Vail Living on Purpose: Focus on your own options
Living on Purpose
Jodi and I started our coaching session talking about her recently updated workout program. She had just met with a personal trainer and was very excited about the changes in her routine.
“I’ve been working really hard and feel so powerful and strong, not only because of what I’ve been accomplishing in the gym but also how I’m handling my life,” she said.
She paused, and her mood shifted slightly.
“Except for one area,” she said.
“What just happened? You went from strength and confidence to questioning and unsure. What is the area you are talking about?” I asked.
“My husband ,Timothy, lost his job three months ago,” Jodi said. “Now he is chasing this one job ” his ‘ideal’ job ” and he isn’t looking at any other options.”
“Tell me about his ideal job,” I said.
“He’s obsessed with landing a sales job with a company he has always idealized. He says it’s the perfect job,” she said. “I’m glad he is excited about it and has direction, but he is so focused on this one opportunity that he refuses to even look for anything else. If this job doesn’t work out, I’m not sure what we will do.”
“Where is he in the hiring process with this company?” I asked.
“They are interested in him but don’t have any openings,” Jodi explained. “They’ve promised him an interview when a job becomes available, but that’s a waiting game. We don’t know when or if that will happen.”
“What other avenues is Timothy pursuing?” I asked.
“None!” she said. “He says he doesn’t want to ruin his chances of getting this one job by taking something else.”
“What options do you have at this point?” I asked.
“He can keep contacting this company until they know either way. He could start looking for other employment options. He could go back to school and finish his degree. I guess there are many options as to what he could do. He just needs to do something!”
“Those are great ideas for him,” I said. “What options do you have?”
She thought for a moment before she spoke.
“You know, I have been so focused on what I thought he should do that I haven’t thought about what I should do,” she said. “I could tell Timothy how frustrated I’ve been feeling. Since losing his job, he’s been so down that it has been tough bringing up anything that causes conflict. When he started talking about this job, I was relieved because he was finally excited about something. But then he got stuck. At first, I thought it was a phase, so I let it go. But now I am mad!”
“It sounds like one option would be to tell him how you feel,” I said, and she nodded. “Can you come up with at least two more options for you?”
“I could suggest we meet with our counselor. She has helped us with issues like this before,” Jodi said. “I could also write in my journal about why I am so angry. I’ve been avoiding being mad at Timothy because he’s been so down. But I am mad, and it’s been hard keeping that all bottled up inside me.”
“Perfect. Each of these options sounds like it will help you to move forward no matter how Timothy responds,” I said.
“I guess I’ve been so focused on what Timothy wasn’t doing that I forgot to focus on what I could do,” Jodi said with insight and wisdom. “I’ve always heard that when you are pointing your finger at someone else, you have at least three fingers pointing back at you. That’s a great reminder for me to stay in my power and make changes.”
The next time you are frustrated with someone, ask yourself these questions: What is my part in this situation? What options do I have? How can I manage my feelings through this situation? The person you have the most influence over is you, which is a great place to start.