About a year ago, I was in a rut. I had a relationship that meant the world to me come to an end, my career was going absolutely nowhere and I felt completely lost in my life. What did I do? I decided to runaway to the Caribbean to heal and refocus my life. So many movies and books told stories of how people had run away to foreign lands to find passion, love and renewed zest for life. I had one week of vacation, and I was going to discover that simplistic secret that would turn my life around.
I landed in Grand Cayman and in the height of an anticipation that mirrored that of a child waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. I had a great time, did some diving, did some soul searching and was finally at peace. When I returned home, my life was exactly that way I left it, and that dull hue sunk in again. Crap! It didn’t work.
I went through the motions for another couple of months until I crashed emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Something had to change, but what? I didn’t know what to do, so I reached out to someone who had a similar experience in their life. They had been at a turning point much like mine, and it been suggested that they work with a life coach. My first reaction to that notion was it was a crock of shit. I thought that they were frauds, and their clients didn’t have the cajones to take on life. Skeptically, I agreed to do a free coaching session with a coach my friend had suggested, and it changed my life. The coach that I eventually hired really got me. She was on my side! Together, we looked at where I wanted to go in my relationships and my career. We created goals and set milestones to keep me accountable. As my fears and anxieties cropped up to stop me, we used the tools she taught me to mana
ge them. The results started to come faster and faster the more we worked. Sometimes, I barely had to do anything. It was like I was a huge magnet, attracting great things to me.
Here are a few of the things that changed for me:
- My Negative Mindset took a backseat.
I would always expect the worst to happen. I would never get what I wanted, things would never go my way and I would go to sleep frustrated that all my efforts amounted to nothing. This was a normal day of thinking for me. When my coach and I changed the way I looked at each instance in my life, I realized that I had a choice whether I experience each event in either a Positive or Negative context. It was an empowering epiphany. Though, I can sink back into negative thinking from time to time, I no longer have to stay there, and I can accept that it’s part of being human.
- Breaking old habits.
“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result” – Albert Einstein
As creatures of habits, we have automatic ways of being. It is an important evolutionary trait that has made us an effective species and ensured our survival. However, our survival mechanisms can give you tunnel vision, and the other choices you have get lost in the background. I worked with my coach to see the patterns. With that clarity, I was able to choose new actions to try, and that broke those cycles that led to disappointment.
- Tremendous Growth.
Staying in a place that is comfortable was nice. I felt safe, I was relaxed and life could just happen without much stress. However, I never grew. My coach encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone, and it was scary! Just imagine yourself standing in the doorway of a plane the first time you decided to go skydiving. The sweat beading down your head, your heart pounding so hard that it is about to explode and your head is in such a daze that you’re amazed that you can stand. Then you jump. Your chute opens and the beauty just envelops you. It’s really not that bad, and you have just had amazing experience that wouldn’t had happened if you stayed on the plane. Every time I went outside of my comfort zone, I grew a little bit. My courage grew, and my capacity to take on more did too. Again, the results poured in.
I lost a couple of pounds going to the gym myself and watching my diet. When I had people there to support me and keep me honest, I had to buy a new wardrobe. We are stronger as individuals when we are connected with others.
For me, this was complementary to Accountability. My coach would point out how my survival mechanisms would try to distract or deflect me from moving towards my goal. When I was able to recognize when they were popping up, I could address them and refocus my efforts. This saved more time each day, a task I deemed impossible.
Today, I have a different perspective on my life. I can achieve what I set out to do, I can create the life I choose to have today and I can great it with a smile. Working with a coach and with my own clients has been a tremendous gift. Each session open the doors of possibility for me to walk through, and each day is now a new adventure. I look forward to seeing you in this journey.