It is so easy to find ways to measure ourselves -- to measure our worth, against others, social norms, that thing our mom said or even our own unrelenting ideals.
I bring it up because this is the season of resolutions, of lining up coaching contracts, of pledges to DO BETTER, to BE BETTER, to TACKLE the year ahead and that's great, it really is, I’m a fan of New Year's resolutions but only if your intention (or your client’s intention) takes into account your wonderfully complex human identity and all of the ways that an unhealthy or unrealistic resolutions can hinder you.
Life coaches and aspiring life coaches face a completely nuts, self-imposed, unrealistic expectation that you embody any ideal that you coach on…
Hooey I say! Impossible! No one can embody an ideal.
Our lives and brains are too complex to even allow the possibility. Ideals actually chip away slowly at our self-worth, self-concept and long term confidence. Hard work, grit, repetition, and staying power does lead to solid transformation and goal accomplishment over time but it rarely leads to an ideal.
If you are chasing an ideal I will bet a good amount of money that it will only lead to certain misery.
Allow me to introduce the novel concept of Happy and Good Enough.
Most people who seek coaching are not happy.
Most people who seek coaching are also typically really awesome regular people.
In my decade of coaching I have worked with incredible souls but none of them were truly chasing EXCELLENCE. No one was out to become an Olympic athlete or an Nobel Prize winner.
They were chasing contentment,
they were chasing achievement,
they were chasing joy.
My clients wanted to find a partner or get through a divorce. Some of them wanted to lose weight, another wanted to finish a dissertation, another to make new friends in a foreign country, heal a relationship with a parent, or source a new career.
In all of these instances “Happy and Good Enough," is an absolutely fabulous outcome and one that we flawed humans should celebrate with gusto!
I am not a perfect human, but I have a happy and good enough relationship with each of these areas and I am a great coach because of it.
Rather than embody an ideal to model for my clients I seek to pull from empathy so that I can lean into our shared humanity with compassion for the suffering and yearning that we all experience. It is super important to check yourself and others if your goal is beyond reason and not attainable within the confines of your existence.
Sure, I would love to have the body of an Olympic athlete but I run a company and do not have time to commit to hours and hours of training every day. My goal is to complete 4-5 decent workouts per week. If I can do that I will be happy and it will be good enough; my body will change its shape over time with consistency. It will be more important that I keep the “happy” part at the fore because whether I have the ideal bod or not, I am deserving of contentment and joy.
Happy New Year all! I hope you will join us in the Intensive in the year ahead. May we all be well, happy and satisfied that -- gosh darn it -- we are good enough!
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