One of the common recommendations I make to my clients is to share their story.
So…..something that has always rubbed me the wrong way is when I become the patsy for somebody’s “do as I say, not as I do” theory.
Nuh-uh. I’m gonna walk the talk right now.
Presently I am working with 108 women that are participants in The Total Makeover Challenge. Each woman gets a 30 minute one-on-one telephone session with me.
The first two weeks are under my belt.
59 women, from all walks of life, all ages and all backgrounds, have been brave enough to share their stories with me so far.
The Real Me Seminar is a weekend interactive event that allows each of these women to focus on themselves, who they are, and what may be holding them back.
I was asked to come and lend a hand…….YES!
I was curious and excited to be a fly on the wall. Buzz about. Happy to not be in charge. Connect some faces to the voices that I’ve heard.
Day two. Late afternoon. Imagine for a moment…..women in boats. (think bleachers acting as boats!)
Jenny (founder of the TMC) is the captain, relaying instructions.
Make sure these women are following command!
The sound of waves are crashing on the speaker.
Picture 108 women, 5 in a boat, volumes rising, emotions rising.
Placing myself in the mix of these different personalities was transporting me back.
At the time, I wasn’t aware of the regression. I was only aware of an ache in my stomach and my heart thrashing, like the waves that were relentlessly clobbering and knocking in the background.
I wanted to run.
I suddenly felt emotionally weak. My smile was a lie. My words were hollow. I was pacing.
I expressed what I was observing with the women and the energy that I was feeling to Trish (the founder of The Real Me).
She asked if I would come on stage to give my review once it was done.
I said no.
She asked again at the end.
I said yes.
I’m pretty passionate about my coaching. I’m 100% invested in each client individually.
I spoke my mind on that stage. I blurted! I scolded! I got all human on them and showed my emotion!
Then I dashed!
Joe had arrived to take me for dinner and I needed to escape.
A pub is sometimes a great place to get lost. A big, bodacious, juicy burger and fries extra crispy are my friends right now. The only one missing from the party is an ice cold mug of beer. (Again…..a human moment!)
Of course I spilled to Joe. I wondered out loud “what the hell just happened?”
I was feeling guilt and remorse and shame.
“I thought that I had purged those from my life!”
There is a term in coaching called Process.
“Process coaching often shows up when the river takes a turn into territory the client doesn’t want to enter.” (These words from my CTI coaching manual)
Where is it that I don’t want to go?
What is it that I don’t want to deal with?
Suddenly I know.
I thought I left that behind.
I was bullied at my last job. A lot.
It would always happen during operational hours. I was always blind-sided. And I always held my tongue.
My stomach would rock. My heart would race. Running was always an urgency that was never realized.
I was triggered by the situation at the seminar.
“So now what?” I ask myself.
Well……I recognize that I’m not the same person anymore. That I actually have left that behind and that I am capable of facing it.
In the past I would have asked “why me?”and “what have I done?”
I would take on the victim role and I would shrink myself……hoping to hide.
Here’s my take-away.
Your story can have you feeling worthless. No value. Stuck.
Until you flip it, turn it, and transfer it to a positive.
You do that by forgiving and then looking for the gratefulness in it.
In my case, I’ve become highly grateful for all parts of my past….the good, the bad and the ugly. They were my journey to get to this life that I love. This career that I love.
Those repulsive periods are why I have empathy for my clients.
Those unsightly moments are why I can hold space for my clients.
Those frightful experiences are why I will take a risk with my client.
Why I will go in the ring with my client.
Why I will stand toe to toe with my client, even if it means that my client gets upset.
It’s why I will risk my stories and push out of my comfort zones, in order to allow my clients to reach the important goals that they need to accomplish toward living a full life.
So that little ‘ol incident at the Real Me Seminar?
That was a learning ground for me. I have said this many, many times. One of the greatest gifts I receive from coaching, are the teachings that come. My clients don’t know it, but I sure do.
I don’t believe that I can be an effective coach unless I share my human being. And that my friends is what we all are……human beings, not human endings. As long as we are breathing, we are experiencing, feeling, and growing.
I will never pretend that “I have arrived” at my final destination of happiness. I journey beside you.
I live a life of fulfillment that is chock full of sadness and fear and laughter and love.
So I will return the guilt, the remorse, and the shame back to where it came from. I know it will peek out at me again.
Peeking is okay.
Unpacking the bags and allowing them to stay?
Not okay and not gonna happen on my watch!
Thank you Total Makeover Challenge and Real Me!
Thank you ladies of The Total Makeover Challenge past and present!
Thank you to my clients past, present and future!
I am immensely grateful for your presence in my little passage through this expedition we call life.
ps… No apologies for my outburst on stage. That was me fighting to have you realize your dreams!