Why coaching doesn’t always work?

Have you been to a coach and nothing changed after? Discover three reasons why coaching doesn’t work for you.

1. You are not willing to change. 

You hang on to your old beliefs and your comfort zone. Don’t feel like learning something new. Ultimately, your life is not so bad, is it? Maybe it’s now either wonderful, but you’re making it through. You feel you could try to enroll in a coaching program, but then you discover how much work it is and you simply give up. Old habits take the lead. 

Change is always painful. Take working on your diet. You want to lose 7 kg. So you introduce sport, healthy snacks, constant watching over what you eat. Avoiding temptations on your way like your favorite chocolate ice cream. And it’s not easy. It’s tough work. Saying ‘no’ to sweets and couch sitting and ‘Netflixing’. 

When we change we give up one of our life patterns. Part of ourselves that we want to change. You need a strong motivation to do it. 

2. You expect a huge change.

why coaching doesn't always work

You signed up for a famous coach. Hurray! You are excited and you can’t wait to start. You think your life will be divided into BEFORE and AFTER coaching. Full of hopes and expectations you picture your life changed at 180 degrees after coaching.  Like a fairy tale. 

Whoa! Hold your horses. When you hold high expectations from a coach you think someone else will magically solve your problems. But the truth is: you are responsible for your coaching. A coach can just help you, show you your problems and their background but everything else is your responsibility. So if you have a job you hate it is your responsibility to change it. A coach can help you with different methods of working on your issue,  but he will not do it for you. Coaching doesn’t fix it all. Better not to expect too much but to start rolling up your sleeves and doing the work. 

3. “I know it all” attitude. 

So you think that all the coaches speak about the same stuff. How to love yourself, how to find a better job, how to change. You’ve listened to tons of free videos on YouTube and you think you know it all. 

Listening to videos, reading motivational books, and going on retreats won’t work because it’s just a theory. In order to change something in your life, you will need to put it into practice. You will need to commit to making coaching exercises and making time for that. Just the way you commit yourself to go to a gym two times a week. 

Have you ever tried coaching? Did it work for you?  

Single mothers and excluded fathers

There is a certain dynamic played out in contemporary society. I have noticed that there are mothers who voluntarily exclude fathers from their child’s life.

There are many different life situations like the death of the father of the child, in vitro fertilization when the father is unknown. But today let me speak about mothers who restrict access of the father to the child, thus prohibiting the father to see the child, spend time with the child or take part in parenthood.

Sometimes this happens when the father has severe problems with himself – be it drug addiction, narcissistic personality, or other psychological disorders. In such cases it is understandable.

But what to do if the father is quite normal but his ex prohibits him to see the child?

Usually, single mothers are women who have been hurt. Their relationship didn’t work out and they live alone with a baby. They hold a grudge in their hearts against men, fathers of their children. Quite often single mothers are angry with their ex-partners or husbands. They didn’t forgive them and didn’t let go of the negative feelings or memories.

The problem is that in such a case the child will sense it. The child, subconsciously, will feel the anger of the mother towards the father. The child will feel, though not understand, that the father is a ‘bad man’ and doesn’t deserve to be loved. Remember that the child was created by two persons – a man and a woman. It consists of 2 energies – feminine and masculine.

What is the problem when you’re a single mother and you don’t respect your ex?

Your child growing up in such energies can develop low self-esteem. It can feel that masculinity is bad and excluded. It can sense that if the father is considered by the mother as a bad man, then the child who consists of 50% of the father can start to disrespect his own masculinity.

What happens when the child grows up without the father? Especially when the father is excluded.

Such a child will have a negative view of the father and masculinity. Father figure shows how to be a man, how to go to the outside world. Being a mother and a father are two different roles. Mother stands for femininity, nurture. Father stands for masculinity, the power to act, and take decisions.

Single mothers who are hurt can be, unfortunately, very proud. They’d rather say “I don’t want this person in my child’s life. I will grow the baby on my own” than “I will allow my ex to take care of his child”.

The child’s interest is the most important here. Not your grudge against your ex. The child needs love and support from both parents and single motherhood with excluded father will never substitute it.

Family constellations for beginners

In this short article, I will explain in simple words what family constellations are about. That’s always a tough question to explain.

It didn’t start within you.

Family constellations are about healing the relationships in your family, which in turn heal you and your perception of reality.

You haven’t been born as a white sheet of paper. You come to this world IN A GIVEN FAMILY. What happened there, in the family, influences you. You might have the same emotional issues, suffer from the same diseases, or encounter the same difficulties of finding the right partner, just as an example.

These are the so-called patterns or emotional blockages. Dynamics and unconscious scenarios according to which you respond in a given situation. The key in family constellations is to heal it, so that we are not burdening the next generation with our problems and blockages.

Genetics and epigenetics

As you know we inherit many characteristics after our ancestors, like the eyes or hair color and body structure. I bet you heard a couple of times that ‘you look like your mother’ or ‘you have your father’s eyes.

Epigenetics says that we inherit also the emotions and traumas, that our ancestors didn’t deal with. We have the same reactions, the same challenges. For example, constant lack of money, unhappy relationships, divorced women left alone with children.

Now the question comes: why should I care about my ancestors problems? Why should they be transmitted to me and why should I deal with them?

Our bond with ancestors is something unique in the scale of human relationships and interactions. Due to the fact that we are not born as a tabula rasa, we get the ‘download’ from our parents and ancestors. They have created us. We are part of them if we like it or not. I don’t try to say here that if our parents and grandparents had cancer, we are also gonna get it. No. This depends if we inherit their ‘way of thinking and reacting’ or we take the power to change it.

In the family history, it might have happened that our grandmother got pregnant during the war and her husband was killed or escaped. This might influence the next generations, for example, her granddaughter is a single mother. The pattern plays out again but in different circumstances.

We are not separated beings. We are connected to each other. And family constellations profoundly prove so and give us the tool to change these dynamics and start creating your own ones.

The best way to learn it, is to experience it on your own skin.

I cordially invite you for Skype sessions with me or personal sessions in my therapy studio in Zurich.

Aleksandra

When the boss doesn’t give you a raise

Have you ever heard about the Tiara Syndrome? It’s a special psychological term used to describe the belief that if you do everything properly, in your job, at home, etc. someone is going to appreciate it and put a crown on your head. 

Sheryl Sandberg cited “The Tiara Syndrome” in her book “Lean in”.

You sit quietly, you do your job the best you can and you think your boss is going to notice that and he will give you a pay raise. Usually, nothing like this happens.

Sounds familiar? 

So often you heard “sit quiet and do your job and they will notice you”. That’s what I’ve heard. So you sit, work long hours and wait and wait and expect that your time for ‘crowning’ will come. But it never comes. No raise, no good words from the boss but an increasing frustration. 

So many working women struggle with the Tiara Syndrome. 

  • What to do if you notice that your work is not appreciated though you deliver your best? 
  • What to do if you got stuck in your career being on the same junior position for 5 years? 

Take your fate in your own hands. Leave the job. Don’t wait for the crown, because you can wait forever. You know you deserve more. Take action to get it. Even if this will mean changing your job. Anyways, you wouldn’t regret such a job with no prospects, would you?

Let’s talk about relationships now. I think Tiara Syndrome can be perfectly illustrated on the example of love relationships.

Sandra met John at a common friends’ party. They exchanged the phone numbers and smiled at each other with a sparkle in the eye. She liked him a lot. “Finally!” she thought. “The man of my dreams”. John’s attitude was a bit different. He said to his best friend: “she’s cool. Let’s see what will come out of that”. What happened next?

They met three times in a cafe, in a park, in a restaurant. Then, Sandra took the initiative and invited him over to her place for dinner. She prepared a menu of 3 dishes plus the dessert and excellent red wine. She put her make up on, the best dress from her closet and thought that this was it. This was the moment she was waiting for. She expected that the guy will be head over heels in love with her. 

Was he? Nope. Do you know why?

The man was no longer interested because Sandra gave herself on a plate. She was too much focused on herself and on giving a lot, and she didn’t ask herself “What is he giving me?” 

The same goes for relationships and love. We do an excellent job, looking good, and giving our hearts on a plate to a man. Especially we, women. 

We fail to see and analyze if the man appreciates us and gives us his masculine energy in exchange for our feminine. We wait and hope the guy is going to love us and pamper us later on, but we don’t see the signals saying that we gave too many cookies and fed him too much. Our cookie bakery gets closed, and we finally see what mistakes we did.

What to do about that? 

Start appreciating yourself. Give, but also take. Ask for more and if someone says he cannot give it to you – leave. Don’t be afraid to ask your boss for what you deserve. When it doesn’t function, you know what to do, right?

Overplanned in your free time? About leisure stress.

Dominic worked a lot. After work he hit the local gym, worked out, picked some chicken sandwich with guacamole from the supermarket, hurrying up because in Switzerland they close at 21:00. His time after working hours was all planned well in advance. 

Mondays pushing at the gym. Tuesdays learning German at the Sprachschule. Wednesdays playing squash with his friend. Thursdays going out for dates in fancy bars and restaurants. Fridays packing his bags and departing for a weekend trip.

Sounds familiar?

 You might ask: “But what is so strange or inappropriate about it?!”

Leisure stress plantation of creativity

Nothing. But Dominic’s feelings were far from pleasant. He was constantly stressed. He needed to pack the day before, depending on which activity he will pursue on a given day. Then, traffic on the road and stress if he will make it for the date. Busy every day, all the time. After 6 months he took psychological help because he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t focus and he was constantly exhausted. 

Each one of us has free time and it is our decision what we do about it and how we shape it. However, free time means something different for us. 

Martha: “Free time is the time I have when I don’t need to be at work”.

Kevin: “I understand free time as the time when I don’t need to do anything, even cooking or cleaning”.

Jacob: “Free time does not exist. There is always something to do”.

What’s your definition of free time? Why certain people experience leisure time stress? Let me give you two examples of free time stress.

1. TOO MUCH ACTION

 Like Dominic, you are planned the whole week with different types of activities. You think you can do it, but the weekend comes and you’re dead from tiredness. 

2. TO LITTLE ACTION

You don’t plan your free time and when it comes, you are frightened and stressed about “but what will I do?”.

What to do to avoid leisure stress?

  • Don’t take too much on your shoulders

Let your body relax and recover. You don’t need to hit the gym every day after work.

  • Learn to rest.

Let go. Lay in bed with a book. Sleep. The world will not collapse if you rest in quiet.

  • Be gentle with yourself. 

You are not a machine but an intricate biological computer. You need TIME for everything. It also relates to resting. 

  • Find good ways to relax

Switch off your computer and phone, go out to a forest or a park. Breathe fresh air. Sometimes a change like this can bring the awakening and change.

With love,

Aleksandra 

I deserve better

Sometimes you are in a hurting and painful relationship but you still decide to stay. You have no courage to leave this person out of fear. Fear of being alone, fear of uncomfortable feelings, fear of allowing yourself for something or someone better. How to beat your fears? How to allow yourself to have the courage to make wise decisions? In this video, I talk about being courageous in a relationship. Standing for yourself. Having the courage to file for the long-delayed divorce or having the courage to say to yourself: “I deserve better”.

In this video, with beautiful scenery of the Swiss Alps, I am gonna talk about the subject of courage. The subject of not only a personal courage, of how to be brave and courageous but also about having courage in relationships.

I deserve better

So many women and so many men don’t have what they wish for. What I mean by this is sometimes you wonder:

Should I leave this guy if he’s not good enough for me? Should I leave him? Because he’s causing me some trouble, he’s causing me some suffering, he’s not making me happy”.

And sometimes we lack the courage like I did before I came to the Gornergrat.

I have a fear of heights. I am always scared of the mountains and my record was 2000 meters about the sea level. And here we are in Zermatt, Gornergrat train station. Zermatt-Matterhorn is a majestic, beautiful mountain. And of course, I was afraid of coming to 3000 meters above the sea level. To the highest altitude hotel in Europe.

So how was I able to make it? With having fear of heights and open space?

About this fear, I want to talk today.

We all have different fears in our relationships. And we all think that it is better to have someone than to have not. And sometimes maybe you are considering getting a divorce. Sometimes you think:

“Yes, I deserve a better man”, “I deserve a better woman”.

But somehow, you lack the courage, like me here, before taking the little train up, because you may think that it is hard to breathe or uncomfortable.

I didn’t look on the train sides, because it was really going steep up and I have the fear of heights.

So you act the same way:

  • When you think that you cannot do something
  • When you cannot say and go beyond your limit
  • While you think that you don’t deserve a better partner than the one you have.

Yes, the emotions are the same as going up the Gornergrat Bahn to 3000 meters. The emotions are equal to the emotions you feel while wondering if you should leave your partner.

I deserve better

But as soon as you’ll make the decision, as soon as you’ll tell yourself: “Yes, I can do it“, “I am worth it to go up“, to see this wonderful view and beat my fears. Like you can say to yourself: “I am worth it to have a better man” or a woman, or a better, loving relationship.

Then you take the decision naturally, despite fear and despite the fact that it is hard to breathe because of the tears or your blockages. You allow yourself for it like I allowed myself or my emotions while going on the steep, little train up here to the highest hotel in Europe.

Yes, I’ve been there where you are. But I did everything I could to face and conquer my fears.

So how about you? Why don’t you have this courage in your daily life, your daily relationships? Why don’t you leave the guy or divorce him when he is not good for you? When he makes you suffer very much?

You quarrel, you come together, you come separate, you come together and so on.

If you don’t close these doors, no other doors will open. If I would not close the doors of my fears, of coming up to the Gornergrat, I would not be able to make this video and maybe to inspire you to open the new doors for you.

And this is what I wish for you today.

The courage:

  • of going your own way,
  • of respecting your own choices,
  • of making better choices for yourself.

The courage to go beyond your limits.

Thank you,

Aleksandra Bzdzikot

Is love enough to build a happy relationship?

I met Martha at a party in Kaufleuten club in Zurich on a rainy Saturday evening. We had a ‘girls talk’ over a White Russian. She was in a tough relationship which brought lots of troubles and worries. She said: “The most important is that we love each other”. 

Hell yeah, I thought. As if love could fix it all…

LOVE IS NOT A CURE 

You can call me the most unromantic person in the world, but love cannot fix troubles in your relationship. You cannot sit around, unhappy, thinking that love to your partner will heal all problems. 

Love will neither fix you nor bring you permanent happiness. It won’t heal your traumas. Sometimes you need a visit at the shrink’s office to heal yourself and not a person who sleeps next to you and calls you ‘darling’. Love is not a plaster you put on your skin when you hurt yourself. 

Why love is not enough for a relationship to succeed?

If love to your man is the first thing that matters to you in your relationship, then ask yourself a question.

  • What is there apart from love? 
  • What other qualities does your relationship have? 
  • What are the common values of you and your partner?
  • Do you share a similar view on things and life in general? 
  • Do you both want to have a family and kids? 
  • What are the common goals and life plans of you and your partner?

LOVE IS MATHEMATICS

Sometimes I meet women who crave and beg for love. When they meet a guy, they fall in love straight away and think about the love that they will get from their partner. Love blinds them. They cannot see who the guy really is and figure out if he only says that he ‘loves’ or he actually does it. 

“I just wanna be loved” attitude is very dangerous for women. Love is an important part of a relationship, but you cannot sacrifice everything for it. Any relationship consists of many parts. There’s one part called ‘liking each other’, another one called ‘respect’, the next one ‘common values’ and so on. 

So, what is love? Love is an addition.

love is not enough

First of all, you need to take care of yourself. Your state of mind. Your shit. You need to love yourself before you love another person. You cannot get water out of a stone. If you don’t love yourself, there’s a low probability that you will be successful in loving another person. It’s pure mathematics. 0 love times 1 equals 0. You cannot give what you don’t have in yourself. 

In romantic comedies, people who meet each other, first, need to overcome some obstacles (job challenges, personal challenges, etc) before they are finally together. They don’t go into a relationship only because no one else came their way. 

They don’t bring into their relationship shitty patterns from their family of origin or exuberant expectations. First, they deal with their own shit, before they turn their relationship into a ‘relationshit’. 

Better to be in a ship with the other person than in a shit… It makes a whole lot of difference. 

A good relationship does not come wrapped in a ribbon

When I ask people how they met they start telling me that the time stood still, and they immediately knew that was ‘it’. Love at first sight. Biochemical cocktail of love & attraction.

Usually, in these moments I say: “Whoa. Hold your horses. Beginnings are always like the golden age of America. Like the first episode of your favorite Netflix series. Excitement and curiosity. All until the time you both advance to the second series called “Ups and downs” or “Storms and calms”.

relationship equals effort
The love and feelings you get from your beloved are not a gift neatly wrapped in a ribbon that is there to last forever.

It’s rather credit for a foundation on which to build something that matters.
Many couples part in the 5th or 7th year of their relationship. Love burn-out. They don’t know why they are together. They look at his or her beloved sleeping in bed, wondering why they decided to start this relationship. Wondering what went wrong and when.

Usually, it takes a couple of years for a couple to part. What happens then? A new love cycle begins. A new partner, butterflies in the stomach and love, that lasts only for some time…

Usually, this pattern of 5 or 7-year lasting relationship have couples who didn’t make it through the “storms and calms” and who forgot to build strong fundaments. They were so happy that they have this person, and they thought that ‘love’ will fix it all. That love will make it work. Unfortunately, love alone doesn’t guarantee a long-lasting relationship.

Love equals work. Yes. That’s the way it is. I can see your surprised faces now 🙂 Love is always about two totally different people coming together. Different backgrounds, different families, sometimes even different countries. You need to put your sleeves up and dig in to make it work. To build the fundaments for it to flourish.

Is it easy? Rather not. But one thing is sure – Santa Claus brings gifts only to children. The grown-ups make gifts by themselves, thanks to their work, attention, and experience.

Love is never about “meeting the right person”. Even if you meet your Mr/Mrs. Right, there’s still some work to be done.

relationship requires effort

There’s a song by The O’Jays – “Now that we found love what are we gonna do with it”. Think for a moment. What are you going to DO with your love?

All fables end with “they married and lived happily ever after”. Real life has nothing to do with a fable. The ups and downs happen even in the happiest relationship. But if you have a strong pillar on which you have built your love, no storm or hurricane will ever destroy it.

Care for your love every day. Just like you brush your teeth. Let it become a habit.

Valentine’s Day is approaching. We are bombarded with adverts of sexy lingerie, heart-shaped chocolates, and red roses. All good restaurants in Zurich are booked out for this Friday evening. People hoard to celebrate love. At least one day per year.

It’s actually a great idea to celebrate love. But maybe without all this marketing. Realizing that each day is a good day to celebrate love. Not only 14th February.

Wishing you wonderful days full of love,

Aleksandra

Strong women and weak men

strong women an week men

How they are born? What makes men weak and women strong?

EQUAL BUT DIFFERENT

According to the family constellations method, the first place in the family belongs to the man.

He leads, builds a house, goes out to hunt and provides food and shelter for his woman. The second place belongs to the woman, who takes care of the internal world – children, home, cooking, and household management.

First and second places are just functions. We don’t talk here about the first as ‘better’ and the ‘second’ as worse. Men and women are equal as sexes but were created to fulfill different functions, thus complementing each other. Yin and yang. Sun and moon. Masculine and feminine.

During the past years, a lot has changed between feminine and masculine roles. Men built a world where there was no place for women. Witches and female shamans were a threat to the men of those times, because of their advanced knowledge. So, men burned them at stakes. Hurting the feminine and cursing women who gave birth to baby-girls.

WAR ZONE

Then, there were wars, like the 1st and 2nd World War, which decimated men. The masculine fell down and didn’t have the strength to get up. Boys were raised by mothers and grandmothers because fathers died at war. Today we have many strong women. It all comes as an aftermath of war. An aftermath nobody ever took into account.

Strong women

Who is a strong woman?

A woman who is focused on being successful in her career?
A woman who can do without a man?
A woman who stands by her partner?
A woman who is feminine? Dressed in a flowery dress, connected to her intuition, loving and caring?

Look closely at her. Look at her mother. How was her mother like? Was her mother feminine? Or maybe she was raised on the anger of her mother, who was left alone after the war with five kids to feed?

Maybe your grandmother ruled in the house because she had no choice. Left alone on the ashes of war with five kids to take care of. This is where the anger on men starts. I’ve seen it many times during family constellations. Women’s anger on men. A murderous anger.

The anger of pain of being left alone with no help of a beloved man to survive. So, the women needed to stand in the men’s place. In the masculine. They made themselves strong and carried masculine burdens of taking on masculine roles.

Now ask yourself a question. An important one.

Do you have a tendency to carry a lot on your shoulders? Do you, as a woman, constantly control everyone and everything? Do you rule in the house, because all needs to be done “your way”?

Or maybe you’re a man and you were raised by a mother who was always pissed on your father? Who always criticized him and dominated him?

Do you remember this moment when as a child you dreamed about leaving your home and being away from the mother who always told you what you should do and how you should do it?

The war is long over. Time to make peace.

Week man

Time to understand that women and men both need each other. We need to acknowledge our incompleteness.

We need to understand that a feminine needs a stable and strong masculine. And masculine needs warm and sensitive feminine.

Look at your ancestors and ask yourself – can I have it a different way than you?

The answer will come. Today is a good day to wake up, see the patterns which existed in your family and break them by deciding that you will allow yourself to act differently.
To be a masculine man. Or a feminine woman.

Aleksandra Bzdzikot
Certified family constellations therapist
Certified art therapist

Being yourself is not easy. Why?

being yourself

Being yourself is not easy, because sometimes we‘re brought up to be someone else, someone, who has to be ‘this or that’. How often did you hear from your parents that you look like your grandfather or that you took on artistic skills after your father who liked to draw in his free time?

If looks and skills are passed on through generations, do you think that emotional problems, relationship patterns, money blockages are not? Then, let me surprise you 😉

  1. Sometimes it all comes from our family tree. Maybe some of our ancestors couldn’t pursue their passion. Maybe others told them “you won’t make a good teacher” or “You won’t be a good artist” plus “you cannot make money on art”. So they gave up their dreams of being themselves for the sake of peace of mind and social acceptance.

Maybe our parents couldn’t be themselves, because they were brought up by their parents according to some unwritten but verbally expressed rules? The behavioral patterns easily get transmitted through our genetics.

  1. Then comes the programming neatly covered under “schooling”. They tell us to go to school, study hard, be a good boy or a good girl. Go to church, believe in God, God will take care of you in the afterlife, fear the devil… They all tell us what to do. Until we reach the age of 18, we are fully programmed. Programmed to be someone. A firefighter, a teacher, a politician, a lawyer, and an IT software developer…

So you go the university, still study hard and land a good job. Congratulations! You’re a lawyer (banker, engineer or whoever) and you’re fully programmed to exist in the society and work like a sheep for the next 40 years.

Wait a moment. Was this what you wanted? Ask yourself a question: did I consciously choose that way? It is important that we feel good at our careers, in our relationships and with ourselves when we look at ourselves in the mirror.

How do you know if you are yourself?

  • You accept yourself fully, including your flaws;
  • You accept your path, the career that you CONSCIOUSLY chose;
  • You take no opinion of others on yourself;
  • You love yourself the way you are.

Look in the mirror. Who do you see there? The product of your parents/society expectations or yourself? 😊

Being yourself in a world which constantly tries you to be someone else, is the biggest achievement”.