Life Coaching: The Manual


The Manual Image

As I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, I’ve started listening to Brooke Castillo’s Life Coaching podcasts and am now working my way through these on a daily basis. Not only do I feel I’m understanding more about life coaching by listening to these, but they are also providing me with opportunities to practice life coaching techniques on myself.

In Episode 11, Brooke discusses the unwritten rules we set for the people in our lives, referring to the rule books we create as ‘manuals’. These manuals can be for our partners, parents, friends or even our colleagues or managers, and are made up of the expectations we choose to put onto these people about how we feel they should behave. She argues that we often invest huge amounts of our emotional happiness in our rules being followed. An example might be your partner regularly leaving wet bath towels on the bed. Your expectation is that this shouldn’t happen and when it does, you’re angry about it. Sound familiar?

Not only have the people around us often not agreed to follow our rules, but much of the time they are unaware that we even have these expectations of them, so inevitably they fail to meet them. Brooke explores how we use these manuals we’ve created, the reasons they don’t really work and why (by putting our energy into trying to implement them) we are focusing our attention in the wrong places. She explains that these rules are our way of trying to control other people, which isn’t realistic and will only leave us wanting. She goes on to suggest how we can try to move away from using these manuals and in turn, change our relationships with those closest to us for the better. This one’s definitely worth a listen!

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