DESCRIBE A TIME YOU ACHIEVED WHAT YOU WERE STRIVING FOR ONLY TO FEEL DISAPPOINTED BY THE SUCCESS.
Like many of us who struggle, I sought to find answers in an effort to make sense of my life when it spun out of control. My consistent answer is to take an abundance of courses, read acclaimed (usually nerdy not trendy) books and look for information to help me cope, provide answers that eluded me as I wallowed in the trauma of my circumstance.
Through my separation and divorce, I sought out and found programs to help me and my kids cope with the myriad of emotions we were dealing with at the time. That lead me to gain certification to not only help my kids but to help others. I thought being a Life Coach (my goodness that title makes it all sound so trivial) would be ideal for my personality and my desire to help others facing similar challenges.
I was good at it. Learned a ton. Met some brilliant people – not just the teachers but my fellow students.
I was armed with solid training and enthusiasm. Add to that my natural creative bent, I knew I could make a difference and help those who were looking for it.
I hung out my shingle, organized retreats, held a few workshops and quickly realized that those who attended either in a group setting or one-on-one sessions were deeply troubled, terribly sad and completely unwilling to do the work to change their situation.
It became clear that they expected ME to do the work on their behalf.
To my tremendous disappointment, in the end I had to fire my clients. It boiled down to a few simple conversations: “I can’t divorce the abusive spouse for you.” “I can’t put your child into rehab for you.” “I can’t find the right nursing home for your parent for you.” “I can’t get your underachieving child into that school for overachievers for you.” “I can’t make the money for you.” “I can’t have that hard conversation with your boss for you.” What I could do was help my clients find strategies that would put them on a course to get what they needed, if they chose to do the work.
I wanted to find something I’d be good at to make a fulfilling career and provide a financially sustainable future for myself so that I could take care of my children and provide the best possible future for myself.
I was disappointed that the idea of coaching didn’t match the reality. Objectively, at the time, I don’t think I had the patience required to listen to someone blame everyone but themselves for the situation they found themselves in. After all, I did the work, why wouldn’t they?
Though the shingle may be gone and I no longer hold workshops, retreats or one-on-one sessions, I am grateful for my training. It continues to benefit me, my children and all of my other relationships.
In the words of the incomparable Anne Lamott: “I pray not to be such a whiny, self-obsessed baby, and give thanks that I am not quite as bad as I used to be (talk about miracles).”
What about you? When did you achieve what you were striving for only to find it disappointing?
I enjoy answering tough questions if for no other reason to challenge myself to dig deep and tap into what I know to be true to my core, for me, no bullshit; and, I want to encourage others to show up and answer their own tough questions. In the midst of packing and moving in mid-October 2020, I got an email from BestSelf™ about an ICEBREAKER “Deeper Talk” deck. A deck? Hello? I’m IN! This deck contains 150 questions split across 6 different categories: Beliefs, Courage, Dreams, Exposed, Life Lessons and Self-Awareness. How tough can it be? We’re about to find out. 150 weeks of answers. (I’m so much better with giving the answers than asking the questions.) I do hope you share your answers with me! #letshaveaconversation #deepertalkdeck
“THE ART OF CONVERSATION IS THE ART OF HEARING AS WELL AS OF BEING HEARD.” – William Hazlitt