It is always really interesting meeting new students, every one is so unique. One thing in common is how fast their initial attitude changes when I listen to the things that stress them out. Hearing what is not working for them, and suggesting systems or solutions that will work for them is the biggest part of my work. Often the things they talk about are things they cannot share with anyone else; dark secrets that are slowly ruining their lives.
One guy who recently started had found the ideal solution to stress: alcohol. His parents owned a pub and had flagons of vodka and other spirits stored. He would fill his drink bottle each day before school. Originally his personality was one of a quiet student, reserved and unnoticed, but this new daily intake of alcohol turned him into a popular party animal who fellow students wanted to have around. He became very popular as the guy who smiled a lot and “was a crack up”.
What would you do? Destroy his new found confidence by telling him not to drink? The solution had to be unique.
The key was to replace his dark secret with a new one. We slowly decreased the potency of his drink bottle, read a few books and watched a few videos on lots of things, including salesmanship and powerful communication. We had a few laughs on the way and over time he was able to swap the bottle for genuine self confidence. His secret became the skills he had developed with me to communicate and be charismatic – and these didn’t need filling up everyday from the liquor cabinet.
What do you think he does now? He works as a very successful teacher. A Teacher with a secret.