Emotional pain

Are you sometimes hit by surprise?

Do you think ‘I thought I was over this’?

Are you familiar with the pain?

Lars was a lovely 39 years old man, who loved his job as a manager and was loved and supported by his team. He had a positive attitude and was an excellent motivator. Someone you would love to work for.

But maybe not today.

Today he seemed unapproachable as he felt angry and frustrated.

With himself.

His boss had told him off for a silly mistake, which someone in his team had overlooked.

In itself this should be no big deal, but Lars was left feeling useless, incompetent and massively insecure. Such a familiar feeling.

Instead of being, feeling and acting like a 39 year old, he felt 14 again. He was re-visiting familiar situations from the past: those moments when his mother told him off and made him feel worthless.

Lars’ boss spoke to him in a way that brought it all back. Unknowingly, he had hit his tender spot, his invisible bruise.

This invisible ‘weak spot’ used to be a big wound, which had healed over time.

But as with ‘real’ wounds, the tissue around it stays sensitive.

And when someone pokes it, it hurts.

When someone hits it really hard, the tissue might break out in a wound again.

Tips on how to deal with invisible bruises and emotional pain

  1. When you feel an (what you think is) unreasonable and emotional response to a situation, stay with it. Feel it and acknowledge the pain. Often we want to brush it off and beat ourselves up for it, which isn’t very helpful;
  2. Go back to the situation and the time of the origin of the bruise and re-live it. This might sound odd, as it is painful, but you have to go through an emotion several times (sometimes several hundreds of times) to process it fully. And if it isn’t fully processed, it will stay sensitive.
  3. Move from the emotional area to your head, to bring into your awareness that the origin of your pain was in the past. The past is not the now.
  4. Then imagine you shake it all off, take a few deep breathes, smile and get on with your day.

Bruises that are visible are usually ugly (unless you carry it as a trophy after a rugby match) but are shortlived. Invisible bruises, deeply buried in your mind and emotional system are the really painful ones. And they sometimes stay around for a lifetime.

If you struggle to heal your invisible bruises and would love to talk about it, why not book a free coaching call with Mariette. Click here to choose a slot.

And why not sign up for your free weekly tip from the coaching couch? Sign up here.

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