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Mantra 8/13/19: Take the Lead

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Hi! This is Coach MK, and THIS is The Morning Mantra.

*cue intro music*

Hi, my name is MK Fleming. I'm a run coach based in Denver, Colorado. But this isn't a podcast about running, exactly. Don't tell my clients, but *whispers* we're never really talking about the running. When you know a crap-tastic event is coming it helps to have a mantra to keep you centered and focused as you move through it. You don't have to be an athlete to be hashtag #coachedandloved by coach MK. And if you are here, then you are hashtag #winningatlife.

*music ends*

Fight/Flight/Freeze/Fawn/Flood/Fatigue: C-PTSD Responses

Today’s Mantra is: Lead The Way.

My loyalty has kept me in situations that common sense SHOULD have taken me out of, save two reasons:

1. I’m a decent f*cking person

2. Fawning.

For the uninitiated, Fawning is the lesser-known trauma response; you’ve probably heard of fight and flight and freeze. Fawning is loosely defined as submitting to a larger threat, going along to get along. My personal favorite definition is from Sam Dylan Finch: “To avoid conflict, negative emotions and retraumatization, people who ‘fawn’ when triggered will go out of their way to mirror someone’s opinion and appease them in order to de-escalate situations or potential conflicts.”

Sound familiar? Yeah, that was my reaction the first time I heard of it, too. If you want more info, check the shownotes or the transcript over on the coachedandloved blog. If you’d rather find your own links, Google C-PTSD or Complex PTSD.

As much as I talk about ‘submission’ as a coach, meaning ‘you need to submit to a certain degree in order for coaching to be effective, no matter the coach, no matter the subject; you see success relies more on how coachable a person is, how willing they are to just say, “ok” and do the work rather than “How about….” and try to negotiate something else.

Coachable people, I tend to find, aren’t submissive in any other areas of their least not in the ones I want to know about. I’d describe them as efficient: they are good at what they do, they are busy people, they make decisions all day long, and they don’t WANT to engage in a back and forth that want to trust someone enough to just do whatever they are told to do. Interestingly, they are the most secure people I know.

I am a trauma survivor. Fawning is one of my trigger responses. I know exactly how wrong submission can go, so I take this responsibility pretty seriously. I wish everyone did. Lots of people in this world are hurting and vulnerable, looking for answers in all the wrong places...and there are tons of folks out there wanting to sell them THE ANSWER or THE SECRET.

I wish I could give you a Buzzfeed-worthy headline here, ‘5 Red Flags to Help You Avoid Abusers of Power,” but the truth of the matter is power corrupts. The world is full of people who started out as leaders then morphed over time into Gurus who shut out anyone who disagreed with them. Anyone could take that path over time if they aren’t careful. The best we can do is look at the people closest to us, the people we choose to spend time with and ask ourselves: do they have MY best interests in mind? Do I have recent, tangible proof of this?

Three days ago, I woke up to a message from Susan, gushing over how much she likes the most recent addition to the Fitness Protection team, our Wayfinder. Quote, “MK, you have done an amazing job of surrounding yourself with REALLY GOOD people. Thank you.”

I’m sure I’ve mentioned, I’m hurting right now. I’m hurting but I’m pulling through. And someone in my inner circle, someone who is quick to tell me when she thinks I’m wrong or am mis-reading a person or situation, someone who holds her breath every time I say, “I want you to meet…..” has affirmed that I am now, in fact, surrounded by REALLY GOOD people. People who have my best interests in mind, people who I can submit to, or blindly follow, during a period when I don’t feel fit enough to lead.

Trust is a fragile thing, and it’s really hard for trauma survivors to come by. Once earned, we don’t give it away easily, certainly not when common sense would tell us it’s time to let go. I may be hurting right now, there may be cracks, but I’m not broken. I’m surrounded by good people, people I'm right to trust, people to whom I can say: Take The Lead.

SO, the Mantra: in those moments when you are hurting and triggered, don’t hide. If you catch yourself fawning, that’s NOT control of a situation that’s you making excuses to stay in the situation. Look to your inner circle and say, “Please….take the lead.” When you have REALLY GOOD people to help carry you, this isn’t passive and takes incredible strength. It’s the most badass thing you can do. And being in a position to do that is proof positive that you are winning at life.

*cue outro music*

You are Coached. You are Loooved, and you ARE winning at life. And you're definitely winning at life if you subscribe to my Nuzzel Newsletter, follow me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram. feel free to do all three!

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