assistant and the dance looks like this: the assistant interrupts, the entrepreneur is pissed off, he seethes inside and she continues to interrupt because she doesn’t know there’s a different option. The minute that he takes the lead and changes the dance is the minute the dance changes.
But before you can change the dance, you have to change your thinking about the situation. He has to change his interpretation of this assistant, because he’s thinking, “Wow, she’s dumb. She doesn’t realize she’s bothering me. She can’t read social cues,” he’s not building what he wants and he keeps the dance the same.
David:If you’re working with this client, how do you get to the breakthrough with them?
Kim: Very simply. I would say, “Why do you think she keeps interrupting you?” He might say to me, “Because she’s new, she doesn’t know what she’s doing and she may feel insecure.” Then I’d ask him what he wants. “Do you want an insecure worker? What would you like from this person? If you want someone who’s confident enough to make decisions on her own, you need to help her get there. Let’s look at strategies to equip her.”
We show our clients how their view of other people is often contrary to what they actually want.
David:The word “assumptions” comes to mind. In other words, they’re making assumptions about this person without actually communicating with them.
Kim: Absolutely. I would help them understand how their vision about everything creates their experiences.
The way you see the people in your life will determine the experience you have with them. So if you want a different experience with someone, you have to decide how you would rather see them. What you focus on grows. So if they’re doing many things wrong in your mind, but they’re doing some things right, which things should you focus your attention to? The things they’re doing right.
David:Yeah. So in this case, she may have some qualities that he’s just not seeing because he’s so caught up in being dissatisfied with her behavior. But maybe she’s very plugged into some aspect of the business, or she’s very good with the other people in the office. Is that where you’d start?
Kim: I would. And I ask my clients, “What do you want?” Right now, he doesn’t speak up because he’s afraid he’s too abrasive. But if he said to her, “Here’s how to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish,” that’s not abrasive at all. In fact, it’s warm, friendly, inviting and open.
The minute you switch the way you think is the minute you start to interact with others in a whole different way. We need to switch our thinking before we take action, and that’s exactly the work we’re doing here.
How to Parent Powerfully with Your Spouse
Now let’s take these ideas and superimpose them on the other examples:
In the second journal, the guy gets into a massive argument with his wife because he feels that she’s not doing the right thing. He has an assumption, or a belief, that if someone else parents his children a certain way that he doesn’t agree with, his children will become spoiled. Let’s try to apply these principles to the other examples, the other journals.
So what does that say about his kids?
David:That their behavior is completely dependent upon her behavior.
Kim: Yeah. He doesn’t trust his kids to do the right thing on their own. He thinks that the only way to get them to do the right thing is to discipline them, teach them personal responsibility and to be strict.
David:He doesn’t believe that his children have the tools or the capacity to make good decisions unless they have a tough parenting style.
Kim: Exactly. And he doesn’t like the way his wife behaving, so the same principles apply here. What does he want? How does he want to view his wife? Right now, he sees her as a bad mother. So the first piece of work that has to be done is to see his wife as someone who truly cares for and loves his children.
The second thing to consider is what he wants for his children. If he wants them to grow up to be great people, to make good decisions, to contribute to society, to have great relationships, how can he make that happen? By demonstrating it. And is he demonstrating any of that right now?
David:He’s setting a potential cycle in motion that’s not positive.
Kim: Exactly. He’s blowing up when someone else isn’t behaving the way he wants them to behave. Does that demonstrate discipline or personal responsibility?
Kim: No. And so as coaches, we show him the connection between his thinking and his behavior and how it’s leading to the complete opposite of what he wants.
David:Wow. That’s cool.
Kim: From just the few sentences I got from this guy, we can see how his thinking plays a role in his outcomes. If you want your children to have discipline and personal responsibility, demonstrate it. Then acknowledge it when your kids demonstrate it themselves.
Kim: Trust that your kids have it in them to be that way.
David:I love that idea right there, Kim. Like you said, you have to show this client that what he’s thinking is producing exactly the opposite results of what he wants. It’s profound.
How to Create More Intimacy in Your Relationship
Kim: Now let’s look at the first example, the one where there is no physical intimacy in the marriage. She thinks that her husband is responsible for the intimacy in their relationship and that she has no role to play. We’d ask her, “What do you want? Do you want to be intimate? Because I’m not a hundred percent sure. There are times when you’re perfectly happy just the way things are.”
What we’re doing is we’re challenging her to really, really think about what kind of relationship she wants to build and what role she plays or can play. So because you can lead the tango in this dance of intimacy, what can you do to make it a more intimate experience?
David:Right. Then she can manage her thoughts to produce those results, right?
Kim: Right. And I always like to look at what people believe to be true, particularly when it comes to relationships and intimacy. She may believe that it’s his responsibility to initiate and create intimacy. She may believe that his desire for her is an indicator of her attractiveness. She may have a whole host of beliefs that shut down intimacy, right?
Kim: He may have tried to be intimate, and she may have inadvertently shut that down herself. So we want to explore all of that and understand how she views intimacy. Does she view it as a beautiful thing or as illicit? Because if on any level she uncomfortable with it, then she’s not always going to be up for it. Once all of that thinking is cleaned up, we also have to explore the idea that she can profoundly make a difference on the intimacy scale in her own marriage.
So just to wrap this all up, when we look at all three of these journals, we may think that somebody else’s behavior can cause unhappiness, displeasure, frustration or irritation, but that’s just an invention. The truth is, the way you feel is a function of your thinking. It’s not a function of the way anybody else is behaving.
What you focus on grows. So what are you focusing on in your life and what seed are you watering?
David:What’s profound about this is, as you said at the beginning of all of this, these are three very different sounding scenarios with a tremendous amount of commonality. So powerful, Kim Ades.
Those are the essentials for today. Thank you so much for the work that you’re doing. This was just an incredible session.