I am getting ready for my coaches training program. Every year I take on a limited amount of clients who I mentor in the art of coaching from the heart. The program consists of learning and practicing a set of transformational tools that are designed to connect deeply with a person’s soul.
Through contemplation, observation, and listening skills, students learn how to look past outside appearances, social facades, and carefully constructed roles that people have put together to protect themselves from being hurt.
Acts that keep them at a distance from others – and ultimately from themselves. Coaching, if mastered, will carefully and gently peel away layers and layers of pressure, angst, worry, disbelief, and low self esteem – traits a person has learned and accepted as their identity.
When I was a kid, I decided that because I was not adorable (clearly, my little sister owned that attribute), I would be reliable, trustworthy, and dependable. It was an act. I had made up my mind that since I couldn’t be charming and playful, I would impress people by being a responsible know-it-all who had an answer for everything. It wasn’t much fun, yet it came easy.
Since my act didn’t fit my essence, I got feedback that did not light me up. “Karin is so responsible and mature for her age, you can always rely on her to get things done.” I hated it. I did not want to be mature and reliable. I wanted to be cute and adorable. Yet, I kept up appearances because it got me praise and attention. Over time, I started to believe in my fake personality and accepted my act. I thought of myself as reliable, yet boring, responsible, and serious. I did not like my fake personality and it took many years – until one of my mentors looked beyond the facade and saw the person I so desperately wanted to be – for my true self to emerge.
Sounds familiar? It pretty much sums up what happens to most of us. We turn into someone we are not and quietly accept that life isn’t as exciting as we hoped it would be.
Trapped in our own misconceptions, we often need someone else to help us break free.
Exercise: Think back and recall instances in your life when you made up your mind to put on an act that wasn’t you. Maybe you got attention for being a troublemaker or for always being proper. Maybe you were punished for something you didn’t do and adopted an attitude of defiance.
One of my clients told me that his mom always pointed out how well behaved he was, and because he did not want to upset her he kept up the good boy act, when all he wanted was to be bold and daring.
Once you understand the instances that shaped who you are today, think about a role you’d rather play. How do you want to be perceived? What character inspires you? If you could be anybody, who would you like to be?
Share your insights with us in the comment section below or email me. I’d love to find out what new character you are ready to create for yourself.
As always, thank you for reading,
Photo Source: Death to the Stock Photo