Legitimate Frustration

February 17, 2016


My coaching training is all about the experiential – you’re given a few tools in week 3 and they ask you to start practice coaching each other and volunteers in your life as soon as possible. Like, immediately. Which is scary, because you feel dumb and like you don’t know enough yet and people will know and they won’t take you seriously from here on out. But, it isn’t true.

If I’ve learned anything from rock climbing it’s that we actually do learn by doing.

So, I’m being coached by a fellow “cadet” as they call us trainees, and she said the following to me (paraphrasing):

“You’re putting all this pressure on yourself to be patient and kind in this situation, to empathize with people, while pushing away your own frustration. And it sounds like you’re legitimately frustrated.”

What I heard was “pressure on yourself” and “legitimately frustrated”.

Legitimately frustrated.

And I realized, until that moment, I didn’t think my frustration was legitimatepermissibleallowable.

That I was internally trying to talk myself out of my feelings. Maybe I’d acknowledged my feelings, maybe I was feeling my feelings, but I was not honoring them.

In all of this self-development, I’ve been doing the work, questioning my thoughts, turning them around, empathizing with people, and changing my thoughts to change my behavior to create a clearer path for myself. But in this trail blazing ahead of this skill set, of therapy and reflection and working through things, I somehow skipped the step where I really listen to my feelings. 

In questioning my thoughts, I question my feelings, and a core connection is severed.

I’m not sure what to do with this nugget of information yet, but this shifted something inside me. I’m curious to see what other reactions and feelings are unacknowledged or blocked.

What about you? Have you experience something like this before? What allows you to feel / acknowledge / honor your feelings?

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  • Reply Jill Salahub February 17, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    For me, I am such a master of self-denial, of spending so much time looking for the ways that I’m generating suffering in any given situation, working with my own responsibility, that I’ve really had to WORK to learn to honor myself, not abandon myself, give myself some space. So my answer to your questions are this: “Have you experience something like this before?” Yes, this is my life, everything, all of it. & “What allows you to feel / acknowledge / honor your feelings?” It usually requires a total meltdown, a breakdown of the whole system. This is not ideal, but it seems to be the only time when I truly surrender and allow it. xo

    • Reply jtao21 February 18, 2016 at 7:35 am

      I love how your answers are questions… and then this “It usually requires a total meltdown, a breakdown of the whole system”… such a Scorpio 😉 hah, but so true. I don’t think that’s my path, but I do have this blinding AH-HA moments. Just not sure how to bring them about. So much good stuff here. Thanks for commenting xo

  • Reply Debi February 19, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I’ve spent more years than I care to admit, dis-honoring my feelings. I mean total neglect. Not sure what happened to me as a child that caused me to be so submissive, (well I have a hunch, but maybe not appropriate for this moment). Anyhow…my thought is that I associated “different” as being a negative thing, and since I felt that most things in my childhood/adolescence were out of my control…well maybe, I thought the “agreeable” me was synonomous with the “likeable” me. (Have the same views/opinions as friends and be less different). I valued that more than anything. I surrendered myself to every friendship & to every boyfriend, (emotionally mostly).
    It wasn’t until college (my late twenties and 30’s) already a mother of two, after a bout of bulimia and therapy, that I really started to respect myself enough and test the waters. (Voicing outloud my real feelings/opinions/views). It lead to my deciding to divorce. But those same… valuable, openly expressed, thoughts and views in my head, also lead me to the love of my life. Someone who really appreciated me and my independent views and ideas. I’m not saying that he loved my views and ideas, lol, it wasnt about that. He just loved me having them.
    Dont get me wrong, this didn’t happen overnight, it wasnt a “switch” that turned on and I never looked back. I still occaisionally slip back to denying my wants, or my thoughts of value. But i can recognize it sooner and recover.

    So, what do I do? What allows me to acknowledge my feelings? I remember my worth. I use my words, to tell mysyelf that I’m entitled, I’m worth it… breath… & occaisionally meltdown (agreement with Jill), but mostly remember that it’s never worth going back. Not to that little girl, not to that confused adolescent or even the easily intimidated young woman. Not only is it “ok” to have my feelings/thoughts/views…it’s mentally, and sometimes physically unhealthy to NOT listen to, feel, write or verbalize them. Xoxo

    • Reply jtao21 February 20, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Ah, so much good stuff here – thanks for sharing wit me xoxo

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