Or, Life Coaching Part 2
If you have no idea what I’m talking about read My first life coaching session.
My second coaching session with Tim was just as great as the first one, I do feel like I’m making great progress even though at times it’s felt overwhelming. More about that later. The amazing thing to me is I don’t remember what was said verbatim but as I go through my daily routine suddenly something Tim says will pop into my head and click. There’s been a lot of “oh so that’s why…” and “ah, I see what he meant…” moments this past week. I don’t know if that’s how it usually goes, but it does feel like I’ve been doing some pretty heavy mental work and there were times when it did feel like I was worse off than when I started. But more about that later, too.
Since I’d read Tim’s blog and books before we started working together, I already knew a bit about values. Our values are at the core of who we are; they are well, what we value most. Having a clear understanding of what your values are can help you understand what will make you happy, what motivates you and what is causing conflicts in your life.
I think I’m very lucky that I started working with Tim at the beginning of my whole “what to do with the rest of my life” journey as doing the values drilldown helped me hone in on what I really want from my life before I got bogged down in something I didn’t want. What I realized is that I am very strongly motivated by family*, creativity and passion and that it’s essential for my wellbeing that I move towards having more of those things in my life. It didn’t really surprise me, in fact I don’t think it would surprise most people that know me that those are the things I value, but what did surprise me was that it explained a lot of the internal conflict I’ve been feeling.
I quit my job!
A few days prior to speaking with Tim, I stepped down from most of the day to day running of the IHMMB forums. It was purely a gut decision, I felt in my heart that I needed some space and this was the best way to get some breathing room. I wanted to be free to take chances and experiment without feeling I was letting people down or ruining what they found valuable about the boards or frankly, having to explain myself. And that’s what I’m doing with the OFFS forum (my flog*) and if I can make it work, wonderful; it if doesn’t I know more for the next thing I try.
The thing I’m coming to internalize is that a fear of failure or disappointing people or being seen as crazy isn’t as important to me as creativity and passion. In the midst of it, when I’m coming up with new ideas and on fire to see how they go, I am happy. I am alive. It’s what I was put on earth to do. Not going for it feels worse than any setbacks or roadblocks ever could.
Mind your language!
(Fancy term: model operators of necessity if you want to look it up)
Another thing Tim has been working on with me is my use of language. Even as I’m writing this, it’s becoming clearer to me how all those needs and shoulds and have tos and got tos have been making me feel anxious. It really is like playing a lose/lose game with myself. I’m just going to quote from Tim’s e-book Stress is for Suckers here because it explains it much better than I can:
However, when we use those expressions to describe things that really aren’t needed, don’t have to be done and aren’t necessities, we place an undue amount of pressure on ourselves. We start to feel agitated, like we’re backed into a corner with no way out.
This trapped feeling causes one of two effects:
- You do what you say you have to do and feel like crap about it.
- You don’t do what you say you’re going to do and also feel like crap about it.
BTW, Stress is For Suckers is still available for a free download, you can get it here. I’ve been using the techniques and have been seeing good results.
Back to the point, I’m working on changing my language but it’s a work in progress. It takes a lot of practice to change a lifelong habit!
The bad feelings
Today I had another good session with Tim but I’ll close for now and talk about that in a few days after I’ve let it swish around my head for a few days. I wish I could say I felt 100% confident all of the time, but as I said in the opening paragraph sometimes I’ve felt as if there is a voice inside me going “Retreat! Retreat! You are headed towards risky territory!” Or another voice that says “oh for cripe’s sake, this is just feel good mind games, just soldier on and stop trying to fool yourself”. Actually, there is another voice inside me speaking now that is bubbling up “wow, aren’t you self important?” The good news is that part of today’s session helped me to see that this is normal and not proof that I am fatally flawed.
The thing is, I’ve come a long way this year even before getting Tim’s help. In fact, taking the step to get Tim’s help was a huge leap for me. I’m looking at these “whoa” feelings as proof of progress!
BTW, if you’d like to read another blogger’s take on this life coaching business, Johnny B. Truant at The Economy Isn’t Happening has written about it here and here. He’s a really funny guy, so even if you are life coached out, take a peek at his blog. And as always, I recommend Tim’s Blog The Discomfort Zone, his posts are usually very helpful but I think the best part is the lively comments section. Lots of interesting ideas and thoughts from his commenters. They are almost as great as my commenters!
*by more of family, I mean spending good quality time with them and making sure their needs are met. NOT MORE KIDS. Do you hear me Mister Oh our baby can talk, we need a new one?
*Flog = forum blog. Cheesy, sure. I’m still refining the concept, but basically I have tons of overflow that is more than a forum post, less than a blog post. Also, I love sharing links. All that goes in my flog. Other people are catching on and putting their junk there, too. It’s groovy.