Why I Could Never Be a Life Coach

You’d think that being a life coach would be the perfect job for me. If you’ve read this blog with any frequency at all, you can see that I’m chock full of advice. I can figure out how to solve every problem on earth except my own.

What I seem to lack is the ability to persuade people to take my advice. Nobody listens. This is where my life coaching skills fall flat.

Because of this, I’m getting much better at only proffering ideas when asked. If someone comes to me with a problem, I am thrilled to put my thoughts out there, but more and more I’m learning that most things are best left to the ring master of the circus in question.

When someone does share a dilemma with me, and I give my advice, it comes as a profound shock to me that they think there’s any pressure applied from my end. Take it or leave it. I’m too used to being ignored to be overly upset when I am, in fact, ignored. It’s expected, actually.

So while the whole Life Coach idea has its appeal, I think I better just stick to my day job, and keep my suggestions within the confines of this blog.

Life Coach

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“American Blogger Killed”

When I read that headline the other day, my blood ran cold. Because, hey, I’m an American Blogger, so I take stuff like this personally. (Okay, so my notoriety isn’t that overwhelming, but it still strikes a chord.)

According to the Reuters article, the blogger in question, Avijit Roy, was based in Bangladesh, which, let’s face it, does not have a great reputation for freedom of the press. He spoke out against religious extremism. For his trouble, he and his wife were hacked to death by machetes. What a grisly way to go just for speaking your mind.

This kind of reaction to speech in general is incredibly foreign to my very nature. It has never occurred to me to keep my opinions to myself. And sometimes that has irritated those around me. I get that. But I have never, ever, EVER required or even assumed that others will share my opinion. I don’t think of myself as an influential or persuasive person. I’m just someone who shoots her mouth off. Take it or leave it. It’s all the same to me.

So the whole concept of someone slaughtering someone else simply because of what they write or say will always shock me. I mean, if you disagree with someone or something, go elsewhere for your information. Change the channel. Buy a different paper. You know what I’m saying? Take a life? Who does that? It’s insane.

Maybe that’s because I firmly believe that people have minds of their own and can draw their own conclusions. I assume that people who think it’s okay to kill someone for their opinion must really think the power of the word is much stronger than I do. They must think that words actually change things. Perhaps they do, sometimes, but let’s be honest. Tomorrow you’ll have forgotten that you even read this, and that’s true of 99 percent of the things that you read, unless you only read things like the preamble to the constitution or Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

The thought that there might be some nut job out there in the blogiverse who is reading my ramblings and thinking, “This chick has got to go,” gives me the shivers. But it won’t shut me up.

Rest in peace, Avijit Roy.

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The Power of Persuasion

This should be a very short entry, because I’m fairly convinced that I’ve never changed anyone’s mind about anything. Ever. I mean, EVER.

Wow. It feels good to admit that out loud. What a load off my shoulders!

If there were a 12 step program for people like me, I’d be at step two. Step one was “Admitting I’m powerless to persuade others”. Step two should probably be, “Stop wasting your time engaging in debates”.

And it’s true, I do debate a lot. Facebook is probably the last place on earth I should hang out. It’s bad enough arguing with people face to face, but when you can do it from the relative anonymity of cyberspace, people can get downright hostile.

Ironically, I hate confrontation. Absolutely despise it. It’s not like I’m going around getting into shouting matches with people or exchanging emotionally charged epithets. (And one rarely gets to use the word epithet, so I will give myself a moment of silence to appreciate the opportunity.)

But when I hear someone say something, well, stupid, I have a hard time not providing facts and logical counterpoints, and, yes, it’s true, a few well-placed opinions. But the only result I can really see from my actions, if I’m completely honest with myself, is a marked increase in my stress level.

I am finding this blog helpful, though, in terms of having a safe place to vent. But I need to totally detox from the anxiety roller coaster that I have constructed for myself. So I am hereby going to make an effort to live and let live.

But if you would care to help me in my emotional growth, you could start by trying to be right a little more often. Thanks in advance.

persuasion

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