At the time of writing this I am mid-flight; not far from Melbourne and landing in Sydney in about an hour. Given I wasn’t sure I’d find time at all for my blog this week, this is a great opportunity for me to write a piece which I would mostly describe as reflective – at least that’s what I’m predicting it’s going to be by the time I get to the end of it. The target is to finish this article by the time the captain announces that it’s time for all electronic devices to be turned off…
The last couple of months have been a struggle for me. As a coach, it’s actually an excellent opportunity to ‘practice what I preach’. I regularly work with people who are struggling. I assist them to find the answers that are right for them, use their mind and their skills more effectively and to overcome challenges. In general, I’ve tended to find I’m working with people who are struggling more than me. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, or maybe I really have reached a level of mastery in dealing with the challenges I’ve encountered. The jury is still out on that one…
Perhaps that’s why I decided to pursue some new directions that would, more than likely, increase the number of challenges in my life. I set goals that meant I’d need to develop a new skill set, spend a lot of time outside my comfort zone, think bigger than I ever have before and I also committed to finishing my book. Additionally, I’ve been dealing with some health issues that are more annoying than serious – but still challenge.
So the… let’s call them… ‘opportunities for growth’ I’ve had over recent months have left me feeling many times like I’m wandering in the dark without a torch and at times with a sense of overwhelm about the sheer number of tasks to be completed in order that my current pursuits are as successful as I plan for them to be.
**The captain has just announced that that we won’t be landing in Sydney as expected but will be circling Sydney airport until we have permission to land. I’ll take that as a sign that this article is meant to be finished before my feet are back on the ground…
One of the changes I’ve noticed is my responses when people ask me how it’s all going. My responses vary depending on the day and more often than is usual I find myself saying ‘I’m getting there’ or ‘It’s a struggle’. I often get a look of ‘caring concern’ in return. It’s a nice response that I take as a sign of genuine concern from people I know care about me.
My response then is ‘You know how sometimes life is one step backwards before two steps forward?’ “Yes” is always the reply.
“Well I’m just on the one step backward at the moment” implying that it’s only a matter of time before I’m on the two steps forward.
And that’s what coaching and all the time I’ve spent working with clients has given me… the knowing that struggle is a part of growth and pain is a sign of life. When you really get that insight, you still struggle but do so knowing that the challenge and pain is taking you to somewhere greater. It becomes your light at the end of the tunnel.
Apparently it was Winston Chuchill who said: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Because you will come out the other side.
Until you get there, remember:
- Courage is not an absence of fear. Courage is feeling the fear and moving ahead anyway.
- Life is difficult. Life is easier when we accept this rather than fighting against the belief that life is supposed to be easy.
- You will always learn more from your failures than your successes.
- You are not alone. Your desire to be more than you are makes you human.
- You are worthy of love and acceptance, regardless of what you have or haven’t achieved.
- Vulnerability is strength, not weakness.
- Your future is not determined by your past. The point of choice is in the present.
- Focus on what you have, rather than what’s missing.
- The biggest fight you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. Have courage enough to hold the mirror up to yourself and see how you have created your outcome. This is one of the most confronting things you can do and also your strongest position of power.
P.S. If you’re ready for another view on your challenges and a better way to move forward and not quite sure how, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can get you there!
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.