What if it is you?
That’s very good news.
When I’m coaching someone, I prepare ahead of time. I try to anticipate what might come up in the session, based on previous sessions. My job is to let go of any agenda, show up, be present, and meet the moment.
It’s not my job to convince anyone of anything. Instead, I invite them into considering things, and they make up their own minds.
However, there is one thing I wish I could quickly convince my clients of: that solutions lie within them, not in fixing the people around them.
We all think that our problems will be solved if the people around us would get their shit together. They make us angry, anxious, depressed, out of sorts, and if only they would stop doing this or that. Yes, but …
The solution is not in fixing them. It’s in turning our attention inwards. That’s where freedom lies.
The world outside us is so freaking easy to blame.
And yet, it’s so easy to blame everyone around us.
For example, at work, we all know people who make us crazy. It’s our demanding bosses, our ineffective colleagues, the insurmountable volume and type of work we’re given. Or, it might be the horrible commute, the shaky economy, the ongoing pandemic interruptions.
We’ve all had enough crappy bosses and ineffective work relationships to really know that a single person or a single issue can make us miserable.
Here’s the thing – the energy we put into complaining, worrying, trying to change all that is often wasted energy.
Wasted energy turns into wasted time – wasted hours, days, even years. I don’t like to admit it, but I too have wasted years of my career complaining, wallowing, lamenting. What about you?
The problem is that it's all true. That's the tricky part.
I’m not saying it’s not true. That’s not the point. There is value in acknowledging the unfairness, the harshness, the difficulty. I realize the privilege in saying the outside world can’t be fixed.
That’s why it’s tricky. But, if you’re on to the trick, you create power for yourself.
Not blaming ourselves; but taking the reins
This is the hardest hurdle for me as a coach – getting a client to turn their attention away from all these obvious career challenges and turning their attention inwards.
It’s tricky. Because all those things I listed above can be very true. But, how much time and energy have you spent trying to change another person, your company? How’s that working for you?
If you’re in a crappy situation at work, yes, get the facts, protect yourself, complain about it. But, don’t waste years of your career fighting with the outside world.
Start with you.
It’s so powerful to turn your attention inwards. It is the most effective, cost-efficient, “easiest” way forward. It’s also where freedom lies.
To be clear, I’m not saying it’s your fault. I am 100% here for your latest story about your know-it-all boss. If you’re interested, I have a few I could share too.
But, if you want to create change in your life, start with where your power lies – within you.
Inner Freedom is the Ultimate Freedom.
Taking a look within is typically the role of therapy, coaching, and other modalities. We avoid it, in case we find out we’re deeply and irretrievably flawed.
I hate to break it to you, but you are flawed. We all are. We’ve made mistakes. Sometimes, we’ve been the asshole at work. Maybe we’ve been the crappy boss. But, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
When we start to look within, we see our role in our own suffering. That’s something we can change. The sooner you put your attention on yourself, the sooner you will be free.
Inner freedom is the ultimate freedom.
Why? What is the end game?
Why do this work on yourself? Because when you do, you are approaching both opportunities and problems from your highly resourced, confident, calm, caring self. And that’s the place from which you make the best decisions.
You stop reacting and start responding in your own best interests. You decide what you want create more of it, leaving behind what you don’t want – the drama, the doubts, the uncertainty.
You get into the driver’s seat and go where you want to go.
The fact that it is you is where your power lies. Because you have the power to change you.