Leaning in to build resilience

Leaning in to build resilience

Let me share a little theory I have about the power that we give emotions, particularly negative emotions, and why I think that might be.

This is inspired by the work of Brené Brown and she talks about leaning into the discomfort of a situation, and that inspired me into working with this theory of how we deal differently with what we determine to be positive emotions and negative emotions.

Types of Emotions

For the purposes of this demonstration, positive emotions are things like happiness or excitement or joy; and negative emotions would be shame or sadness or fear.

The Positive Emotion Curve

If we have a situation that triggers a positive emotion then this how the emotion happens. Let’s say it’s happiness.

So we have a starting point, so something triggers that happiness. We start to get happy, and that feeling grows. It doesn’t start off instantaneous. It actually grows. We get signals to our body that tells us to start acting as if we are happy and that feeling grows and grows and grows.

But it doesn’t grow exponentially, at some point it stops because otherwise we would explode with happiness.  

So at some point this curve starts to even out and then it will dissipate because we don’t stay happy all the time.


We don’t get one trigger and stay in that emotion all the time.


That’s generally the bell curve of a positive emotion.

What happens with Negative Emotions?

Where I think we start to run into trouble with negative emotions because we are taught from a very early age, from people who have the best of intentions, to avoid negative emotions.

If you think about when we were children, when we fell down and hurt ourselves, or if something happened to make us sad or afraid, then our well-meaning parents and caregivers told us to do something else, to distract ourselves, to cheer up because they don’t want to see us in pain. I don’t want to see my children in pain.

But what happens over time is that we never get to experience negative emotions so we become a bit afraid of them.

The Negative Emotion Avoidance

And this is where my theory is. Something happens that is going to trigger a negative emotion, we have the trigger, the process begins, and we notice that we have that negative emotion, but because we have all the conditioning from childhood that says avoid avoid avoid we distract ourselves and we do something else.

So we never have the experience of the fact that negative emotions also follow this curve.

Yes, they build and yes, it’s uncomfortable but they also will dissipate.

So we are so afraid of them that we run away, we never actually end up experiencing them.

Lean Into Negative Emotions, experience the Curve

And when you do experience the negative emotion curve, it’s incredibly empowering to know that you can survive.

You can survive leaning into the discomfort of negative emotions.

So try it, the next time that you are feeling sad, stick with it, lean into the discomfort of it and have the experience that you will survive and the next time that you experience negative emotions it won’t be so bad.


Let me know how you get on….


And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.

5 ways a coach helps you succeed

5 ways a coach helps you succeed

What are five ways a coach helps you to succeed?

I’m going to tell you five techniques and approaches that a coach uses. You can apply these to your own challenges and problems so that you can succeed better without a coach. Or you know what to expect when you hire one.  

So what are the five things that you can expect when you work with a coach.


1. What do you want to change?

First of all your coach is going to need to understand and really get to grips with what it is that you want to change, because coaching is all about changing.

“Moving you from where you are now to where you want to be.”

A description of coaching that I absolutely hate but it is true.

So the first thing that a coach is going to do is to understand what it is that you want to change.


2. Change your focus from problems to solutions

The second thing that your coach is going to do for you is help you to really shift that problem focus to a solution focus. Usually when we want to change something, we’re focused on the problem.  There is actually good reason for this that is backed by neuroscience. You see we are all predisposed to have a negative bias; it’s what keeps us safe, so if you think that maybe you can be a bit of a negative-nelly at times, relax, you’re doing exactly what you are designed to do!

A solution focus is also known as a goal focus and that’s why coaches are always working on goals.

So your coach will help move what you want to change from a problem to a goal or solution.


3. Core Values – You know this, right?

Now the third thing that your coach is going to do, which seems a little bit backwards, is that they’re going to give you an experience of understanding what your core values are.

You may think that you know what your core values are.

I have been doing this for 11 years, so believe me when I tell you that what you think your core values are and what they actually are, is more often different than you would expect.

There are reasons for this difference.

Basically we’re given our first set of core values by our parents, our teachers, our influencers and our peers. Then, as we get older and as we have our own life experiences, they start to change.

Often when it comes to the point where clients feel stuck enough to engage my services it means that there’s a bit of a values conflict going on.

So I will always give my clients an experience to find out what their core values are. This is important because that might have an impact on the fourth thing.

So before we get ahead of ourselves, number three is understand what your core values are.


4. Goal Alignment

So the fourth way a coach will help you success is to take your core values information and check in with the goal that we created in the second step.  

Let’s make sure that your goals are aligned with your core values, because once you’ve had that core values experience, sometimes the goals have to change so that they remain aligned with your values.


5. Progress and actions

The fifth thing that you can expect from your coach? Well that is progress. They will work with you to help design small manageable actions that are going to take you closer and closer to that values aligned goal.


So there you have it. Five things that your coach will help you with or that you can have a go at working on yourself.

  1. Understand the change you want to make.
  2. Shift it from a problem focus to a solution focus.
  3. Understand what’s most important to you.
  4. Check in with your values and make sure that your goal is aligned and then
  5. Design those actions that are going to move you towards that goal.


Let me know how you get on….


And to find out more about working with Lorraine on a one-to-one basis, please click below.