Ed was facing a deadline for submission of a PhD Dissertation Proposal Paper. He was feeling stressed, exhausted and even scared. His breathing was tight and fast – almost hyperventilating.
When he told me what was at stake, I wasn’t surprised he was so stressed. In order to go ahead and finish his PhD, this paper had to be on time and accepted. But Ed kept missing the deadlines he’d been setting himself – slipping further and further behind schedule. The stakes were high – as well as investing years of his life in this, he’d taken over $24,000 in debt and tuition fees to achieve his goal.
I asked Ed to make a brief note of his thoughts and feelings on the topic, then led him through a “Reconnect.”
He was amazed by the result. He found himself experiencing excitement, enthusiasm and joy – in his “happy space” as he put it. “My work is a gift,” he said, “something I’m giving to the world. You’ve put me back in touch with my original career path – helping poor people in Brazil – and that feeds my soul.”
Later that day, Ed walked into a business meeting with a “much improved self-image.” He physically stood taller, and received comments on his “sunny disposition.”
How long did this take? The “Reconnect” takes just 30 seconds, but to have this kind of result it needs to be contained in a longer conversation. I normally allow 30 minutes for a “Rapid Stress Reduction” coaching session.
Update: 7 months later, I got an email from Ed that started, “Yes, I am now a PhD. Yippee!”
(I’ve changed Ed’s name and photo, but all other details are precise. He suggested I let you know that we’ve never met face-to-face – we did this Brief Mindfulness coaching via Skype.)