How I got caught – and served – by coaching’s most powerful premise.
So – there I was in day three of the seminar, feeling good, happy with how I was showing up, interacting powerfully and pleasantly…when I got the rug pulled out from under me and I had to look at EVERYTHING differently. It was a simple question:
"Who here did the homework? Was it insightful? What did you learn?”
A lively conversation ensued, which led to the next obvious place…those few of us who did not raise our hands.
She honed right in. And brought out the big guns, right away. "You have invested three days, everything it took to be here, have been part of this process where I have given with abandon and done everything I can to get you what you need…and yet when given one simple assignment, you chose not to do it. Almost everyone in this room is a coach. You KNOW this premise: that how you do anything is how you do everything. I want you to look that choice squarely in the face – and tell me what that choice tells YOU about how you are showing up in your life?"
Ira got in her sights first, and that gave me time to really fall into the abyss of my feelings. As I listened to him, I felt every bit of my insides roiling like a ship on a storm tossed ocean. I was a MESS.
First of all, I want to be the BEST in the room, not called on the carpet. But I had created this. My turmoil took me quickly past that ego piece, into the depths of where my stuff lives. Made me look at all the places where I go 90% and then stop. The places where I have pretended to myself that I am doing my best – when in fact, I am not going the last mile. The places where I don't commit 100%.
I had to look at the fact that I'm creating some kind of safety zone by not playing full out. And I am SO THANKFUL for being pushed enough to get into my emotions around that.
I teach a concept I call my Equation of Change*, and I know that what matters in that equation is our emotional connection to the cost of our behavior. I know that as long as we stay in our heads around a big problem, we will not change. When we feel it in our gut, in every ounce of our being, THAT is when we change. And I know I have been in that place – in my head – around self-discipline. I've been aware of a battle with self-discipline, and not changing.
Benadette’s gift was to solidly and permanently hook me up with the visceral sense of not truly committing. As I write this, I can STILL feel it – and with that feeling, there is a WONDERFUL new sense of solidity inside. I feel hooked up with my inner determination. And – it's showing up in the world. I am watching this new level of commitment play out in this moment, right now.
This served me so deeply, I want to pass it on – I am going to lean into this idea for you.
I want to help YOU identify and really feel the place where you are not quite showing up.
In the way of beautiful synchronicity, I got one more piece of clarity around my dance with self-discipline the very next day. In an offhand conversation, I learned through my friend Rita what the Enneagram has to say about my personal stretch area: that my challenge area is around premature celebration.
I get that. I get that to the bottom of my soul. It’s not about discipline, per se. It’s much deeper, has much more texture than simple “do it /don’t do it” discipline. This idea offers me something I can move towards, something I can get my teeth into. It really does feel like what I do – I go off and celebrate before the job is 100% done, telling myself all kinds of things about why I do that – and I don't get back to it.
The beauty of this is that it gives me a simple solution…it’s not about beating myself up for being undisciplined. It’s not about not celebrating. It’s about having the little celebrations along the way that keep me happy and motivated, and making sure I come back to the task and get the whole job finished before I call it a wrap.
I hope this is helpful for those kindred spirits with whom this resonates!
Now, let’s get back to the action item. Let’s get you some motivation!
How you do ANYTHING is how you do EVERYTHING
OK – here is where the rubber meets the road! You ready?
Get ready to play full-out.
Get some paper and a pen, and take some time to do this. If you can’t do it right now, set a time when you will do it, and come back.
Pick something simple that you have done within the last few hours. It might be making the bed or walking the dog.Pick something that has no emotional charge – just something you did.
Examine how you did it, microscopically.
Look at every part of it, and ask yourself these questions:
How did I feel while I was doing this?
Did I do the best job I could do, or did I cut some corners?
Did I take my time or rush?
Was I multi tasking, or giving it the attention it deserved?
Was this important to me? If not, why was I doing it?
What emotion am I feeling as I think about it?
Did I finish it, or leave some for later?
What are all the details I can see in this, about how I am showing up?
Add whatever other questions occur to you. Examine it in depth.
Next – think about an area of your life in which you are frustrated, not getting the results you want, or the area you most want to change. Ask yourself – how do the answers I have given above apply in my current situation?
If you allow yourself to go deeply into this exploration, my advice to you is to take some Kleenex along on your journey. And as you are crying, or screaming in frustration, or whatever emotion is up for you – be thankful for all the roiling emotion you can feel. Because THAT is what is going to move you to change in the way that you want to change.
Now – let’s sneak in a little surprise…and stretch you a little more.
Ask yourself how you did THIS project. Because this will tell you things about how you value yourself.
If you didn't allow yourself to go deep, look at that. Where else in your life is that true?
Did you get the pen and paper and give it attention?
If you set aside time to do it – YOU time – did you come back and take it?
Did you play full out? Or did you blow yourself off?
Food for thought. I invite you to add this to your awareness. Notice how you do things, as you move through your day, and just have that thought in the back of your mind.
Because how you do anything is how you do everything.
*My equation of change that I referred to above is this: If your perception of the cost of being where you are is that it is less costly to you than what it will take to change, you will not change. The minute you emotionally connect to a high perception of cost for being where you are, change begins immediately. It begins as a natural consequence, without your head – your conscious determination – even being involved. This is the basis for the Discovery Sessions I offer (see below). I take you in where you can connect with the true cost of the behavior or habit you want to change, so that change becomes the natural consequence.