The day before, I met a familiar friend. She has guided me thus far and today she gave me more lessons on how to do things better. You could have met her before. Her name is Failure.
I was helping a client who overeats to curb his snacking habit. We used elements of Feel Good Therapy today to align his intentions. During the process we reached a road block. Try as he might, he could not find the power in him to help take over that bad habit. He got more and more frustrated. I decided that I had to terminate trance.
When he emerged out of trance I asked him gently, “what’s happening?”
“I can’t! I just can’t find something that feels as good as snacking! Every time a new image comes to mind, I’d tell myself it’s not enough!” he complained.
I listened patiently and explained to him that if that’s the case, he will have to deal with the part that keeps interjecting the process. He needs to find peace with it. I gave him a further set of instructions and he left the office. I felt unaccomplished.
My goals for therapy were not met, we didn’t really make any progress in the session and he left feeling slightly frustrated. I went home with this heavy feeling in my heart. I asked myself how can I do it better?
And that’s when I saw some other options that I have not seen before; I had not reassured him that he ALREADY had the qualities he needed to achieve what he wants. Instead I asked him to search for a replacement and it’s no wonder that the solutions he thought of were never enough. He needed to have that basic need fulfilled before he is able to think of something to replace it. I felt guilt and disappointment at not having seen this fundamental point before.
After that, I felt better to have at least learnt something. The very next day, he texted me: “Hey TK, I did not snack at all today. I constantly centered myself when I’m under high stress and pressure. Thanks for your advice!”. I felt butterflies in my stomach; I felt an explosion of joy onto my face and I felt so relieved. I promised myself that the next time I see him, I will do much more for him and do what I failed to do today for him.
I believe that so long as every day you are doing something better than yesterday, you’re doing fine. You see, my friend Failure’s family name is really Feedback. From feedback we have so much to learn. Don’t stop believing just because you meet Failure. She’s just protecting you by trying to tell you to look the other way.