(Dutch version here)

You know the story of Frith and El Arairah? It’s from Watership Down.

In the story Frith gives animals their ‘presents’,  their special powers.

But the story doesn’t tell that the animals could choose their own abilities.  They could, and I would like to tell you about the choices of the Camel.

The Camel had some specific wishes:

Long legs, with broad feet, to be able to walk in the desert.

A double pair of eyelashes because of the sand that blows in his eyes constantly.

And no more thirst, there’s so little water out there.

Frith frowned at that last wish, but granted them all.

“You can come back, if you change your mind”, with these words Frith waved the Camel goodbye.

The Camel did come back. Three weeks was all it took.

“Hm”, said Frith: “I thought so. Tell me, what is it?”

“The legs, feet and eylashes are great, never better, but . . . ” the Camel hesitated, ” . . . but I so miss the thirst. You know, I get a drink sometime, form an oasis. But it’s not the same. Water doesn’t taste good anymore. I so miss it, when I finally see an oasis, dying form thirst, and then plunging my head in the cold water.”

“I thought so”, said Frith, “You know what? I’ll give you two lumps om your back, to store water, because you’re right, there’s precious little of it. But I’ll give you back your thirst. You will be always wishing for the well, form time to time.”

 

As a coach you are the well. 

And that’s a good thing, at least at first.

Be aware that your clients often have stood dry for quite a long time. The crave for recognition. Rejection sensitivity is a bitch!

Let me tell you about rejection sensitivity, not the meaning because the words are self explaining, but how it grows.

Your clients are highly sensitive, right? That means that they stand out. They see other things, make other connections.

As a kid, when the teacher, asked them something they could think of at least seven answers. And then they found out that only one of then was considered right. Wow! weird world, and a puzzle! Even if they do get this puzzle right, they take longer than others, considering the possibilities and the circumstances.

This process is even more difficult when it’s about social stuff.

So stand out they will! And if their family didn’t do an awesome job supporting their standing-outishness, they feel rejection. Please note that this feeling is also stronger when you’re highly sensitive.

So they try to fit in. Trying to be faster at making the puzzles, and breaking the social codes.

And they are less and less themselves, which makes it more difficult to be seen for who they really are.

So there you are, the tail biting ,self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s another reason why your clients are not feeling their self worth.

They hate the fight for the high places on the social ladder, so they let other go first.

They are so desperate for an oasis.

And there you are as a coach. 

Be the oasis.

And then teach them how to refill their lumps.

Teach them to find other oasis, so finally they won’t need you anymore.

But first: be the oasis.

 

afterthought:

Please don’t teach them they can find the oasis in themselves. I believed that bullshit for too long. Lumps yes, no.
Don’t people have an incredible inner source? Yes they have!
But recognition and being seen isn’t to found in that water. That is why Frith made all those other people.
And vice versa, peoples inner source isn’t for them alone. It’s for all those others.

 

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