A Coaching Power Tool Created by Clotilde Vassal
(Transition and Expat Coach, FRANCE)
Embracing: to accept or receive with pleasure the occurrence or presence of something
Undergoing: to suffer, to endure – especially without giving in
At any given point in our lives, we are either embracing or undergoing. When circumstances happen, or events occur, we either EMBRACE or UNDERGO them and there are consequences to each action.
The act of embracing is an act of freedom. Welcoming creates an opportunity to act with a sense of responsibility. It gives us the power to choose how we want to feel. When we take on the perspective that we welcome what occurs, we have the ability to feel free to respond.
The act of undergoing is an act of victimization. When a situation occurs and we suffer from it, we blame ourselves or others for it. By blaming someone or something else, we are giving away our power. We are losing control of our life.
We have the opportunity to choose one of these ways of living our life. We are responsible for our feelings which drive our actions. We can either choose to accept what is going on and decide what to do with it. Or, we can choose to endure our life by being passive and waiting until things change. We all have a choice in how we experience any given situation:
- our energy could be spent on what is happening which is out of our control and let the situation steal our peace; or,
- we see the situation for what it is and acknowledge what triggers us, recognize what we can and cannot control and find an opportunity of learning.
We have the power to make things change by embracing what happens and integrate them in our life instead of undergoing events and suffer our life. We are the actor in our life, we can decide. We have the power to choose and to take actions.
Why choose to embrace?
By embracing the current state or situation, we accept what is happening around us. The first step to that is the need to welcome ourselves before being able to welcome others and events. Reflect the way we are ourselves and be focus on what we do want and what we want to create with self-love and understanding, with compassion within ourselves.
The second step is to acknowledge what happens and look at new possibilities – be the driver of our life. Be aware of what is happening and welcome the situation in order to take actions.
We all have some patterns of the way to react in front of a negative event. We can either complain about what is going on and suffer events or welcome what is happening and ask ourselves what we can do about this situation.
Embracing what happens in life to transform it into something positive. For that, we have to see or find the positive in everything that occurs and look for it. Stop thinking that an outstanding situation is coming to spoil what we have the intention to do. Stop finding excuses in the situation not to move forward. Stop blaming the outside event for our lack of accountability in what we were wanted to do.
Instead, see things with another point of view, welcome events and situations, acknowledge them and understand how to take them into account to transform the all situation into our advantage. Find the benefice and opportunity of this new situation.
Embracing life invites us to consider what is happening and find new ways to meet the goal. Many circumstances are outside our control. We have to know what we can control and what we cannot.
The key is to accept that there are certain things over which we have no control like the passage of the time and the ephemeral nature of the world around. By welcoming, we remain open to whatever may transpire and see what is actually happening. We can view the situation as events which are independent of how it may affect us instead of how it may attack our ego.
Undergoing and suffering limits possibilities and creates a feeling of being stuck that inhibits growth and opportunity for taking action and moving forward. Embracing is a more empowering attitude to create new ways of thinking and creative actions.
Especially negative events are not easy to accept. By welcoming them and taking them into account, we will re-adapt our journey and move forward.
Undergoing brings frustration while embracing offers a new opportunity. By acknowledging what happens, observing our feelings and emotions in this given situation we will be able to welcome it. Receiving willingly what is happening and dealing with the situation and reality with awareness will give us the power to make decisions and create opportunities for learning and grow.
Coaching illustration and application:
VICTIM: He is the one thinking ‘This always happens to me’, he fell hopeless and powerless. Life is happening to them, circumstances causing something that victim life to be.
RESCUER: He plays the role of the hero by taking responsibility for other people’s problems. He is the one thinking ‘If that person had done what I said, they’d be happy’. He feels temporary relief, not facing or dealing with the core issue.
PERSECUTOR: He plays the role of the villain, his job is to blame – himself, or others. He is the one thinking ‘They are wrong, I’m right! They need to do what I say’. He feels frustrated.
In this triangle, roles move between each other. The starting gate is the role we most often and naturally enter, the way we define ourselves.
No matter where we start, we will end up the victim feeling powerless and helpless. This is why we focused on the victim role in this tool.
All victim proving that they are the biggest one, that’s why we need to find a strategy to get out of this triangle.
How do we get out to the Drama Triangle?
While working and acting in presence, roles change:
VICTIM moves to being the CREATOR – take responsibility for their lives and stop complaining.
PERSECUTOR becomes the CHALLENGER – create a breakthrough, do not blame or criticize.
RESCUER becomes the COACH – not trying to fix anyone, everyone empowers their own life, he especially focuses on empowering the creator.
Shift perspective from Victim – the one who undergoes – to Creator – the one who embraces. What is interesting here, is that the victim could become the creator of his life by stopping undergoing circumstances and welcoming them instead.
How to move from suffering an event or circumstances to welcome it? By stopping blaming and take our responsibility to choose how to feel and act. With the support of a coach, he will be able to make this shift.
Change perspectives help to see things differently and thus come to different and more empowering feelings about the event or experience. New perspectives offer new possibilities.
Our perspective determines our experience in life. We have the power to change it. What we see is based on what we believe. Here are some examples of questions that allows clients to grow and achieve their goals:
- What is going well in your life? How to improve it?
- What possibilities exist here?
- What would you like to see happen?
- What choices do you have?
- What do you need here?
- What are the options for action here?
- What is the most enjoyable aspect about this?
- What can you learn from this?
- What about this situation could be fun?
- What do you think you can do to change this?
- What in this situation can you be grateful for?
- What are the positive aspects of the current situation?
- How can you challenge the situation instead of letting the situation challenge you?
- How can you turn the current situation to your advantage?
- What is out of your control here? What can you control?
- What is stopping you to accept the things that are outside of your personal control?
By answering these questions, we could decide to shift our perspective without waiting for a particular circumstance. Embracing is a greater awareness of how to make decisions and it supports positive life choices.
Negative circumstances are the perception we have of something. By asking these questions, the coach encourages to try something new, to turn negative emotion in a much positive way. Accept reality the way it is, makes the decision and take action including it. Keep moving and dance with our life by embracing it, move toward and experience it the way that makes us feel the most alive. That will bring us a higher vision of ourselves.
We have the opportunity to choose a perspective and using our breathing is very helpful to move from one to another. Mediation could also be a good exercise to make us change our perspective. Its objective of becoming a virtuous person by reaching a state of tranquillity, absence of negative feelings (anxiety, fear, shame, vanity, anger) and presence of positive feelings (happiness, love, serenity, gratitude).
How to make this shift in perspectives to embrace instead of undergoing? By focusing on the positive details of a situation. Even the worst situations offer opportunities to learn and grow. We have the power to choose a viewpoint regarding a situation and to take every new situation as a new opportunity. Choose to live with life’s disappointments and not be overwhelmed by them.
We can choose to be positive to make our life happier. Approaching circumstances and experiences with curiosity will give much more power in our own life. The level of acceptance of them will set us free. By understanding a situation and adapting ourselves to it, we take care of ourselves. This is the opposite of giving up and act like a victim by undergoing situations.
I will conclude with this quote of Tony Robbins which summarize and illustrate all that:
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