I had to take my old cat to the vet. He doesn’t like being there and surprised me by being unusually docile when the assistant weighed him and took his temperature. During the long wait for the vet, he remained reasonably good-natured. However, when she entered the room, everything changed.
This 15-year-old cat, who has lost all but a tooth and about a third of her body weight, escaped the wizard’s clutches and made it to the door. There he resisted all attempts to capture him and get him back on the examination table. He hissed. He spitted. He hit. he howled. You could hear him down the block! It took two strong people, one with elbow length protective gloves and the other with a large towel, to catch this sick old man and bring him to the table. The assistant had to pin him down with her whole body long enough for the vet to draw blood.
It then took the two of them four minutes to wrestle him into his stretcher so I could take him home. Nobody would tell him what to do!
So what does this have to do with personal change in humans? I spoke to another coach in one of several conversations about people resisting moving forward. As we talked about customers and resistance, the image of this cat crouched in the corner, ready to kill anyone who tried to move it, came to mind. I thought about clients struggling with kicking and screaming and what it took to get a little exercise.
How fiercely we can fight to maintain the status quo. Even when resistance is futile and effort is tiring, we keep fighting change. And how exhausting for everyone who wants to help!
The next time you have a wonderful opportunity, try an anger management technique. stop and breathe Before you start spitting and hissing and jumping at the opportunity, stop and wait for your heart and head to get in sync. Grab it – but be cautious. Explore a little. You still have time to retreat or regroup or do whatever you need to do, but remember that sometimes it’s better to get out of your corner and fight to get ahead than fight to to stay in place.
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