I’ve just come away from a coaching session with a fabulous woman, who uses her coaching time to really think things through and tap into her own inner wisdom. Brilliant to witness her turning herself around in one hour from a place of self-doubt and fear to a real sense of confidence, courage and ‘can do’ attitude.
It could be magic!
Of course, it isn’t – it’s the power of coaching, when working with someone who’s committed to change.
How did she do it? Well, let me tell you…
Someone I know hit a low point recently. Instead of his usual, upbeat nature, seeing the joy and wonder in things, he was feeling browbeaten. He was unable to see any wonder in the world, and felt little faith in mankind.
I could subscribe to that view of the world too. If I chose to. There is much in our world that can lead us to sadness, anger or even despair. From famines to war, from corruption to inept leadership, from weapon-building to terrorism, and more.
All that may be true of the world we live in.
However, we also have the most wonderful world. We have gorgeous countryside and coast. We have flowers and birds and magnificent creatures of all kinds. We have sun and rain that nourish and nurture us. We have people who show the utmost grace and compassion to their fellow human beings.
That too is our world.
Which will I choose to focus on? That’s up to me. I may choose to spend some time thinking about, or even taking action against, some of the injustices of the world. But if I remain in that line of thought, I will be allowing a perspective that is biased and unhelpful. It may even not be strictly true. I may get stuck in a negative mode of thinking which leads me to only see the bad, to even perhaps exaggerate the failures of our world.
I have a choice.
I can choose to take off my wonky glasses – the ones that lead me to only see the bad, to dwell on the negative, to generalise from one or two failures.
Instead I can choose to look for the good. To re-engage with the joys in our world. To notice, and make the most of, the things that help us feel happy, upbeat and good about ourselves and about others.
How to turn things around
So what about the woman who turned things around in one hour from self-doubt and fear to courage and confidence? How did she do it?
She simply choose to take off her wonky glasses. The ones that meant she was seeing only the negatives within herself, that exaggerated her mistakes, that convinced her she was a ‘con’ and a failure.
Once she took off those glasses, she began to see the truth – her strengths, the errors borne out of the situation and the actions (or inaction) of others and not just herself, her repeated successes. She even began to forgive herself for her occasional mistakes. She recognised that she, along with everyone else, is not perfect, but that she always tried her best, and could let go of things that didn’t go to plan.
She had begun her thinking with “I shouldn’t be there. I’m just a con.” With her new job opportunity now in mind, she was able to say to herself “I’ll be great!”
You tell me!