My Pet Black Widow –The Power of Choice

A client once told me at the end of a coaching session, “you must never have any problems in life!”

Since the first day of my coaching training I was taught that emotional state management is vital during every coaching session. I took his statement as a compliment in that I showed up “in state” for our coaching sessions, however, nothing could be farther from the truth. When it comes to my own life and problems, I am my own best coaching client.

That memory was triggered this weekend as I was out watering my grass. Here in North Carolina we water our grass weekly in an effort to keep it alive during the hot and humid summer months. Every Sunday I do a deep watering and in one corner of the lawn, in a small green telephone hub lives a big black widow. She is absolutely beautiful; dark black with bright red markings on her abdomen.

We have developed an interesting relationship over the last month. At first, my immediate thought was to kill her. She could be very dangerous if the kids got a little too inquisitive. I really did not want to do that but how do you relocate a black widow? My next line of defense was to just water the heck out of her web and see if she would eventually get the hint and relocate on her own.

Guess what? After weeks of wrecking her web, she just rebuilds. That is the problem. No matter how many times I tear down her web she just continues to rebuild. After all, that is what spiders do. They know who they are and it does not matter what happens to their web, they really don’t care. She just reacts, takes action, and rebuilds.

I wish in some ways, when it came to my own problems and challenges, I could be like that black widow. There would never have to be a reason “why” something was the way it was, there would be no focus on what I may lose or have just lost, and no worry or uncertainties about what the future held; I would just react, take action and build.

In a way that could be possible. I could be more like her. In order to react to situations instinctively, I would just have to be very aware of who I am, what my strengths are, wait patiently for something to happen and react. If a fly became trapped, dinner would be served, and then I would get to work building again! If someone or something outside of my control and influence came along and wrecked everything I had just built, I would just get to work rebuilding. There would not be any emotions involved.

Somewhere in the process of reacting to the events around me without having to think or feel, there would be something missing though. I think that life would almost have no purpose or meaning. I think that I would miss thinking about things, exploring options, growing and being able to celebrate success. I think that, as a spider, I would miss being able to choose how I wanted to act and react to life around me.

Maybe having problems and challenges is not so bad after all. There are other upsides to being human too. I don’t really have to worry about getting eaten by my mate!

So, I think I will just keep the black widow as a reminder that thinking a little too much about things is not healthy. Balancing thinking with action towards what I choose to build and create works just fine for me. Choice is one of the greatest gifts in life.

Spiders and Personal Results Coaches all have problems and challenges in life. Choosing how we are going to react to them and take action is the difference between the two. I am probably the only one on the block with a pet Black Widow. She reminds me every week that I always have a choice in life –and so do you. Choose wisely this week how you are going to act and react as you travel down the road ahead.


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Here is an example of one of my client’s success last month with the Fast Track Program.

“I have to say that my clothes are already starting to feel much looser. I wore a jacket to church on Sunday and I could already tell that the jacket was much looser. I am also starting to wear several shirts that had just gotten too tight for me but are now starting to fit much better.

Regardless of the weigh-in tomorrow I would say that this program has been a huge success. I was 201.4 at the beginning of the month and I have lost nearly 9 pounds so far. Given the fact that I was completely out of the loop for two weeks with regards to physical activity – one week because of a sinus infection and one week because of surgery, this was mostly achieved through practicing good self-control on the eating front. I am still trying to hit 190 by the end of this week. Also, the only time I have lost weight in the past is when I was on a diet (I have tried several over the years) or on a physical fitness plan…….so, to me, to accomplish this without a “diet” mentality is actually a bigger win than just about anything else. I also noticed this AM that I have much more energy that I did at the beginning of the month.

I have now set a new goal to hit 183 by July 31st…. I am actually confident that I can achieve this goal using this method that we have used here.”

At weigh-in the next morning at the completion of the 30-days with the Fast Track to Success Plan…

“I was at 191.8 this morning…..So, I have lost a total of over 9 1/2 pounds in the last 30 days! I am feeling great! My goals are set for today!”



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Step 1: Complete the Pre-Call Worksheet for a single goal
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Step 5: Repeat Step 3
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The bottom line is that most people are excited to start a goal for 24-48 hours before the emotional high wears off but it takes 17-21 days to develop a new habit.

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