Coach Kim: Choosing the right response to a problem

Coach Kim: Choosing the right response to a problem

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SALT LAKE CITY — One of the questions I am asked most often is, “What is the right response when I am asked to do something I don’t want to do? Should I sacrifice my own needs and selflessly make the other person happy, or should I honor my own needs and say no?”

In this article, I am going to teach you a simple system I teach my coaching clients to help you find the right course of action every time, no matter the quandary.

To illustrate the process, I'll use an example situation involving your spouse asking you to do something on Saturday that you don’t want to do.

Here are the steps I recommend for finding the right response:

1. Take a minute and make sure you aren’t in a fear state by choosing to trust that you have the same intrinsic, unchangeable value as everyone else on the planet, no matter what you choose. Choose to trust that your life is always your perfect classroom, and everyone else’s perfect classroom, so all involved will learn and grow with whatever you choose. This may lessen the risk involved in making a choice.

2. Write down every response option you can think of. In this example the options may be:

  • Do what your spouse wants.
  • Do what you want
  • Do something else so no one gets what they want.
3. Turn each option into at least two more options by listing the different attitudes you could have in each scenario. Write down what a fear-driven mindset and a love-driven mindset would look like for each option.

With this example, there could be six options:

  • Love: Happily do what my spouse wants without any resentment or regret. I give this one to my spouse as a gift that is freely given.
  • Fear: Do what my spouse wants, but be irritated, resentful, grouchy and make them feel guilty for compelling me to do something I didn’t want to do.
  • Love: Do what I want to do and ask my spouse to support me because I need to care for myself and give myself this day.
  • Fear: Do what I want but feel guilty, selfish and mean, because I didn’t sacrifice myself and do what they wanted. Beat myself up and ruminate all day with regret about my decision.
  • Love: Ask them if they would be open to a compromise and choose a totally different idea, and do this with love and respect.
  • Fear: Suggest an idea that would make neither of us happy, because if I can’t be happy I don’t want you to be happy either.
4. Cross out all the options that are fear-driven, prideful or passive aggressive. Leave only the options based in love for yourself, others, God or the world.

5. Choose the love-driven option you feel the most capable of doing.

If there is no way you can do what your spouse wants, as a gift that is freely-given and from a place of love with no resentment, then you shouldn't choose that option. Instead, choose to love yourself enough to choose what you need. This is not selfish. It's still a loving decision.

You cannot choose other people every time, nor are you supposed to. You must love yourself and other people equally, which means sometimes you choose to sacrifice for them and sometimes you choose you. This is healthy, wise and mature. This isn't selfish although you might have a subconscious program that makes you feel guilty if you ever choose you.

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If you choose others too much, over-give and neglect your self-care, you may soon find your bucket is empty. Some people might also start to take your sacrifices for granted. They may start to assume this is just how it is: you sacrifice yourself for them all the time. You don’t want to create this.

If you have been giving too much and never choosing to love yourself, you may need to start choosing you.

Some people might not like the change and might even try to make you feel guilty and accuse you of being selfish because they really liked the old you. You will have to push through this, apologize for not honoring your own needs in the past, and remind them that self-care is not selfish, it’s healthy.

The trick to making good decisions is identifying the love-driven options and avoiding the fear-driven ones. Love-driven self-care feels safe and calm and it creates loving feelings towards the other person involved.

With practice, you will get better at seeing the love-driven responses and they will start coming naturally.

You can do this.

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![Kimberly Giles](\.jpg?filter=ksl/65x65)
About the Author: Kimberly Giles \--------------------------------

Kimberly Giles is a master life coach and the author of three books. Visit her website for a clarity questions worksheet and to learn more about this process.

Editor’s Note: Anything in this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended, nor should it be interpreted, to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition; Any opinions, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of KSL. KSL does not endorse nor is it responsible for the accuracy or reliability of any opinion, information, or statement made in this article. KSL expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.

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Coach Kim Giles is a master life coach and speaker who helps clients improve themselves and their relationships. She is the author of "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and has a free clarity assessment available on her website. Learn more at


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