Are you meant to be a life coach?

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00:00:31 Hi, Rhonda Britten here for a special edition, holiday edition of Master Coach Mindset™. I am so excited to spend the holidays with you because I know as a Coach how stressful it can be with Clients clamoring for our attention with our own family and friends clamoring, and of course, our own needs, wants, and desires. The holiday, as I shared in our last Episode of the holiday edition, this is the opportunity we have for our greatest growth, so don’t squander it, right? Don’t squander this amazing opportunity, and get focused on what we used to get focused on, which is feeling that overwhelmed, feeling that stress, and feeling that discombobulation. Instead, let’s focus and really pay attention to this time.

00:01:11 Now, I want to point out three things that could maybe trigger you this holiday season as well as potentially trigger your Clients. So we have to be awake and aware as Coaches on what we need to discuss with our coaching Clients so you can be proactive and actually ask your Clients the following questions, “Do you have any gift-giving challenges? What about connecting with family and friends? Where do you plan to go for the holidays? What is your holiday calendar look like?”, and of course, “Are there any challenges with traditions? Are you in a relationship or with your family and friends having problems with what you think you should be doing at the holidays, versus what they think you should be doing at the holidays?” These three things are so critical to not only our own well-being as Coaches but also for our Clients’ well-being as well.

00:01:59 Number one: gift-giving. The theme in gift-giving, no expectations. No expectations of other gifts to you, as well as your gift to others because let’s face it, expectations will always set you up for disappointment and a feeling of failure. Let’s just face it. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard from a Client, “Well, if I tell my husband what I want for the holidays, then it defeats the purpose. I want to be surprised”, and I always say, “You’re setting a trap. You’re setting a trap of expectation”, so if you actually want to have a smooth and happy and loving holiday season, don’t set people up for traps and make them guess what you want. Give them a list. Give them a list of three to five to 10 things, and they can choose one of them from that list so you still can be “surprised.”
00:02:48 The same goes for your family and friends. If you’re not sure what to get them, don’t try to beat yourself up, your head against the wall and try to figure it out if it just causes you stress and anxiety. Instead, ask for a list of three things, and then again, you can choose the one that suits you. That way, you still can “surprise them.” This is one way to alleviate expectations and alleviate that feeling of wondering or if you’re loved and setting up that gift-giving as a symbol of their thoughtfulness and care.

00:03:16 Some people do not do a good gift-giving. It’s just not in their genes, and it’s just not who they are, so expecting the people in your life to always be great gift-givers or expecting yourself to be a great gift-giver, if that’s not something you’re skilled at or maybe even cared that level of depth, then let it go. Allow yourself to recognize the level of gift-giver you are and accept it, and love yourself for that, and the same with others. Again, for gift-giving, it’s no expectations. No expectations of what you think they should get you, or no expectations what kind of gift do you think you should give them.

00:03:52 Instead, ask yourself, “What gift from my heart do I really want to give them this season?”, and also, maybe it’s time to say, “No gifts.” I know as my sisters and I aged, we went through a period of time where we said, “No gifts,” and instead, we only gave birthday gifts, but no holiday gifts. I’ve also done that with friends. Some of my friends are great gift-givers, and they give me a birthday gift, and my birthday is December 1st, so it’s right around the holidays, and then, of course, they send me a holiday gift. You know what?

00:04:20 I didn’t want to do that exchange. Instead, I asked them, “Can we stick to birthdays only and no holiday?” You know what? Every friend said, “Yes.” Now, has a friend send me something? I have a friend, Bonnie who sends me random gifts throughout the year.

00:04:37 Just because she sends me a random gift doesn’t mean I’m obligated to send her a random gift. Remember, gifts are some things for some people, really are the way they show love, and other people, that’s not how they show love. So don’t put yourself in the category of, “I better be a great gift-giver if that doesn’t turn you on.” Again, the theme of gift-giving, no expectations.

00:05:00 Number two: visiting family and friends and going to parties, and connecting and networking with the people that you love, and maybe are just acquaintances with. Remember, there’s three types of friends. There’s your close inner circle that you love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. There’s the people in your life that you see them maybe twice a year at parties. And then there’s the people in your life that more are acquaintances, that maybe you see them at your children’s school play, but you don’t actually socialize with them. But you say hello to them, and you feel connected to them. That also might include the dry cleaner or your favorite barista. You have different types of friends for different types of activities based on different types of intimacy, so give yourself a break. You don’t have to give every single type of friend a gift, and you also don’t have to connect with every type of friend just because it’s the holidays.

00:05:49 Ask yourself, “Do I want to spend time with my inner circle?” And does your inner circle have time to spend with you? Because they also have their own family and friends, so be thoughtful and be considerate not only of their needs but more importantly, of your needs. Because you’re somebody who cares about people because you’re a Coach, I already know that you give probably way too much. So go ahead and take a step back, and get reflective this holiday season and ask yourself, “Is this something that I want to do or is this something I feel obligated to do?” “Do I want to go to my family’s this holiday season, or do I really want to spend more reflective time with myself or my inner circle?” I’ll never forget the time, my first time that I told my sisters that I was not going to be coming for the holidays. Now, my parents died when I was 14 years old, and since I was 14 years old, my sisters and I have spent every holiday season together. Once my sisters got married … I have two sisters.

00:06:48 Once they got married and lived in different states, I would then split my time at Thanksgiving with one and Christmas with the other, and I’d flip it every year. Spending one Thanksgiving with my older sister, my Christmas with my younger sister the next year, Thanksgiving with my younger sister, and Christmas, my older sister. I did that until I was in my mid-40’s, and I was on this show, the hit show, reality show on NBC called ‘Starting Over,’ and no, I’m lying. You know what it was? It was my first Season of shooting ‘Help me, Rhonda’ over in the United Kingdom. Ah, yes. That’s when it was.

00:07:24 It was 2001, and I was shooting the very first television show in the world as the very first life Coach television show in the world, and we were shooting all the year, all the summer and fall of 2001. I remember getting home, either it was Thanksgiving weekend or right around the beginning of December, and I had planned to spend the entire month with my sister, Linda. I got to her house, and I basically slept all month. I wasn’t the greatest guest, I wasn’t the most rowdy person, and that was a big change for me. The next year, I did not go to either of my sisters’ for Christmas or for Thanksgiving.

00:08:05 Now that was a big deal. I called my sisters in November, and again, I’ve been shooting the second Season of my show, ‘Help me, Rhonda’ in the United Kingdom, and I called them both up and said, “I actually need to be alone and rest. I’ve been traveling so much back and forth from London, and everything else I was doing.” Also, my first book came out, so it was on a 20 some city book tour, so I was traveling so much for my books and for TV that I really wanted reflective time by myself. I was living in a barn in Colorado, and I spent the entire two to three weeks in December all alone. Now, that was radical for me because the holidays again, are family. And I had done that ever since I was little, and when my parents were alive, Christmas was such a big deal, so me deciding to spend it by myself was huge.

00:08:58 It also changed my life, and it changed my relationship with my sisters for the better because now, they weren’t “expecting” me to come any more for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they actually asked, “What was I going to be doing? What did I need to do?” It was one of my first stands to take care of myself. You have a right to take care of yourself this holiday season too. So think about, “Who do you want to visit, and what is really over the top for you?” Maybe you don’t have the bandwidth or the energy, or maybe it’s just difficult this holiday season for whatever reason.

00:09:29 Think about what you need, and then follow that. It’s okay to say no. Also, when you do show up at that party, or you do show up at that holiday event, I want you to remember this. No one’s wrong. Yep, I’m going to say it again. No one’s wrong. This holiday season, it might be filled with political discussions, religious philosophies, etc., etc., and you have full permission to say, “You know what? I’d rather not talk politics, or I’d rather not talk religion.” You have every right to say that, and most people during the holiday season appreciate and respect that. I know in my family, we have a no politics rule, so if somebody starts talking politics, somebody else can yell, “No politics, no politics,” and everybody in the room goes, “Got It.”

00:10:17 One year, we actually put a fine if you talk politics, and we had a bucket that you had to put a dollar in, and then we donated that money to a charity. So however you want to do it this holiday season remember, no one’s wrong. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, etc., the other parties are not wrong. They just have different beliefs. Same with religion, and same with every other topic. Remember, no one’s wrong.

00:10:44 Everyone’s just living based on their beliefs, based on what they grew up with, based on their culture, based on their education, based on what they know. Honor them. Be respectful and take care of yourself in the process.

00:10:56 Number three, traditions. Every family has different traditions. I’ll never forget the time, one of the years that I decided to stay home for the holidays, so my best friend, Marta said, “Hey, would you like to have Christmas dinner with us?” “Well, of course I would. I would love to.” I remember running over to their house and just being so excited to have Christmas with them. And the first thing I did when I arrived at their house is run into the kitchen, and there was a big, giant pot boiling on the stove. And I lifted up the pot lid, excited to see the yummy mashed potatoes just waiting to be chopped up and eaten, which are my very favorite, and I lifted up the pot, and there was no mashed potatoes. None.

00:11:42 There was also no cream corn hot dish, and there was no pumpkin pie and whip cream, there was no green bean hot dish, there was no bread, there was no turkey, and there was no cranberries. I was a little disturbed because Christmas to me is cranberries, etc., and my favorite foods. My mother made that dish for us every Christmas and Thanksgiving, and my sisters continue that tradition. You can’t imagine my surprise when I opened up that lid, and there were no mashed potatoes. I was literally like this …

00:12:17 Do you know what they served at Christmas meal? Chicken and steamed vegetables. Exactly. Can you imagine my disappointment? What I’m planning on eating is yummy, yummy foods in my mind, and it’s just another meal of healthy, and the only differences is the people invited around the table.

00:12:35 Let’s just say I was a little disappointed that holiday season because my tradition was very different than my best friends. Now, how could have I avoided that? I could’ve actually talked about it before I arrived. If mashed potatoes meant so much to me, I could have brought them, and if cream corn hot dish was so important to me, I could have brought it, but I didn’t even think to ask. This is where sometimes so much of our heartbreak is in traditions, and where we can feel disrespected because we think that everybody should be celebrating the way we do, and we can also feel upset by other people’s traditions because maybe we don’t agree with them. Remember what I said about visiting family and friends in number two, which is no one’s wrong.

00:13:18 No one’s wrong with their traditions either. It’s tradition. It’s their tradition, so find a middle ground and take care of yourself. One of the things that I always do now whenever I go anywhere I’m invited for Thanksgiving or Christmas is I bring my own cranberries, because a lot of times, they either have no cranberries, or their cranberries are with orange, and I’m allergic to orange. So if I go to their house and they have cranberries with orange or no cranberries at all, and they do have turkey, which I now ask about, I could be like … This time, I bring a can of cranberries just in case.

00:13:55 I don’t know what your traditions are, but own them, honor them, and do the same for others. Own, honor and respect theirs. This is how we learn to love and learn to accept not only ourselves but others. Now, this isn’t always … These three things aren’t just problems for you.

00:14:12 They are probably problems for your Clients as well, so be awake to that. Be awake to what’s going on in your Client’s life. And before you set them free during the holiday season, make sure you ask some of these questions so your Clients can be prepared. One of the things that we get to do that we honored to do, that we have an opportunity to do for our Clients is to prepare them for the things that are coming down the pike. Maybe they’re not even … Maybe you’re a business Coach or a health Coach, so you’re not even thinking about the holidays.

00:14:39 I invite you to do just the opposite and actually prepare them better for the holidays. This way that they can feel more love, more accepted, and more themselves as they connect with those they love. Remember, the three things to focus on this holiday season where a lot of arguments and a lot of hurt, and a lot of suffering, and a lot of disappointment happen are: gift-giving, visiting family, friends, and traditions. Instead, we’re going to focus on no expectation, nobody’s wrong, and honor respecting everyone and how they were raised. We can find that bridge.

00:15:13 Be willing to find it. Thank you for visiting and being with me on this special Episode of Master Coach Mindset Holiday Edition. We have one more to go. See you next week.