Ep #36: Why We People Please

The Autism Mom Coach with Lisa Candera | Why We People Please

People pleasing is like Fight Club: we don’t talk about it. This is because, when we do, we talk about it as if it’s some sort of virtuous or morally superior trait that some people have. But that’s not what people pleasing is at all. People pleasing is a lie, and we need to make a change.

When we are people pleasing, we’re lying to others and to ourselves. We’re trying to manipulate how people view us by acting in ways that are not in alignment with how we really want to show up. With The Holidays fast approaching, the people-pleasing season truly is upon us, which makes now the perfect time to talk about how people pleasing shows up in Special Needs Parenting, and most importantly, how to break this exhausting habit.

Tune in this week for part one of a three-part series all about people pleasing. In this episode, I’m showing you what people pleasing is and how it’s impacting your experience as the parent of a child with Autism, and be sure to come back next week to go even deeper into this topic.

I am accepting applications for new clients! All you need to do is click here, and you can schedule a one-on-one consult so we can discuss where you are, where you want to go, and whether coaching is going to help get you there.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • How I’m defining people pleasing for the purposes of this episode and the many forms it takes.
  • My experience of people pleasing in my journey of being a Special Needs Parent.
  • The natural desire we have as humans to be accepted and approved of versus the darker side of people pleasing.
  • Why we people please and what we tell ourselves about why people pleasing is okay.
  • How to see where people pleasing is showing up in your day-to-day as the parent of a child with Autism.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
  • Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 36 of The Autism Mom Coach, Why We People Please.

People pleasing is like fight club. We don’t talk about it and that’s because when we do we talk about it as if it’s some sort of virtuous or morally superior trait that some people have. But that’s not what it is at all. People pleasing is a lie. When we are doing it we are lying to others and to ourselves. We are trying to manipulate how people view us by acting in ways that are not in alignment with how we really want to show up.

And with the holidays fast approaching the people pleasing season is upon us which makes now the perfect time to talk about how people pleasing shows up in special needs parenting and what you can begin to do right now to break this exhausting habit. In part one of this three part series I will talk about what people pleasing is and how it shows up in special needs parenting. In part two I will tell you how to stop people pleasing. And in part three I will talk about what to do when you stop people pleasing and people aren’t pleased. Stay tuned.

Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.

Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast. This episode will air on my birthday and I will be in an IEP meeting again on my birthday two years in a row. And fingers crossed that this meeting goes more smoothly than some of the rest of them have. So anyhow you know how it is with IEP meetings, they’re not a party no matter how wonderful your team is. And as I was thinking about this upcoming IEP meeting and IEP meetings of the past I realized something.

Now, for years and I mean years I approached the IEP table with an agenda that did not just include advocating for my son. Now, of course that was the primary goal, but my secondary goal, and this one was hidden to me for quite some time and really until I found coaching and started to do more of this internal work. The secondary goal was for other people at that table to like me. I wanted them to like me. I wanted them to think I was doing a good job. And I say this now and I kind of feel embarrassed by that, but also really compassionate and understanding to myself.

I mean of course I wanted people to think I was doing a good job. Now, that in and of itself is not a problem and it is quite natural. We are a social species. We are wired to be aware and to some extent really care about what other people think of us, and who more than a mom advocating for her child in a sea of no’s and unknowns would benefit more from a high five and a pat on the back. But I also know that this natural inclination we all have to be accepted and approved of can have a darker side.

And that darker side is when it shows up as a never ending need to people please other people to the point where you are doing all kinds of things because you think you just have to. And you don’t even know what you want because what you want has never really been a consideration beyond if everyone else is happy with me then I can relax and be okay until the next time someone needs something. Exhausting.

Now, of course there are things that we do every day that may be pleasing to others but that does not make them people pleasing as I’m going to define it in just a moment. I make my son, breakfast. I attend doctors meetings and IEP meetings on my birthday. I clean the house. I feed my friend’s cat when she is away. I call my mom a few times a week to check in and see how she’s doing. While all of these actions may please other people in my life my motivation for doing them is love, care, friendship and kindness,

They feel good to me. They feel expansive. Even if I don’t love cleaning the house, which I actually do, or feeding the cat, I am not doing it out of a feeling of dread or obligation that if I don’t do this then other people will think poorly of me. That is the difference between the things we do because we want to do them and the things we do to people please. People pleasing often does not feel good and it feels like dread and obligation. So let’s define it.

What I am talking about people pleasing I am talking about the actions you take, or do not take in order to be perceived in a favorable light by other people, in order to control what other people think of you. People pleasing takes many forms, saying yes when you want to say no and vice versa. Not telling people the truth because you are afraid it will hurt their feelings. Doing things for other people so they will think that you are good or nice, focusing on how other people see you, and doing things so they will think that you are competent, or kind, or nice, or just a good mom.

Not setting or holding boundaries because you are afraid that you won’t be able to stick to them or because other people will be unhappy by them. People pleasing is you doing things or not in hopes that other people will be pleased by you often at the expense of pleasing yourself. And it is a lie, people pleasing is lying, lying to others and to yourself. Lying to others so you can avoid the discomfort you are afraid you might feel if they don’t approve of you, or if you believe that they will not approve of you.

So you trade in the discomfort of displeasing others for the discomfort of letting yourself down. Let me give you some examples of how I see this showing up in special needs parenting. Maybe you don’t set or enforce boundaries with your child because you don’t want your child to see you as the bad guy. You want to be the good parent. Maybe you overcorrect your child for a behavior in the playground because you do not want the other parents to think you are letting your child get away with a bad behavior.

Maybe you don’t ask your partner to do bath time, or fill out paperwork, or make dinner because you want him or her to believe that you have it all under control and you don’t need any help. Maybe you don’t ask family members or friends for help or for breaks because you don’t want them to believe that you can’t handle your child. Maybe you say yes to invitations from friends when you really want to say no because you believe whatever the invitation is for, say a birthday party.

Maybe you think that this will be too intense for your child but rather than offending them, you go to the party. Maybe you agree to bake the cookies, or decorate the classroom, or volunteer at that dance because you want the neurotypical kids’ parents to know that you are just as involved as they are. Maybe you do not tell your family members how they can accommodate your special needs child in their homes because you don’t want to offend them or you don’t want them to judge you or your child.

Maybe you don’t tell your sister-in-law to stop sending you emails about Autism cures because you don’t want her to think that you are ungrateful or a bitch. Maybe you tell your child’s doctor that you will pursue a therapy she has suggested just because you want her to believe you are doing everything you can even though you don’t agree at all that this therapy is appropriate for your child.

And finally, maybe you decide to discontinue a social skills therapy because you don’t think the program is meeting your child’s needs but you decide to tell the administrator it is because your schedule is too full. Because you don’t want to have a difficult conversation with her about the program. These are all forms of people pleasing and really people deceiving. And here’s the thing, it doesn’t work because the truth is we can’t please other people because we don’t cause their feelings. Other people’s thoughts cause their feelings.

So when we engage in people pleasing we are really just trying to influence how other people think about us and how they feel about us. And on top of that, people pleasing really isn’t about the other person at all, it is about us. It is about the discomfort we want to avoid when we fear that we are not doing what other people expect of us. So let’s talk about this. Why do we do this, why do we people please?

First, like I said at the beginning of the show, as human beings we have a desire to fit in and be accepted, this is driven by our evolutionary biology. We are wired to care about what other people think about us as a matter of survival. But in addition to our biology there’s also our strong, strong socialization as women. As women we are socialized to put other people’s needs above our own. We are socialized to believe that this is what makes us good people worthy of love and acceptance.

How much we do, how much we show up for others, how much we sacrifice for other people, these beliefs are taught to us and modeled to us by caregivers, educators, and society at large. For some of us, people pleasing as much as we resent it, it feels a lot safer than not people pleasing and this is for good reason. Historically, people pleasing might have been a matter of survival. I mean at its core, people pleasing is a survival technique. If other people are happy with me then I will be okay.

So the idea of not going with the program, of rocking the boat, that is scary. It means risking the safety of being the good girl, being liked by everyone and never ever disappointing anyone but yourself. And this makes sense, we are rewarded for people pleasing because it enables us to fit in with the archetype that has been carved out for us, of the good mom while avoiding the discomfort that comes with owning what we really want. Because, well, other people might not like it.

We people please because it is the road we have been travelling most of our lives. It is what we think we are supposed to do, what we have been socialized to value of the mom who does it all, the supermom over the mom who values her own needs and sets boundaries. I mean that woman is selfish which is basically the worst thing you could call a mother, selfish. So we do it all even though we don’t want to and then we wonder why we are feeling resentful or burnt out.

Here’s the good news, people pleasing is a choice. We can choose our discomfort. We can choose the discomfort of standing for ourselves over the discomfort we feel when we do things just because we think we should or have to. But first we need to notice it. We need to get really honest with ourselves because people pleasing is so insidious. It’s so wrapped up in everything that we do and a lot of what we think of ourselves that we don’t even notice it so much of the time.

So the first thing always is we need to notice all of the areas in our lives big and small where we are doing or not doing things for really no other reason than we fear that another person will be upset or perceive us in a way that we don’t want. And I’m not even talking about people you know. A lot of times we people please for people we don’t know, for people we imagine in our minds. And sometimes we people please for the person right next to us. The point here is to really get familiar with the areas in your life where this shows up.

You can do this by asking yourself the following questions. When are you saying yes when you want to stay no? When are you staying quiet to keep the peace? When are you doing things to control or influence how others perceive you? If you are unsure whether you are taking actions because of people pleasing ask yourself, am I doing this out of love? Is this in alignment with my values? Or am I doing this because I think I should do it? And usually whenever a should pops up it is very tightly linked to people pleasing and what other people think, or what we believe other people think or expect of us.

Once you gather up your list ask yourself, what am I afraid will happen if I don’t do whatever it is I’m doing to people please? And then finally ask yourself, can I handle this? And that question is really ultimately, can I handle the discomfort I will feel by not doing the thing that I think other people expect of me? Can I handle it if a stranger thinks I’m a bad mom? Can I handle it if my mother-in-law is disappointed or even angry that I didn’t invite her to dinner?

Can I handle it if my sister-in-law takes offence when I tell her to stop sending me articles about Autism? And I think what you’ll find the answer to these questions is probably yes. Yeah, of course you can, you’ve handled a lot. You handle a lot of discomfort on a daily basis. And so it’s the question of whether or not you’re willing to make room for this kind of discomfort in order to show up in your life in a way that feels good to you.

Alright, that’s it for this week. Give some thought to these questions and next week I will tell you what you can do to stop people pleasing Thanks and I’ll talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to The Autism Mom Coach. If you want more information or the show notes and resources from the podcast, visit theautismmomcoach.com. See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?

 

Ep #35: Managing Your Transitions

The Autism Mom Coach with Lisa Candera | Managing Your Transitions: Schedules, Previews, Social Stories and Test Runs

While we might not be as sensitive to changes and transitions as our child with Autism, did you know that we too can benefit from the same support systems we use to help them? I’m always trying to help my son through transition periods by previewing, understanding, and preparing for them. But recently I realized, maybe I could use these same strategies with myself.

Whether it’s a transition from sleep to waking up, being in school to returning home, weekdays to weekends, or even bigger transitions, white-knuckling it, panicking, and resisting are such common reactions. And if you want to create more ease and safety in your own mind and body as you manage your transitions, you’re in the right place.

Listen in this week to discover how to support yourself through any transition. I’m digging into schedules, previews, social studies, and test runs as just a few ways we try to prepare our kids for transitions, and I’m showing you how to use these systems for your own benefit too.

I am accepting applications for new clients! All you need to do is click here, and you can schedule a one-on-one consult so we can discuss where you are, where you want to go, and whether coaching is going to help get you there.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What happens when you white-knuckle against or resist transitions.
  • How to brainstorm, troubleshoot, and stay present during a transition period.
  • My tips for easing any transition in you and your child’s life.
  • What previewing a transition looks like.
  • How to create ease and safety for yourself as you manage big or small transitions.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
  • Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 35 of The Autism Mom Coach, Managing Your Transitions. Schedules, previews, social stories and test runs. These are just a few of the ways that we try to prepare our kids for transitions and changes. And while we may not be as sensitive to changes as our kids with Autism, we still have nervous systems that can benefit from the same supports we use to help our children. To learn more keep listening.

Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.

Hello and welcome to the podcast. Before we get to this week’s topic I wanted to knowledge something very significant in my own life and that is the recent passing of my father after a hard fought battle with cancer. Following his passing I dead stopped everything that was not essential. I canceled coaching calls. I canceled speaking engagements and I took off a week from work. In the past and by the past I mean before coaching I would have likely kept myself as busy as possible and muscled through.

I would have told myself that there was nothing I could do and better to keep busy to avoid feeling terrible by occupying myself with things to do. But not this time, I said no to everything that could wait another week. And I said yes to being with my family, and the discomfort and sadness that comes with grieving a parent. I share this because I want all of you to know that you can do this too, not just when someone passes away, but every day, any day.

You can say yes to yourself and no to other people, it is okay. You can disappoint other people and it will be okay. This is a topic I’m going to dive deeper into in the next few weeks because with the holidays coming up it is the season of people pleasing. And that is just another area I think where we create so much more suffering for ourselves because we are so focused on what we should do and what other people expect of us, and not on what feels right to us.

In fact, we don’t even know what feels right to us because we’ve never even actually thought about it. It’s just not been on the menu of things that we feel are important and that’s going to change. So, stay tuned for the next couple of weeks where I’m going to talk about skills that you can use as we move into this holiday season to show up the way you want to versus the way everyone else expects.

Alright, for today we are talking about transitions. Now, this topic has come up completely organically, just a situation that I’m dealing with in my own life. I have shared in previous episodes that my son and I are currently living out of state while he attends an intensive OCD program. And while living out of state is very disruptive to our lives, it’s been well worth it because we’re finally getting the help that we need. And I say we purposefully because I am benefiting from this as much as he is.

After years of being ignored, or put off, or outright rejected from programs that told us flat out, “We can’t do OCD in high functioning Autism.” We are finally in a place that gets it. But like with all things Autism, it’s complicated. The program is specifically for kids with OCD. And while they have experience with Autism, Autism just always introduces some wrinkles. So, they are not treating my son with the straight up OCD protocol. They are adjusting it to meet him where he is. And so that is incredible.

And on top of that I get every week one hour of face-to-face time with two doctors as we talk about my son’s progress, as we talk about strategies and we brainstorm. It’s been incredible for me, just to be talking to people who get it, who are right there with me, who are listening and who are really there to help. Not to say that I haven’t had this in the past but this is just so specific to where we are, in the struggles that we’re having that it’s amazing.

So that said, every time I hear my son say something like, “Mom, I’m sick of this. I want to go home”, or my son’s school calls and asks me, “Well, when is he going to be coming back?” I can feel my chest tightening. I feel panic in my body. And I was trying to figure out, what is going on? Why am I feeling so panicked? And what I’ve realized is that this is a transition coming up and I am resisting it. It’s creating panic in me.

And as soon as I realized that I was resisting a transition it was like, well, wait a second, I am always trying to help my son with previewing transitions, with understanding transitions and preparing for them. Maybe I can use those same strategies I use with him on myself. Because the fact is we are not going to be there forever, we are going to be transitioning home. And I really have a choice to make here. I can bury my head in the sand and I can have many panic attacks at the thought of this program ending.

Or I can begin to prepare myself for the certainty that we are leaving in just a matter of weeks. So, I want to share with you some of the things that I’m doing to support myself in this transition. First, of course, just acknowledging this is happening. I don’t really know when but it’s happening. Second, deciding, how do I want to think about the fact that this program is going to end after about 10 to 12 weeks. My default thought here was, oh no, we’re going back home where nobody understands us.

The thought that I came to was, it is okay to be nervous. And this thought actually made me feel calmer because it was validating my experience, because I was nervous. I still am a little nervous. And then when I was feeling calmer I was willing to do a couple of things I had been avoiding. I emailed my son’s school to update them about the program and schedule an IEP meeting. I met with my son’s special education advocate to discuss next steps. I spoke with the hospital program about their suggestions for transition.

I started to make regular weekend trips home. I started to remove some of the things from our hotel room that I had made to make the hotel feel less hotelly and more homey. These things were great for the first couple of weeks when the message to my son was, “We are doing this. We’re not going home, we are staying here. We are committed to this program.” And now the message is, “We are leaving, this is temporary. We will be going home soon.” And really the message is to me. It’s a reminder to me.

And then I started to think about goodbye cards and gifts for the hospital staff, things like that just to get my mind here to we will be leaving soon. So instead of a transition that I was sort of white knuckling against and trying to avoid. It’s like these little things each day to just introduce into my mind and into my nervous system, this change is happening and trying to support myself along the way. And all of these little steps have made a huge difference.

When we’re talking about transitions now, I am not panicking, I am brainstorming, I am troubleshooting, I am present. So how can you apply this to your own life? First, identify areas where you might be having some difficulty with transitions. Maybe it is the transition from being asleep to being awake. This is a big one for a lot of us. I see this in my clients a lot because they have younger children. And they go from being asleep to being on. Their kid is talking, yelling, screaming, moving, whatever.

So, one of the things that you can do to ease this transition as hard as it is, is where possible wake up before your child. I know that kind of sucks because we all want to sleep in wherever possible especially for those of us where sleep is not happening a lot. But when you do wake up just a few minutes earlier than your child you get just get grounded a bit. You get to orient your nervous system. You get to take a couple of deep breaths. And so, you’re not almost assaulted as soon as you wake up by sensory overload. So that’s one thing you can do to ease that transition.

Maybe it’s from your child being in school to them returning home from school. And you go from a quietish house or peaceful ish house to one where maybe your child’s melting down because of whatever happened at school that day. Or they’re just, they have a lot of needs, it’s making snacks, it’s answering questions, it’s going through the school bag. Maybe just taking 10 minutes before they walk in the door to prepare yourself.

Stop what you’re doing and to deep breathe, do some jumping jacks or telling yourself a little social story, they’re coming home right now, they’re going to have a lot of energy, it is okay, whatever little pep talk that you need to give yourself to preview to your mind and your body what’s about to happen.

Another transition that I see a lot is going from weekdays to weekends. So, you go from the weekdays where there is structure and routine, to weekends where it might be a little bit less of that and maybe your child doesn’t react to that as well. And so, what can you do on those Friday nights or those Saturday mornings to prepare yourself for that. So instead of white knuckling it, or panicking, or flipping out when they do the thing that they do. You are previewing it to yourself.

Maybe you are making a schedule so that you can see where your breaks will be. Maybe you are just telling yourself a little social story of your own, like weekends are challenging, whatever it is. And I know this stuff can sound silly but just think about it. we do all of this for our children for a reason. We are trying to prepare them for what is coming so it’s not too much too fast and unexpected. So, wherever we can sort of slow things down for ourselves and preview to ourselves, we can help ourselves through these transitions.

The more you do this the more ease and safety you can create in your own mind and your own body, the better you will be able to manage these big and small transitions for yourself.

Alright, that’s all for this week, good luck with this. Let me know how it goes. You can always send me an email, or find me on social media. I’m on Facebook and Instagram, The Autism Mom Coach. You can ask me questions and let me know how it goes.

And of course, if you are interested in one-on-one coaching with me now is the time. Schedule an appointment, you can do this on my website, theautismmomcoach.com. I have some availability, you will see in my schedule. But if you don’t see a time that works for you, just message me, we can figure that out. Alright, thanks so much for listening and I will talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to The Autism Mom Coach. If you want more information or the show notes and resources from the podcast, visit theautismmomcoach.com. See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?

 

Ep #34: When You Wish Your Child Was “Normal” (Part 2)

The Autism Mom Coach with Lisa Candera | When You Wish Your Child Was "Normal" (Part 2)

The word “normal,” though just six letters, is extremely limiting, especially when used to refer to human beings. “Normal” promotes the myth that there is a right way to do things, but that isn’t true.

This episode is the second part of a two-part series on the word “normal” and why it is so frustrating when people use it to talk about our Autistic kids. This week we dive a little further into how “normal” is subjective and the ways in which it can be harmful for those with Autism.

Join me for part two as I talk about why “aggressive” is an inappropriate way to describe the physical reactions that those with Autism experience, how certain ideas and judgements both reinforce inaccurate biases and rob us of joy, and why we can be the ones that change how language is used.

I am accepting applications for new clients! All you need to do is click here, and you can schedule a one-on-one consult so we can discuss where you are, where you want to go, and whether coaching is going to help get you there.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why “normal” is such a frustrating word.
  • How “normal” looks different depending on where you live.
  • What makes “aggressive” such a bad descriptor for your child’s behavior.
  • Why you should start changing your language around wishing your child was “normal.”
  • How to think about “normal” behavior differently in order to alter your language.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
  • Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.
  • Ep #33: When You Wish Your Child Was “Normal” (Part 1)

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 34 of The Autism Mom Coach podcast, When You Wish Your Child was “Normal” (Part 2). Thoughts are powerful, when we think, I wish my child was “normal” over and over, it becomes a belief. We believe there is a “normal”, but there isn’t. “Normal” is not a thing, it is completely made up. And the more we give into this idea that there is a “normal” without questioning it, the more suffering we create for ourselves by just accepting that there is a right way and that we or our children are somehow wrong.

The good news is that by doing this work of questioning your own thoughts, you can begin to shift your internal narrative and your own thinking and how you talk about your child and their uniqueness in a way that is inclusive and supportive versus exclusive and judgmental. To learn more, keep listening.

Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.

Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast. I hope you are doing well. If you have not already, take a listen to episode 33 of this podcast which is part one of the series, When You Wish Your Child Was “normal”. Alright, let’s dive in. The word “normal”, especially as it is used when referring to human beings is limiting and laden with judgment. N-O-R-M-A-L, just six letters all by themselves say there is a right way and a wrong way. There is what is expected and standard, and everything, and everyone else.

It promotes the idea, the myth, that there is one standard way of doing or being, and there isn’t. “Normal” is completely relative, it depends on so many factors, when and where you live, your race, your culture, your economic background, your sexuality. I mean you name it, there are so many factors that contribute to what any person, what any one of us thinks of as “normal”. Take this idea and apply it to Autism, we are told early on that one of the signs that our child is Autistic, is the fact that they don’t look other people in the eye when speaking.

And then go to any restaurant or in any place where human beings gather and what will you see? No one’s looking at one another, no one’s even speaking. They’re all staring at their phones. It is very “normal” to walk into a restaurant and see people at the same table staring at their phones. I mean how many times has the waiter needed to interrupt you just to take your order? But in this day and age in 2022, that is “normal” for some people. Now, look, it’s not “normal” for people who are in war torn countries right now, or people who are in third world countries and on and on.

But right now, if you’re listening to this podcast you probably think that that is “normal”. And anyhow, the point is, “normal” is relative, it depends on so many things. But when we use this word we are bringing all of the etymology of the word, all of the history of the word, the entire idea that there is a right way and a wrong way. When we use this word that is what we are communicating. And that’s what we’re internalizing in our own narrative. Words are powerful.

Think about the misuse of the word “aggression” as it relates to kids with Autism. Aggression is defined and understood as an intent to cause harm to another person. And we all know that’s not what is happening when a person with Autism engages in physical behaviors directed at themselves or another person. They are dysregulated. there is no intent to harm. It is an intent to communicate, to deal with overwhelming emotions. But when Jake acts out physically towards his aide as a result of sensory overload and dysregulation, well, that doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it? No.

The report you get home is that your child was aggressive. and when you hear this word, how are you thinking and feeling about your child or any child that is labelled as aggressive? Not well, right? And in addition to reinforcing the belief that there is a “normal”, this word, this idea, this judgment robs us of joy. It tells us that our kids or we, or both are broken in some way. It stands in the way of us loving our children and our lives as it is right now and appreciating all of the amazingness of our own children.

But here is the good news, we get to decide how we want to think and talk about our experiences. One of the ways that we can start to shift from the limiting and evaluative language of “normal” is by questioning it. What do I mean by “normal” when I’m thinking this? What am I really thinking? Even if it doesn’t roll off the tongue, so maybe instead of, I wish my child was “normal”, maybe it’s, I wish she could speak and tell me what is wrong. I just want to help her out.

Now, this won’t happen automatically but we can autocorrect if you will, or really just reminding ourselves what do I mean when I say, “I wish she was ‘normal,’ or I wish she wasn’t different”, what do I mean? I wish they acted “normal” in public, maybe that means I wish my kids were able to enjoy themselves in restaurants, or I wish other people weren’t staring at us. This might seem simple or not like a big deal but it is because language shapes how we experience the world. It is powerful.

Alright, good luck with this and let me know how it goes. I’ll talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to The Autism Mom Coach. If you want more information or the show notes and resources from the podcast, visit theautismmomcoach.com. See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?

 

Ep #33: When You Wish Your Child Was “Normal” (Part 1)

The Autism Mom Coach with Lisa Candera | When You Wish Your Child Was "Normal" (Part 1)Whether we want to admit it or not, so many of us have had the thought, “I wish my child was normal,” at one point or another. Maybe it was when you received the diagnosis, or after a phone call from the school about an incident, or when you see your child with their peers and friends doing “normal” things.

This is something that comes up with my clients all the time, and they’re riddled with shame and guilt, saying things like, “I know I shouldn’t think that about my own child.” So, in the next two episodes of this podcast, I’ll be tackling the term “normal” so we can get to work dismantling unhelpful language that keeps our children oppressed and leaves us feeling powerless.

Join me for part one this week as I show you why it’s 100% normal if you’ve ever found yourself thinking, saying, or wishing that your child or parenting experience was “normal.” You’ll hear why it’s a natural human desire to want to be “normal,” and why you can both love your kid as they are and still wish things were easier.

I am accepting applications for new clients! All you need to do is click here, and you can schedule a one-on-one consult so we can discuss where you are, where you want to go, and whether coaching is going to help get you there.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What it means to be “normal.”
  • Why it’s 100% normal to wish your child was “normal.”
  • The role of the motivational triad in our desire for our children to be “normal.”
  • Why you can love your kid and wish they were “normal” or want an easier parenting experience.
  • How to start shifting the narrative around the term “normal.”

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
  • Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.
  • Ep #4: Negativity Bias

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 33 of The Autism Mom Coach. When You Wish Your Child was “Normal.” Whether we want to admit it or not, so many of us have had this thought at one point or another. Maybe it was when we received the diagnosis. Maybe it was after a phone call from the school about an incident or a behavior. Maybe it is when we see our children with their peers and their friends doing “normal” things.

In the next two episodes of this podcast, I am going to tackle the word “normal”. So, if you have ever found yourself thinking, saying or wishing that your child, or your life, or your parenting experience was normal, these episodes are for you. In part one I’m going to tell you why it is a 100% normal to wish your child was normal. And in part two I am going to get to work on dismantling some of the language that is used to oppress our children and leave us feeling powerless. Stay tuned.

Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.

Welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad you are here and hope you are doing well. I am going to introduce today’s topic by telling you about my first coaching call with new clients. During this call, we are talking about goals, where the client is and what they want to get out of the coaching relationship. And as part of this I ask this question, “What do you wish was different and why?” And here’s what happens.

They pause, they look down and in some way or another they reply with, “I wish they were normal.” Followed by, “I know I shouldn’t say that. I know I shouldn’t think that about my own kid. Oh my God, I’m such a terrible parent. Who would say that about their own child?” And here’s what I say to them. “Of course, you do.” So why do I say this? Is it because I think that there is some version of normal and that our children aren’t meeting it and so we need to fix them and catch them up? No, that’s not why at all.

But before I get to why I say this, let’s start with the definition of what it means to be normal. Normal is defined as conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern. It is characterized by that which is considered usual. Do you know what this definition, what normal means to our primitive brains, the part of our brains that are only concerned with our survival and not our happiness? Normal means safety.

Conforming to a type, fitting in, being like everyone else. That means you are part of the tribe. You get to stay. You get to live. I know that that sounds dramatic but our primitive brain is dramatic. The survival of our ancestors depended on being part of the group, and part of the tribe, and not getting kicked off the island. So, when I say, “Of course you do”, what I am really saying and I do explain this by the way in my coaching, is of course you want your child to be safe.

Because I think in so many ways, this all comes down to safety. We want our children to be like everyone else, to be accepted, to be loved, to be safe. Another reason I say, “Of course you do”, is because of the motivational triad. The motivational triad tells us that humans are wired to seek pleasure, avoid pain and to be efficient. So, when you take a look at the thought, I wish they were normal, it meets all three elements of the motivation triad. If they are normal we avoid the pain of having a child who is struggling.

If they are normal we move towards the good feelings associated with fitting in. If they are normal we get to forego the tremendous effort, time, and resources we are pouring into therapies, doctors’ appointments, and recalibrating our regular routines. So of course, you do, of course you want more happiness and less pain, and less struggle for you and your child.

Here is the good news. This is not either or, it is both and. Two things can be true. You can love the heck out of your kid and still want them to have an easier life. You can love the heck out of your kid and want to have an easier parenting experience. So instead of trying to change your kid and shaming yourself, just take a step back and look at what is really happening here. You’re survival brain senses danger and it is trying to fix it. Your brain senses pain and struggle and it is trying to avoid it.

And the answer it has come up with is if my child is “normal” then everything will be okay, or at least easier. Once you can look at these thoughts and what is happening, and view it with compassion you can move towards deciding how you want to think on purpose about your child and your circumstances. But first, start with normalizing your thoughts and your feelings. You are wired this way. Your brain is responding in exactly the way it is intended to.

This does not mean anything about you, your child, or your parenting, nothing bad anyway. Once you really begin to believe this and to internalize it you can start doing the work of shifting the narrative of normal. And by the way, whenever I say normal, it’s “normal” because there ain’t no normal. I want you to get accustomed to treating yourself and this thought, not as the enemy, not as evil and not as something you need to feel ashamed about. I want you to treat it as shall I say normal or how you are wired?

We are wired to seek pleasure, to be happy and to have things be easy. That is actually normal for human beings. So as best you can use this teaching to create some distance between you, the parent who adores your child and wants the world for them, and this thought that will cause you to shame yourself. It is normal that you want things to be easier. It is normal that you don’t want your child to struggle. It is normal that you would prefer not to struggle.

In next week’s episode I am going to talk to you about how “normal” is not a thing and how to reframe the language that we use to describe our children and our experiences in a way that is inclusive, empowering and moves us forward. Thank you so much for listening and I will talk to you next week.

Enjoy the Show?

 

Ep #32: When You Think Nothing is Working

The Autism Mom Coach with Lisa Candera | When You Think Nothing is Working

One of the most challenging aspects of raising a child with Autism is all of the time and energy we spend trying things, not knowing whether or not they’ll actually work. From therapy and medication to assistive devices and changing school environments, there is no roadmap, no one-size-fits-all. We end up throwing it all out there with inevitably varying degrees of success.

There are times we try and we try, but we just don’t get the results we expected or hoped for. We tell ourselves we’ve tried everything, we’ve done it all, and nothing is working. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.

Tune in this week to discover what to do when you think nothing’s working. This is not about undermining your experience. I’m in the thick of it myself. Rather, I’m sharing how to be there for yourself and your child when it feels like you’re getting nowhere, and how to identify all of the things that are working, even if they differ slightly from what you expected.

I am accepting applications for new clients! All you need to do is click here, and you can schedule a one-on-one consult so we can discuss where you are, where you want to go, and whether coaching is going to help get you there.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • All of the things in my life that make me feel like nothing is working.
  • What the nothing-is-working story might sound like for you.
  • Why we get stuck hanging out with the thought that nothing is working.
  • What to do when you can’t get away from the belief that nothing is working, and how to see everything that is working.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
  • Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.
  • Ep #4: Negativity Bias

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 32 of The Autism Mom Coach. When you think nothing is working. One of the most challenging aspects of raising a child with Autism, is all of the time and energy we spend trying things we have no idea will work, from therapy and medication to assistive devices and non-traditional school environments. And since there is no roadmap, no one size fits all, we end up throwing it all against the wall with varying degrees of success. And there are times we try, and we try, and we try and we do not get the results we expected or hoped for.

And we tell ourselves I have tried everything, I have done it all, and nothing is working. If you’ve been there and done that you are not alone. Keep listening to learn how you can show for yourself when you believe nothing is working.

Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the podcast. I hope you are doing well and you are enjoying the October weather wherever you are. The topic for today’s episode is one I think so many of us can relate to. And as it happens shortly after I wrote this episode, I’m talking the day after, I had an experience that triggered the nothing is working story. What I want to share with you is the difference in how I related to the story and how much time I spent hanging out with it.

Because nothing is working, it’s a thought, it’s a story we are telling ourselves. It is not the truth. And so that’s what we’re going to talk about today. This is that’s not to undermine your experience, believe me, I get it, I am having it right now.  We are in month two of an intensive program and thigs are getting better in some ways and not in others. And so, it’s so tempting to go down the nothing is working road. But it’s an active choice not to do it. And so, I want to share that with you today.

So, a lot of you, if you’re listening to the podcast, you know that we are in an intensive program right now. And as part of that program there are a lot of doctors’ appointments, there is lot of conversations reviewing my son’s history, particularly in the past two and a half years. And as I review all of the details with them I am remembering so many times during the last couple of years where I believed nothing was working. And I really believed it.

After countless doctors’ appointments, therapy appointments, medications, hospitalizations, I believed that this was true. I believed that we were working as hard as we could, we were doing everything that anyone suggested and still my son was struggling a lot. Now, of course, this was not the truth but it was my interpretation of the facts. In my mind all of the steps I was taking was supposed to result in things getting better or easier and they weren’t, or at least not with the speed or the permanency that I was seeking.

So, I told myself over and over, nothing is working. Now, I want to point out that this is such an easy go to story for our brains, because remember our brains are equipped with a negativity bias. I talked about the negativity bias way back when in episode four. The short version is that we are wired to over-remember and over-rely on negative information. Our brains are like Velcro for the negative and Teflon for the positive.

So, when we are feeding ourselves all of these negative thoughts like nothing is working, our brains are all in. Their job is to protect us. And they protect us by being hypervigilant of anything that could kill us or that we view as negative. And so not only are we feeding ourselves negative thoughts, we are actually seeking out confirmation for this negative thinking and filtering out evidence to the contrary. This is what is known as confirmation bias.

This is all of what is happening when we are telling ourselves nothing is working. And in my view and experience it is not helpful for a couple of reasons. First, when we are doing this we are putting ourselves in a position of helplessness. We are victims, life is happening to us, we are powerless. So, remember from the last episode when I talked about the stories we tell. When we are telling ourselves nothing is working, we are telling ourselves a story that is disempowering.

Second, we are creating our own suffering. Pain is inevitable, it is part of the human experience. We are going to experience feelings of pain when we see our child struggling, when we are disappointed or at our wit’s end when the therapy, or the medication, or the school does not work the way we wanted or expected. Experiencing pain in these circumstances is normal. And while it does not feel good, because it certainly doesn’t, we have a choice about whether we pile on and make it worse. That is what suffering is.

We suffer when we tell ourselves nothing is working because this belief is demoralizing and soul sucking. It does not motivate us or inspire us. It is like a punch in the gut, or really it’s like being kicked when you are down. And finally, when we are telling ourselves nothing is working, we are missing out or purposefully ignoring everything that is working. Now, let me be clear, I am not telling you to put a positive spin on your pain because that’s bullshit. I mean, we really do just ignore or miss what is working.

So let me give you some examples from my experience of the things that were working. Well, the school district, they were so supportive of my son’s needs. I found fantastic advocates, that was working. My health insurance, well, that was working, thank god, that was a life saver. All of these things were working. They were making this painful situation easier on me and easier on my son.

My friends who did not take no for an answer when I said I would just stay at home, and came to my house. My coworkers who picked up the slack when I took time off for various emergencies. Ben’s friends who stood by his side with love and encouragement and learned strategies for redirecting him. All of this was working. And for the things that were not working the way I wanted, or expected, or hoped, this all became information and data to add to the suitcase I have been accumulating over the years.

So now that I told you my thoughts on why saying nothing is working, is not working for us, I want to give you some strategies about what to do. First, pause, deep breaths, do whatever you can to self-soothe and offer yourself support because very likely this thought, nothing is working is likely to set off a survival response in your nervous system. You’re either in fight, flight or in a shutdown. So, by breathing you can start to return yourself to a more regulated state of safety and connection.

Then notice the thought, when you do this you want to create some distance between you the thinker and the thought. You can do this with the phrase, I am having the thought that nothing is working. Remind yourself that this is a thought and like so many of the negative thoughts we think, it is pretty automatic. But this automaticity does not mean that this thought is the truth of the universe. It just means it’s one you have had before, your brain has practiced it before so it feels true. It’s still just a sentence in your brain, real, not necessarily true.

Next, decide how you want to relate to this thought. Here’s what I mean by this. We can let our thoughts come and go or we can spend a lot of time with them. We can be like, tell me more thought, what else do you have to say? Nothing is working, you’re right, let’s think of all of the evidence of all of the reasons that’s true. So, it’s like do you want to let the thought go or do you want to hang out with that it? This is what I mean by relating to the thought.

We’re not going to stop this thought from coming up, it’s going to happen. We can choose though how we decide to relate to it. For me, when it comes up I just like to remind myself, of course I’m having this thought right now. I always have this thought when this happens, of course I am, it’s okay. And redirect myself that way. So that way I’m not resisting the thought, it’s here, come on in, I see you but I’m not hanging out with you today. I have got other things to do.

Then be mindful. This thought will keep popping up and each time it does you repeat this process of examining and redirecting your brain in the direction you want it to go, so you can choose how you want to think, feel and respond when this happens. And then finally, when you are feeling a little bit better, a little less triggered, take a look around and notice what is working. When you start to look for what is working, you will find it. This is you using your brain’s confirmation bias in your favor. Put your brain to work by asking it the question, what is working, what is going well?

The more you do this the more you build the muscle of deciding on purpose how you want to think and relate to your automatic negative thoughts. Alright, that’s all I have for this week. Thank you so much for listening and I will talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to The Autism Mom Coach. If you want more information or the show notes and resources from the podcast, visit theautismmomcoach.com. See you next week.

Enjoy the Show?

 

Ep #31: The Stories We Tell

The Autism Mom Coach with Lisa Candera | The Stories We Tell

Did you know that the stories we tell aren’t necessarily true? They feel real, and you may be recalling a story exactly as you experienced it. But the truth is the stories we tell are a combination of facts as well as our judgments and interpretations.

Human brains are story-making machines. We create stories as a way of understanding our lives, relating to the world, and relating to one another. However, some of the stories we tell are empowering, while some have the opposite effect, and our power lies in our ability to choose the version of the story we want to tell, believe, and live.

Join me this week to discover what stories are, the countless factors that influence how we interpret them, and why you can choose on purpose how you want to think about the circumstances of your life. I’m offering two very different diagnosis stories drawn from the same set of facts to show you how there is no ultimate truth, and why this is the best news.

I am accepting applications for new clients! All you need to do is click here, and you can schedule a one-on-one consult so we can discuss where you are, where you want to go, and whether coaching is going to help get you there.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What stories are.
  • Why our thoughts are real, but not necessarily true.
  • How we often default to telling stories from our lives in a way that doesn’t serve us.
  • What determines our experience of the stories we tell.
  • How to see the impact of the choice you’re making when it comes to the stories you tell.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
  • Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.
  • Lark
  • Atypical – Netflix

Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 31 of The Autism Mom Coach, The Stories We Tell. Human brains are story making machines. We create stories as a way of understanding our lives, relating to the world, and relating to one another. Some of the stories we tell are empowering and some of them are just the opposite.

In this week’s episode I am going to tell you two very different diagnosis stories drawn from the same set of facts. Which is true? Well, both and neither. There is no ultimate truth. There are always multiple interpretations of the same facts available to us in any given moment. And our power lies in our ability to choose the version of the story we want to tell, believe, and live. To learn more stay tuned.

Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the podcast. I am so glad you’re here and I hope you’re doing well. I have some fun news to share, in a couple of weeks my son and I are going to be doing a presentation together called how to talk to your child about their Autism diagnosis. We’re going to be doing this for a local Connecticut organization called The Lark. And I will put the information in the show notes.

Anyhow, my son has some very strong thoughts about this topic. And so I am so excited for him to have the ability to share his perspective with the parents because I just think that it’ll be so informative for them to hear really straight from a person who has lived this experience.

One of the things I will have to share during this presentation is that I didn’t actually tell my son about his Autism diagnosis. He figured it out while he and I were watching Atypical together when he noticed how similar he was to the main character, Sam. Anyhow, it should be a really interesting conversation.

And I will share more on my social media about this conversation and some of my thoughts about it. So if you don’t already, follow me on Instagram and follow me on Facebook. You can find me in both places, The Autism Mom Coach. On Facebook I have a private group and on Instagram I just have The Autism Mom Coach page.

All right, so on for the topic of today, the stories we tell. So first, what are stories? Stories are a collection of sentences, thoughts in our brains. And what do we know about our thoughts? They are real, but not necessarily true. They are simply our interpretation of the circumstances in our lives, influenced by a countless number of factors from our gender, sex, age, upbringing, education, race, religious background, and on and on.

Whenever we tell a story about our lives, whether it is the story about how we got married, divorced, pregnant, or learned of a diagnosis, we think that that story we’re telling is the story. We think that when we are telling a story, we are recalling it exactly as it happened and that the way we experienced the story was the only way it could be experienced. But this isn’t true.

When we tell a story it is a combination of some facts as we recall them, and a lot of judgment and interpretation. And so often we default to telling these stories in a way that does not serve us. In a way that casts ourselves as the victim of our circumstance, of life happening to us, and from the version of ourselves who is not enough, not doing enough, or no matter what she does, never get it right.

Here’s why this is important to know. It is not the facts, the real actual facts of the story that are causing us to feel anything. Rather, it is how we interpret these facts that create how we feel and determine our experience of the story we are telling.

I want to demonstrate this by telling you two versions of the same story. First, I’m going to start off with just telling you the facts. And then I’m going to offer you two different versions of the story. And first we’re going to start off with a silly one.

Here are the facts, I have two cats and a hamster. There is a teenager who is babysitting my animals while I am away. Last weekend the teenager cleaned out the hamster cage and did not return the lid to the top of the cage. The hamster did not escape and it is still alive.

So here’s version number one. My sitter is so careless, my hamster could have been murdered. I could have walked into a gory mess. I can’t trust her.

Version two, I am so glad I opted for an aquarium cage. There is no way a hamster is escaping it even with the lid off. And of course she is alive, there is no way my cats would have harmed her. They know that she’s family and not desert.

So which version of the story is true? Well, both and neither. There’s no ultimate truth here. There’s just how I choose to look at it. And I am choosing the second version of the story because I don’t want to think ill of the teenager who is watching my animals. And I am really entertained by the idea or the thought that my cat’s would never hurt my hamster because she’s family.

Now, I know that this was a silly example. And I did that on purpose because I just wanted to highlight how different of a story I could tell using the same facts. So onto a story that is not silly and is much more serious to me. And this is the story of my son’s OCD diagnosis.

Here are the facts, my son began exhibiting high levels of anxiety at the age of six. We met with many professionals, developmental pediatricians, neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists and various therapists. I bought a bunch of books about anxiety.

I learned how I may be feeling the anxiety and I experimented with different strategies and metaphors to help my son understand his anxiety and cope with it. Over the years I asked various professionals about OCD. And I was told that OCD and Autism are very similar and it was difficult to tell which was which. At the age of 13 my son was diagnosed with OCD.

Version of the story number one, I should have known. I should have done more. I should have pushed harder. We have lost so much time. I can’t trust myself or anyone else.

Version two, wow, I suspected for a while that Autism was not driving the bus and I was right. Even though I didn’t have an official diagnosis, all of the things I did were on point. Also, I don’t know that an official diagnosis would have changed much when my son was younger. I think he’s at the right age and stage of development now to understand the concept of externalizing his OCD and bossing it back. We are doing exactly what we need to do.

So which version of this story is true? Again, both and neither. There is no single truth. And it does not matter which one of these stories is true. The facts are what they are and I can choose to tell myself the default story that this is my fault and we are behind and I should have done more. But why? It’s not helpful at all.

This story does not serve me in any way. It would undermine my confidence and my competence as the sole decision maker in my son’s life. There is absolutely no upside to me telling myself I should have done more and this is my fault.

I choose to tell and believe the version of the story that empowers me. The version of the story where my gut instincts were spot on. I can trust myself and I was doing so many of the things that were helping my son before I even knew what was wrong. That’s the story I want to live into.

But this is a choice because, trust me, there are plenty of times where the default, you should have done something, you should have known, those thoughts pop up. The difference is, is I just notice them. I relate to them differently. They’re not the truth of the universe, they’re just a thought that I’m having. And I lean in to the story I want to believe, the story that I want to live.

Because the way we think about things, the way we talk about them, creates our experience. And this is so important because how we’re feeling is going to drive our actions. It’s going to drive how we show up, it’s going to create our reality. We are in charge of that. And so one of the ways that we can take hold of it is by choosing on purpose how we want to think about the circumstances in our lives.

So if you want to give this a try, pick a topic and write down just the facts. And then write down the default story you are telling yourself about these facts. And then write down the version of the story you want to believe, that you want to live into.

What is the difference between those two stories? What are the thoughts that are standing in between you choosing the story that empowers you right now? This is where your work is, uncovering those limiting beliefs that are keeping you stuck. Because here’s the thing I’ve learned from coaching, how we do one thing is how we do everything.

So if you were stuck in an I’m not good enough, I’m not doing the right things story about your parenting, it’s probably showing up in other areas of your life. Maybe in your relationships, maybe at work. So uncovering those limiting beliefs and seeing the impact that they are having in your life and seeing the choice that you have to choose a different way of thinking about it, this is where it all begins.

If you want some help with this, this is exactly what we do in my one-on-one coaching program. You don’t have to stay stuck and you don’t have to do this alone. I would love to support you and your transformation. If you are interested, go on my website, theAutismmomcoach.com and schedule a consultation.

All right, that’s all I have for this week. I will talk to you next week.

Thanks for listening to The Autism Mom Coach. If you want more information or the show notes and resources from the podcast, visit theAutismmomcoach.com. See you next week.

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