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How to regain your mental strength to conquer any obstacles in your work and life.

By Atip Muangsuwan

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

One of my leader clients came up with her coaching topic: “How to regain your mental strength to overcome any obstacles in work and life?” She told me that sometimes she felt discouraged and disempowered when she encountered obstacles or challenges in her work and also in life.

She wanted to know the how-to or strategies to regain her strength to defeat any obstacles or challenges in her work and life.

So, we began our coaching session by exploring into her story and the reasons why she brought this topic into our coaching conversation.

One of my “Aha moment” questions to her was that… “What situation or circumstance do you consider the toughest one in your life and you’ve made thru it successfully?”

She said, “Studying and getting a Ph.D. in Germany.” She continued, “This is considered the toughest challenge because I had to study it in German and German is one of the most difficult languages. Much more difficult than English. And I thought I would never make it to graduation due to the language barrier.”

I asked, “And how could you make it thru? Could you please share your top secrets?”

She said, “Firstly, I set a clear goal. My goal was to get a Ph.D. from Germany. Secondly, I always thought of my beloved ones like my parents and talked with them quite often. They’re my mental support. Thirdly, I did a positive self-talk in order to encourage myself.”

“Wow! They’re great strategies indeed.” I reflected to her.

Then, I asked for a permission to share my own story with her as well. I told her that when I was studying for my M.Sc. in Brunei, I had to complete my dissertation within 3-month time after completing my coursework. I chose to do a fault-seal analysis by using FAPS (a Unix-run sophisticated software). I never knew or learned about this software before and there was no one teaching or training me to use this software in Brunei. I needed to learn it by myself from the manual and emailed back and forth to ask for guidance and trouble-shooting for issues from the software expert in the UK. I was really struggle with the software and its operational issues and the results generated from it related to my imperfect dataset.

During those 3 months, my time went by very quickly and suddenly, I had less than a month to complete my dissertation. However, I was still struggling with the software and the results it gave. During that time, there were a lot of pressure and stress I could still remember it until today!

Some of my classmates told me to give up and switch to use an MS excel-based fault-seal analysis rather than using a Unix-based sophisticated software like FAPS!

Nevertheless, I didn’t give up! I told them that I would continue using FAPS until I could generate satisfactory results and then, I would do my dissertation write-up.

At that time, I was thinking of my never-give-up inspirational role model, Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President. So, I never gave up until I could complete my dissertation and got my M.Sc. in petroleum geoscience from Brunei University. Yes! I did it!

To make a long story short, my client and I came up with additional strategies and action steps from our coaching conversation. Then, I asked her to share her key insights with me.

She shared her key insights that help her regain her mental strength as follows:

  1. Set crystal-clear goals.
  2. Get support from our beloved ones like our parents and talk with them frequently in order to get their mental support.
  3. Do positive self-talk daily.
  4. Believe we can do it.
  5. Find inspirational role model to model.
  6. Never ever give up no matter what!
  7. Recall the toughest experience in life that we can get thru it successfully.
  8. Maintain positive outlook on life.
  9. Be mindful on our thinking, feeling and action.

My own insight from this coaching session is that… “To regain our mental strength to overcome any obstacles, we need to re-visit our toughest experience in life that we could get thru it successfully and proudly.”

If you want to feel empowered like this leader client of mine did, please get in touch with me via my homepage for a trial session: Home – The Best Coach International (thebest-coach-international.com)