I recently wrestled with this thought: I’m a coach and I make for a lousy coaching client.
Whew! As painful as that was to admit, I said it. I spoke my truth.
Or did I?
Afterall, the truth was that I wasn’t following through on the things I identified with my coach and committed to do.
I expected to feel a sense of relief by speaking my truth but I didn’t. I felt ladened with judgment, guilt and shame. But here’s the thing: calling myself out for being a lousy client isn’t the full truth nor the whole story.
Calling myself out in the way I did was merely a judgmental way of identifying my behaviors. It was just another way my Judge – I named her “Judgy McJudge Pants” – and my Accomplice Saboteur, the Stickler – “Ms. Perfect”, are taking center stage (again).
Judgy McJudge Pants and Ms. Perfect think they’re helping me by pushing me to succeed when they tell me that, without them, I will turn into a complacent couch potato and won’t accomplish anything. They’re brutal Mean Girls.
I had a choice to make: I could wallow in the pain of self-sabotage and the story my Saboteurs were telling me OR I could free myself from their lies and discover a more empowering, loving story.
I chose love.
Here’s how I exposed my Saboteur’s lies and shifted my story in 3 steps:
- I began by looking at the energy impact my thoughts and feelings had on me about the painful story that “I’m a lousy client.”
- Next, I identified the actions that were occurring because of my thoughts and feelings – and which actions weren’t happening because of my thoughts and feelings.
- Then, I looked at the results from my actions which put a spotlight on why I was getting the results that I was getting and not getting the results I wanted.
At this point I had exposed my Saboteur’s lies but I still needed to shift my story. I used the same process again to shift my perspective to see a more supportive and empowering story about what’s possible and true.
The truth is, I’m not a lousy coaching client. I love learning – including learning about myself – and I do a lot of deep introspection. And, with all learning, there’s comes a period of integration as well as a plateau.
The truth is, I’m still integrating what I’ve learned and experienced this past year. Things like making a major breakthrough in claiming my what is true about how I do my work in this world and processing a whole lot of emotions in the arenas of aging parents, family dynamics, and grief from clients and friends who have left this world.
The societal norms I’ve been raised with tell me to keep going – to move into action and keep climbing up. But I like to dance to the beat of my own drum and what I need most right now is the space to sit on a plateau with my drum, taking in the beauty of my surroundings, so I can digest what I’m processing.
My Compassionate & Empowering Story
Rewriting my narrative about “I’m a lousy client” into a love story sounds like:
There’s a lot happening in my world right now. My desire to learn still exists but it’s going to look much different than in years past because my capacity is different. I’m a client who is doing deep inner work; who is moving at a pace that is appropriate for her. Moving at a slower pace, I feel my heart open and curiosity expand. I willingly experiment with showing up in new ways and discovering the small actions that provide the most potent outcome.
What stories are your Saboteurs wanting you to believe? Do you need help shifting perspectives to create a more empowering story?