You know the saying, but have you tried living it?
Until a few years ago, I couldn’t honestly say I tried very hard. I was one of those people who jumped at the opportunity to “educate” someone, and would walk away from a conversation smugly, thinking “Now they know better, so they’ll do better.”
Then I became a doula.
When I took my first doula training, my only expectation was to learn how to be a doula. What I didn’t expect was to walk out a completely changed woman.
Throughout our training, we were taught to meet our clients where they are, provide information and resources when they are asked for, and to support whatever decisions they make along the way. But there was one element that really challenged how I’d been living my life. It was the consistent underlying theme of nonjudgmental support.
This is not my circus, and these are not my monkeys.
When you come in without an agenda … You are free from the burden of changing their mind.
When you check your bias at the door … A weight is lifted from your shoulders.
When you acknowledge that their choices are not a reflection of your own … You allow yourself the opportunity to learn and grow.
It’s truly an amazing transformation!
And it all boils down to three simple steps:
Validate. Respect. Support.
Validate their feelings. Respect their decisions. Support them in reaching their goals.
Go on, give it a try! It may not always be easy, but I promise you it is rewarding.