There’s a lot of language used in coaching and self-improvement industry. It permeates from one methodology and framework to another. Words and phrases like “authentic” and “your truth,” “fulfillment” and “life purpose.” Sometimes what happens is that terms like these become swept up in a wave of what’s trending. They become diluted and may lose their resonance if you’re standing in an outside perspective. They may ring hollow and while you understand the words and you may have a glimpse into the meaning behind them, there’s one thing that can change your depth of understanding around them. In a word, experience.
I have been exposed and invited in to the culture of coaching for years. I did not step in. Even when I’ve seen total transformations in friends as they dive in and become coaches or get coaching for themselves. I kept bouncing off and away from it. I thought that I did not have the time. I did not see or understand how investing in myself this way would impact my life and give me the tools to change course, to make conscious choices about my life.
The experience I speak of here is of course, the doing of it. Getting into the nitty gritty…peeling back the layers that your life experience has wrapped around you and saying “hello” to who is at your core.
I admit it. I was beyond clueless when I began this process. Even now, I’m just at the beginning. By that I mean that I have a sense of my own tunnel vision opening up and endless possibility in front of me. The journey forward is wide open. I peeled back just a few layers and what I found inside is my “self” and I don’t want to hide myself away. “Hello again!”
Just now, as I am writing this, I am myself amazed at what happens. The writing of this blog post is work too. Sometimes life experience gets a person gets disconnected from their selves or the “you.” I’ve just remembered something completely amazing about myself that I had forgotten. I’m knocking on the hard outer shell of a part of myself protected deep inside. I did not expect this!
Imagine a small, bright and powerful flame. This flame glows strong inside a thick, hard, coal gray shell — glowing, reflecting against the inside of the shell. Never faltering. Never threatened. Completely enclosed and protected. That flame represents “me” — my soul. My light. My strength. I buried this and hid it away, deep inside myself. I can clearly remember developing this metaphor as a kid and thinking to myself, “They cannot and will not destroy me.” I hardened my outside and developed an outward facing protector. This was a part of my survival instinct and skills kicking in. For me, this realization brings even deeper understandings. What does this do for me? How can I leverage this new understanding? What’s now possible?
When I began writing this post, I didn’t know it was going to lead here. Language is always a tool for us to communicate with. If the words or questions themselves don’t quite fit you, maybe there are other words or metaphors that reflect your language and experience better. What’s trending may be more about the concepts and less about using trending terminology. Of course, if the terminology fits comfortably use it.
My invitation to you is to find a place, a space where you can be quiet. Breathe. Slow down. Use language that makes sense to you. Remember that nothing beats the experience of doing the work. Recall an event or period of time in your life when you felt the happiest and most yourself. Ask yourself, “what about this, brought me happiness?” This is one place to find a beginning.
Imagine the impact and power you can have in the world you live in, when you connect deeply and bring your full “self” forward. Go deep, go long, move forward with a new kind of confidence that you may not have had before.