No choice whatsoever?! You know what? You are wrong!

In the last couple of weeks, a couple of people have come to me, saying basically that they felt trapped in their life where they had no choice whatsoever. They both went on to explain very tragic and truthfully difficult personal situations.

But when I suggested ways to change their perception, their reactions were quite adamant, nothing could help them, they had tried everything, nothing would work….

It begged the question:

Why seeking help to start with?

I suppose that the answer is because they both had hope that they could be helped, somehow.

The other reason they wanted to be helped was to connect with people at a deeper level than what they experienced on a daily basis.

Being the person with the “biggest, most unsolvable” problem is the “best way to connect”!

People feel sorry for them, people are willing to help or to listen to them.

The problem is as a coach, I am not here to listen to their problem, because it has not helped in the past, why would it help today? This would be the definition of insanity from Einstein,

Doing the same thing again and again, and expecting different results.

In my coaching practice, I push people to change their perspective, I point out the obvious, and I break people’s patterns of thinking. If I do my job properly, people at some point are faced with the choice to let go of their problems and change their life for the better or retain their problems because it feels safe.

It is true, and I have no doubt, that they want to change their life around, but they are addicted to their problems…

Their problems help them meet their need for

  • Significance. The bigger the problem, the more unique they are. And the more people outside can not understand them. It becomes a situation of them against the rest of the world.
  • Connection. Because they get a lot of sympathy and comfort from people around them, when they explain their very real predicament.
  • Certainty. They are certain, sure, have no doubt that their doubt is so severe that there is no solution, after all, they have tried everything before and it did not help.

If you meet 3 of your basic needs at high level (7 or higher out of 10), you are addicted to a situation or a problem. (See this earlier post to learn more about the 6 basic needs)

6 human needs
6 human needs

However, this is not a positive addiction and while it helps the person in the short-term, it is not a sustainable solution in the long-term.

This is the reason why people seek help at some point.

This is also why it is so complicated to help those people. Giving up the problem is a really fearful proposition, one that can only be accepted if the pain of the problem is perceived as being stronger and bigger than the pleasure/comfort of the status quo.

We all know that chain smoker who had tried everything to stop smoking without success but who stops overnight when he learns that he is going to become a father. Suddenly the knowledge that he could cause damages to the unborn child is painful enough to dwarf the pleasure of a smoke.

So for those clients, the difficult part is to let go, to be willing to change their perspective and to accept to change. But until their situation is unbearable, they are going to resist change and become agitated when suggestion will be made that they could do things differently because being in this situation met their needs.

Using EFT and coaching techniques, they will learn to let go of their old ways and create new habits, to meet their needs for significance, for certainty and for connection in a positive way.  And from that point forward, their life will change.

It is a journey one that I am very fortunate to help and support people on.

Click Here if you need help to start your journey with a coach.


With care



Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice

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