The Coach's Corner

What drives you crazy?

The Coach’s Corner Newsletter #34

Maybe it’s the end of the first month of 2024. Last week’s full moon? World events? I’ve been feeling on edge.

This week someone decided to speed through a very clearly marked stop sign in my neighborhood as I was walking to the park. I raised my hands, yelled something about slowing down and wished my eyes had super powers to zap all four tires on that car.

Misunderstanding a client of mine, I canceled a scheduled session only to discover she wanted to meet at the scheduled time. How could I have been so foolish? Thankfully she notified me and I corrected the situation in time.

Arriving at a dental appointment ahead of schedule, I settled in with a fabulous mystery book I’m in the middle of reading. But after 25 minutes(!), all of that ease erupted into tension. I stepped up to the receptionist to question my wait time and was pretty unfriendly when my very kind dentist arrived to clean my teeth.

All three things were annoying – but did they warrant my reactions? When I think of the speeding car, I am frustrated with people’s crazy driving. And I do take huge precautions on every walk – because I know there are crazy drivers out there. How did my reaction change anything?

Canceling a client’s appointment was a wakeup call for me – what was going on in my brain that I would make that decision, even if I believed it to be true? That isn’t up to me. My frustration was totally on my speedy behavior.

The dentist appointment? I KNOW practitioners get behind schedule so I allow for that. But in this instance I decided my time was more valuable, even though I’d cleared time prior to and after the appointment. Being frustrated only raised my blood pressure when the last thing I want is to be nervous in a dentist chair.

So what’s making me feel crazy, really?


What drives you crazy?

It’s fascinating to consider that what drives you crazy might not bug your colleague at all. So I thought I’d share a cross-section of comments from my clients about things that made them feel crazy this week.

I was at an offsite and had to stay in a room with those tiny blinking green lights. Drove me crazy!

After following through on a request to submit all my information and being told that I have the job, I have heard NOTHING from this new organization!

OMG, I was on a zoom call yesterday and a colleague apologized ahead of time and then proceeded to eat her lunch while on the call!

I’m walking with my kid at the zoo and a family walks in front of us and then slows down. Seriously?

I’ve been so good at holding my tongue and not gossiping about my manager, and then my colleague shares something that angered her and I wind up telling a story and divulge way too much information.

Constant mass emails fill my inbox when there’s no call to action for me, why won’t they stop?

When you hear another person’s story about what makes them crazy, you may resonate or wonder what’s wrong with them 🙂

Unless someone is ready to do something about the situation, resist the urge to tell them to stay calm, focus on what’s important or take it as a teaching moment.



What to do when you’re triggered, again.

The next time you hit a wall with someone or something that drives you crazy, here’s an exercise that might bring you clarity. And before you begin, may I invite you to take a moment to breathe/ground yourself/pause? Now you can respond.

First, acknowledge what makes you crazy.

·      You’re furious that you haven’t heard back.

·      Frustrated that someone cut you off in traffic.

·      Peeved that mass emails are clogging your inbox.

This is reality.

Second, ask yourself, “what do you want to do about it?”

·      Decide if it’s time to reach out.

·      Give yourself enough time to get to where you want to go.

·      Notify the sender about the glut of emails.

This is your action.

Third, remember what works.

·      You have the power to engage.

·      Take steps to control your time.

·      If the unwanted emails keep coming, hit delete.

Rinse and repeat.

My takeaway

Feeling on edge isn’t pleasant. And you aren’t the only one going through moments or days or weeks where things drive you crazy.

When I do slow down enough to allow myself to be frustrated – I accept my emotions around the incident. Only then can I recognize that the situation doesn’t control me. I get to find ownership.

What can I do about the situation that’s driving me crazy? Once I’ve acknowledged what’s ticking me off, I usually have a good idea how to handle the situation. Or I may know someone I can lean on for support – a friend, a family member, even a coach!

As I decide what I can do to lessen the craziness I commit this learning to memory, write it down or share it with someone. Then, when I’m heading to the dentist again in six months, I can remind myself of how long it will take in the waiting room and that giving myself enough time really does mean I can use this period of waiting to finish the latest novel I’m reading.

Life is beautiful but people are crazy.

Charles Osgood, rest in peace.

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