Our tendency to focus on what’s wrong

It’s been half-term so have been ‘Mumming’ rather than Coaching. And there is always plenty of life inspiration to be had in a week of Mumming. 

One day I was at a friend’s and she was cooking lunch for all the kids. Her son hates baked beans so she made him peas to go with the crowd-pleasing Fish Finger sandwich. But she’d accidentally put beans on the plate then scraped them off before serving and replaced with peas. Alas all her son could focus on at first was not the delicious, favoured lunch of a fish finger sandwich with his friends, but the smear of bean juice and 1 solitary baked bean .. and he was not happy! 

Now he’s a 6 year old and is entitled to react like that but what’s interesting is how, as adults, we can all do the same. Instead of focusing on what’s good in our lives (or our work, our partners, families, children etc) we get absorbed by the bits we don’t like. We focus on the 1 baked bean and not the sandwich. Eg 10 people at work give you brilliant feedback but 1 offers some constructive criticism .. which does your brain stew over? Hands up – I can do the same (coaches are Human too!) and here’s a personal example. 

Last week I didn’t have such a good week with my son and while it is very easy to blame him & his behaviours for that, a far more interesting question is: What was my contribution? How did I not help our relationship last week? In asking myself I noticed that, by getting increasingly frustrated, I’d been too focused on his negatives and not noticing or acknowledging what he did well. And so a negative spiral develops. Which isn’t how I want to parent at all. AND we can all get caught in unhelpful patterns. Hence with my lovely son I have a new determination this week to look for his positives .. after all, he definitely isn’t a boring kid & I’m much better suited to quirky than boring! Meanwhile are there parts of your life where you mostly notice or think about the baked bean equivalent? If so maybe see what else is on the plate .. there might just be something delicious! Pls Like / Share.

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