Well today is the final day of my impossible month. I have, of course, NOT achieved the impossible because…well, it was impossible!
But that doesn’t matter.
What I have achieved over the past 4 weeks is far more than I would have done had I not attempted to achieve the impossible and that was the whole point. The higher you aim at the start, the higher you’ll land if you fall short and I’ve proved to myself that I can do a huge number of things I never thought I could over this past month:
- I can write to Gok Wan and not care if he doesn’t reply – his loss!
- I can ask the coaches I really admire and respect for help and realise, having asked, that it doesn’t matter whether they say yes or not because it was feeling able to ask that was important
- I can ask the coaches I really admire and respect for help – and get it!
- I can ask someone else to come on board with me and not feel like I’m giving away my baby
- I can admit there’s stuff I’m crap at and ask someone else to do it for me – and have people drool at the prospect!
- I can say what I want and have people be OK with that
If you’re a regular reader you’ll know that I’ve found this past month to be exciting, exhilerating and also personally very challenging and even draining at times.
I’ve gone through a month of intense self-examination and I’ve done it in public. I’ve stretched and tested myself.
I’ve faced fears and brought myself up short with realisations about who I am and what I believe about myself, some of which has not been comfortable.
I haven’t regained my equilibrium yet and I may not for a while – and that’s OK.
One of the first things I warn my clients about is the intense nature of doing work like this and the emotions it can stir up. I always advise them to have someone they love and trust to offer them support when it gets difficult – and this past month has been a very valuable reminder for me of how it feels to be on the inside of that process. And yet again I’ve been amazed to find myself married to and spported by the most wonderful man, My Lovely Husband, whose faith in me appears to be unshakeable and whose pride in me is undimmed.
It’s important to remember that what I’m experiencing is a natural part of the process of change. Whenever we undergo something like this, we will disturb our equilibrium and buried monsters will rise to the surface. Wounds that we had thought healed will break open again and new ones we hadn’t suspected will appear.
The most important thing to remember is not to give up and not to try to ignore what’s happening to you.
Notice how you’re feeling. Be curious about it. Try to work out exactly where the sharp points that cause the most pain are and try to figure out what’s going on there.
I’ve uncovered lots of stuff about my need to get things right and my fear of failure, and today that led me into realising that I’ve been assuming that there’s some Magic Key out there and once I possess it I’ll be able to open the Secret Door to Wonderland and then I’ll be able to “do it right”.
The trouble is, I have only a very vague notion of what “it” is and what “right” is – and I’ve been looking externally for the answers. But the answers aren’t outside me, they’re inside me, and I realised tonight that I had temporarily lost sight of them because I’ve suffered a temporary lack of confidence.
When I’m feeling confident I have no difficulty in knowing instinctively what’s right, which decisions to make, what to do next, where to focus.
When I’m lacking in confidence I lose touch with my instincts and become overwhelmed with choices and other people’s’ opinions.
I also become very self-critical and not at all kind to myself. I beat myself up a lot. I don’t look after myself. I expect perfection and I expect to know how to do everything or to be able to learn it in 5 seconds with no effort.
I know all this stuff and I use it with my clients to their benefit and I talk about how important it is – and then I let myself down by not behaving that way towards myself.
And this afternoon I realised that I spend far too much time telling myself about all the stuff I get “wrong”, and nothing like enough time telling myself about all the good stuff I do.
So I’m going to choose to stop being so hard on myself. I’m going to keep on choosing to be kind to myself because I know it takes more than just saying it to make it happen. Every time I find myself being unkind about myself, I’m going to choose instead to be kind.
Today’s insights have come about as a result of a fabulous extended coaching session from Tim Brownson this evening. He helped me to clarify a lot of what’s been going on for me and he said a really interesting thing:
“You have all the confidence you need all the time, it’s just that sometimes you can’t access it”
Actually he said lots of really interesting things, but that one really resonated for me and I wonder if it does for you.
What gets in the way of you feeling confident? And how do you get it out of your way and tap back into your confidence?
I think kindness is the way back in for me. Reminding myself of the things I am good at, cutting myself some slack and seeing this past month as a necessary step on the journey of evolution that I’m on.
When times were tough when my children were babies, my then-husband and I used to say “In 5 years’ time we’ll look back on this and we’ll laugh”. Well that never quite worked out cos 5 years’ later we were divorced but the principle remains.
This past month has been an amazing stage on my journey and although I’m feeling a bit bruised and fragile at the moment I have no doubt whatsoever that before too long I shall bounce back stronger and more full of Fairy Dust than ever before.
Watch out world…..!