What keeps us stuck from writing the Life Story we Want?
We had been talking for months. But this conversation was different. She confided that she had been ‘circling the issues’ for awhile now. We both knew it, but I appreciated her saying it outloud and respected her more for it. There had been much discussion around next steps, making plans, writing To Do lists, setting goals…but follow through seemed to be her biggest challenge. Why? I wondered as I saw my own reflection in her journey. Can’t we all relate to this? What makes us declare emphatically that this is the year/day/week we will…(fill in the blank) _____________ (drop those last 10 pounds, eat healthier, finish that project, take a vacation, throw a party, say thank you more, etc.….) and somehow it drifts away….we get distracted…we change our minds…we stop caring….we’re too busy….whatever the reasons…our goals slip through our fingers like sand.
And as we are left holding nothing, frustrated that we didn’t get the results we desire, the shame cycle often begins…
What is wrong with me? Why can’t I do this? Everybody else can do this…why can’t you? For heavens sake, why can’t you pull it together?!? We know these messages, don’t we?
One of the greatest honors I have in the coaching relationship is coming alongside individuals and stopping the shame cycle….as we gently explore the real reasons that keep us stuck. When we put to rest the shaming dialogue, we can start new dialogues that support us in understanding our selves. This new understanding brings fresh clarity and energy that helps us identify what we authentically need to move forward. Goals are reached…plans are implemented…and our new self-awareness begins to serve as a guide for us to confidently and courageously create the life we want.
So what made this conversation different from all the rest? As she talked about her desperate uncomfortableness in being stuck and wanting more, I heard for the first time a new inner conversation. Rather than the cycle of shaming thoughts, kind questioning revealed her fears in moving forward. “What do you need?” I gently asked. “I need a buddy to help me finish this project.” She replied. It was as simple as that. She even knew who she wanted to ask. Learning to shift away from shame into gentle exploration gave her the answers she needed to get unstuck.
Last we talked, her journey had been vastly accelerated because of help from a friend…and her growth was inspiring. She was promoted within her company, her relationships were strengthened, and her confidence was significantly increased. Most importantly, she had a learned a new inner dialogue where she asked kind questions to explore what she really needed. The shaming questions no longer kept her stuck in a cycle of discouragement and lack of forward movement.
Where do you feel stuck? What is your inner dialogue? How can you shift the questions into kind conversations with yourself instead of shaming dialogue? Questions like…
- What do I need?
- Where do I need comfort?
- Who might be able to support me in achieving my goal?
- Are my goals kind, fair, & reasonable? If not, why?
- Where am I being unkind to myself?
- What is stopping me and how do I care for myself?
- Where am I shaming myself? What do I want to offer myself instead?
- Who can support me in this personal growth?
Cheering you on as you learn to let go of the shaming questions and honor your journey by engaging kind questions. Feel free to reply to this email and let me know how you are growing.
My heart is with you and for you as you write your life story,
p.s. here’s a song I am enjoying because of the kind dialogue….enjoy…