Naming Your Dragons

I call them Dragons. We all have them, just slightly different ones. Sometimes they seem to be sleeping quietly. At other times it’s as if they are sitting on our heads. Shouting. Really loudly.

By Dragons, I mean those critical voices in our heads that run through our lives like a pulled thread. And they commentate on our day-to-day activities. Sometimes they sound a bit like us. Sometimes they sound a bit like someone we know or used to know.

The Not Good Enough Dragon. The Big Fat Failure Dragon. The Book of Shoulds Dragon. The Good Girl Dragon. The Too Old or Too Young Dragon. The Dragon of Perfection and her friend The Dragon of Do More. Just to name a few. Or my personal favourite The You Used To Be Better Dragon. (Mine wears a glamorous hat and Louboutin shoes lol….)

I’m not trying to get you to murder your Dragons. Or outshout them. Both of those tactics seem to take a lot of energy with patchy success in my experience. I’m not going to ask you to unpick where and when and why the Dragon was born because that’s a job for a therapist not a coach if you want to explore it.

My contribution is to help you See and Name Them as a first step when they get in your way or distract you from doing what you really want to do. And it’s easier as a coach to see the metaphorical rustling leaves that suggest a Dragon because it’s not my Dragon. It’s not a familiar voice to me as it is for you.

And then? We’ll work out together when the Dragons help and when they don’t and what to do when you need them in the back seat rather than the driving seat…..

I’ll share some thoughts another day about when you might want to make them Tea and Cake…..

International Menopause Day

I am usually a little reluctant to bang on about topics that are outwith my expertise or to label issues in a simple one size fits all. However, catching up on various posts like this (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/#symptoms) today left me musing on two things; the importance of feeling heard and addressing the basics when you feel a bit adrift.

It isn’t universal, of course, but many of the women I coach and know over 40 talk about struggling with anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and a kind of brain fog that leaves them feeling overwhelmed. Many turn quickly to the conclusion that they are failing in some way and just need to do more or better. Some reach a point of feeling so overwhelmed that they go to see their GP – assuming they can get an appointment – but end up feeling unheard or labelled as needing anti-depressants or to up their daily steps or take a holiday. None of these are terrible in themselves….but what if the underlying cause was actually a simple issue of hormones? How would you know? And what difference might it make to how you felt about yourself or solutions to improve your wellbeing if you did know?

As a person who has experienced PTSD, I learned to have a lot more respect for the role that hormones and biochemistry play in our lives. How easy it can be to see it as a failing of character as opposed to a function of biology and neurochemistry. How unhelpful it can be if others – or even you – gaslight yourself by denying the signals of your own experience. Perhaps we all need a reminder to start with the basics first………what if it isn’t about Perfection but Progesterone?