After being a coach for over a decade, or perhaps longer depending on how you define ‘being a coach’, I’ve come to a few conclusions that I think might be helpful to share. Sometimes we can feel like we’re the only one who experiences certain feelings or fears, and that in itself can make it all loom much more menacingly over us.
The truth is, you’re not the only one who feels that way; we share much more of our emotional landscape with one another than we realize. Just realizing that can be a huge relief for many people!
When you take a risk and allow yourself to be emotionally vulnerable, perhaps to a loved one, knowing that they understand your feelings is so comforting and reassuring. It’s OK to feel whatever it is you feel; your feelings are valid. It’s OK. Feel the feeling, then let it go. Don’t dwell in it, don’t allow it to submerge you or determine your actions – but feel it. Then let it go. There is more to you than just your feelings.
One thing I’ve learnt from my own personal experience is that when you are brave and shine a light on a problem (rather than putting your fingers in your ears and singing ‘la la la’ like it’s not happening!!), it is amazing how the problem shrinks down to a manageable size. Yes, even ‘big scary, don’t want to know how bad it is’ kind of problems! Especially them!
Get yourself out of denial and you are already on the way to a solution. Yes it hurts; yes it’s tough; yes there may be tears – but I guarantee it is 100% worth it. I also guarantee that you can solve it – otherwise you wouldn’t have created that problem in your life. You can figure it out – but first you need to look at it fully, clearly and in the cold light of day. If you need support – get a coach; that could be me, or just whoever you resonate with.
Another common misconception that many people seem to have is that they are the only ones who aren’t confident enough. Do you know what, most people lack self-belief, at least in some area of their life!? It’s actually incredibly normal.
I think practically everyone I’ve ever coached or worked with has struggled at some point with lack of confidence, or lack of self-belief. I certainly have! When they’re courageous enough to admit it, I can almost see the weight lift off their shoulders as the relief dawns that they’re not alone in that feeling; even as soon as it’s expressed it can start to lose its grip, and becomes something manageable. It’s Ok. You’re OK!
You see, when we think we’re the only ones to feel a particular way, we tend to hide it and pretend it’s not there. Firstly that can make it seem a much bigger issue than it actually is, like it describes our whole being, and secondly it can lead us to focus on the wrong solution.
Unexamined and mysterious, the tendency is to think ‘if i just fix THIS, then everything will be great’
‘THIS’ might be a flailing career, mounting debt, an unsatisfactory love life, obesity, constant low-grade illnesses or any other somewhat debilitating (but not completely insurmountable) issue. It seems like if we can just solve that issue, then life will be sweet, all will be well and we’ll live happily ever after. Well, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news.
Yes, you can live happily, maybe not constantly, but for the most part if you wish.
The bad news? Ah well. Solving that issue – losing the weight, clearing the debt, getting a new job, getting a new partner or overhauling your health – is just that. It solves that specific problem, which is all very nice, but then you’ll find there’s another, then another, then another … you get the idea. If you stay focused on the external stuff, you’ll get more of what you’re focussing on.
If however you take a little risk, a flight of fancy if you like, and engage with your inner stuff – you’ll see a different view; you’ll come from a different place and before you know it, those external issues will lose their heaviness and grip on you.
I’d love to promise you that they’ll magically disappear in a whoosh and a wisp of smoke … but unfortunately that only happens in the movies. oh well
Engaging with your inner stuff is your personal development journey – reading amazing inspirational books, taking time to be in nature, meditation, choosing your thoughts and attitude consciously, expressing your creativity and connecting with others.
What I’ve found is that when you make time for these things, the external challenges fade into the background – you’ll still work on them and resolve them, of course, but they no longer define you. Your personal development journey nourishes you, it recharges your batteries and your spirit so you can face the more earthly demands on your time. You can do it, I believe in you.
P.S. If you’d have told me that a few years ago, I’d probably have said ‘Well that’s all well and good for you, but I’ve got major, scary problems to deal with first! Look at this debt! Look at these problems! Can’t you see how stressed I am?! I haven’t got time for that fluffy stuff, I need to focus on solutions and actions, I need to fix this right now!!!’
..If that’s you too, let me gently whisper something to you … “try it anyway ”
Just a few minutes a day can save you years of heartache and stress, I promise.
Sending you so much love