A Coaching Power Tool Created by Wei Shi
(Business, Life and Transformational Coach, INDONESIA)
Real life isn’t going to be perfect or go our way, but the recurring acknowledgement of what is working in our lives can help us not only to survive but surmount our difficulties- Sarah Ban Breathnach
Everyday we experience acknowledgement and denial, they appear in the work, in the school, at home and everywhere people meet people. It can happen in our mind, while we are talking and moving with a gesture, a sight or just words. As a child I grew up in China where the humbleness is required. In the school there were only acknowledgement for the kids who did good in exams and brought good marks home. Rarely we got acknowledged from adults because we did well and we endeavored. The results were more important than the process and this way of thinking was influenced and accompanied people’s life.
- Acceptance of the truth or existence of something
- Recognition of the importance or quality of something
A statement that something is not true
- The refusal of something requested or desired
- Refusal to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion or to admit it into consciousness, used as a defence mechanism
Choice in Perspective
Acknowledgement has many facets, which give us positive massage.
Around Denial the feeling are heavy and disappointing.
There are many reasons why we denial ourselves and other people for the things how they are in our lives. Perhaps we only see what is not working out well and what could be better, but not see what is already done and what is going well. It is easy for us to express denial that in hope we can still doing things better and achieve better. Maybe we are afraid once we speak out the acknowledgement the effort will not be the same if we are criticizing. This inner fear could come from early education from parents and teachers in the old time when people believed in humble-minded people. People who appreciated about their efforts were proud people who were not well seen in the society.
Using the denial way of thinking and doing things to ourselves and other people the negative energy is spread out and is making us unsatisfied and unhappy. Doing denial actions are already showing the close and fearful behavior in one. It is not productive and not open-minded. Through the denial we shut down our courage for more adventure and stop us moving forward.
There are some signs that recognize the denial:
- Not open to the new ideas and new thoughts, not believing the new things can be going well
- Always try to find the disadvantage and see where are the dark sides
- Only see the results and overlook the effort and process
- People who denial others often denial themselves first
- Less self confidence and less trust to others
How to stop the denial behavior in action and in thinking:
- Start acknowledge oneself for the things going well and the effort behind
- Accept oneself first and stop say it is “not good”, “it could be going wrong” and “it will never …” etc
- Start acknowledge oneself everyday before sleep what is going well and start to acknowledge others around us what they are doing well
- Accept what we are and nothing is perfect in live.
- And be happy with what we have
The denial action is easy to exercise but causes deep anger and helpless feeling in one. Here is an example where we can have a look what it is. Sophie is working hard on her oral exam and she did prepared a lot different cases and questions that could be asked in the exam. The night before exam, Sophie was still doing exercises and felt very exited and nervous and could not sleep well whole night. Next morning she felt really tired and more nervous and she trunk a lot of coffee to keep her awake. In the exam she could answer most of questions but at the end she was stuck somewhere. If Sophie was playing the denial game, the following cases could happen:
- Denial herself: Sophie could feel very bad not going to bed earlier and relax last time before exam. She could also feel stupid not to prepare the question asked at the end of the exam and did more work before exam.
- Denial others: she could be angry to the teacher ask questions that she didn’t prepare.
- Denial general: she could be angry that the time for the preparation was too short and the material for the preparation was not enough. Also the coffee in the morning was too strong which made her felt more exited and nervous.
The all three cases described above made Sophie felt bad and stuck. The denial could not help her to move forward. The result of the oral exam could not change even she blame her self and others.
If Sophie is changing her mindset and acknowledge herself for what she already did and achieved she will see how hard she worked on the exam and how well she answered most of the questions. This will give her a lot of positive energy to face the next exam.
Things happened in our lived could not be turn around. What we can do is to live in the presence and to think what we learned from past and what we can do better in future. To acknowledge ourselves for what we did well and what we will do well give us a feeling of trust and appreciation. The barriers will be lower and we are encouraged to further actions.
There are many ways to shift the denial way of thinking to the acknowledgment. We as coach should see what clients could acknowledge.
- We should use single words such as “yes”, “amazing”, “certainly” and “wow”
- Short sentences such as “I agree”, “That’s great”, “very nice” and “well done”
- Ask questions such as “Are you serious?” and “Why not?”
- Showing acknowledged gestures such as nodding of head, pointing up the thump and keep positive face expression such as smile.
- What are the things in your life which you are denial yourself and others?
- How could these things look like if you shift the perspective from denial to the acknowledgment?
- What are things that you can acknowledge in your life?
- Why do we need acknowledgement and not denial to help us moving forward?
- What are the questions you can ask your client to switch perspective from denial to acknowledgement?