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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Myna, from Stellenbosch talks about the power within us all.

My friend Mirna van Wyk is an educational psychologist from my home town of Stellenbosch. She taught at several schools, amongst others Stellenbosch High School, Bloemhof Girls’ High and Jan Kriel School for learners with barriers to learning. She is a mother, loves art, the ocean and children.The whole key to this episode is highlighted in red below!

Choose how to react

I was reflecting with a client this afternoon on how much emotional growth and independence she experienced over the past year because of our sessions-and she responded hesitantly: 100%! 

And you know what - she has - she has grown from a smoking, overweight, over-emotional loner who had too much debt - to a fit, smoke-free, debt-free young woman who is in a stable relationship. And, although I accompanied her on this tough journey, she did it all herself.

Let me guide you through the steps she took. 

Firstly she made a list of all her debt and set herself the goal to be debt-free within a year. 

She cut up all her credit cards and asked her bank to automatically pay some of her accounts so that she could lay not her hands on the money. 

This goal she achieved within 9 months and she was so pleased with her success that when she started walking in the afternoons she invited a friend with, later she was doing Pilates in the privacy of her home. 

This motivated her to start cutting down on nicotine and within 4 months she had stopped smoking. 

She was discovering her power from within, despite the fact that her father committed suicide when she was nine and her mother was either over-dependent or non-present. 

She started to attend her church’s youth meetings and slowly gathered a circle of faithful friends. And of course she then met a young man who shared her enthusiasm for the outdoors…

This is not a Mills and Boon story or a fairy tale - this is the true life journey of my client. 

How did she do it all? By managing her thoughts and actions using two techniques: managing her self-talk and responding to circumstances rather than reacting (or rather over-reacting) to circumstances.

I have written regularly about the basic skill of emotional intelligence: respond rather than react to a situation. One just need to reflect or think for a few seconds about what is happening right there in yourself, the situation, the other people present and the action needed for the best future outcome, before your act. This can stop you from making bad decisions and rash deeds and words; it can help you to control the situation by controlling yourself. It will stop you from wasting time because of avoidance, procrastination, and excuses - in short: it will help you keep your eye on the prize-whatever that might be for you.
Next week I’ll let you in on the other technique: controlling your self-talk.
Have the best week ever: from my heart to yours.

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