I am very grateful to have had a moment to reflect on my learnings these past few months, and I eventually bought the book I had been meaning to buy for a long time. Brene Brown’s ‘The gifts of imperfection’, so I was keen to share it and my learnings so others might benefit.
It personally struck a very strong cord with me, particularly along the theme of courage. In the book she describes the gifts of imperfection as courage, compassion and connection, which are the tools we need for living a ‘wholehearted life’. She also describes a brilliant method of how to ‘DIG deep’ when we are overwhelmed, which she shares throughout the book.
She describes courage as ‘putting our vulnerability on the line.’ so to me that is about ‘feeling the fear and doing it anyway’, but also about being honest and open about it with others so that it inspires them to be a little braver too. Compassion is about accepting ourselves fully for who we are, including all our imperfections, and connection is about reaching out to others to offer support but is also about being willing to accept support ourselves. I absolutely love all these concepts because to me it is just about being open, honest and recognising our shared humanity…. and to me this is a place from which we can all learn and grow and take action. I can now see so clearly how it is this courage to ‘take action’, with compassion and connection that is so crucial to our growth. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to literally live this out myself these past few months with Strictly and the retreat cooking. At the time, I felt that it was taking me away from my coaching, but actually now I feel these personal experiences have taught me so much that I can bring to my work.
I think the ‘DIG deep’ button Brene Brown describes is also really useful for people:
Deliberate: get deliberate in thoughts and behaviour through prayer, meditation, or setting intention
Inspired: get inspired to make new and different choices
Going: take action
I think this is incredibly powerful, and demonstrates that we all have choices, and I now feel strongly that even the tiniest action steps taking with courage is so important. We will never achieve anything we want in life by simply thinking about it…
Sometimes people might not always clear what they really want but following what inspires you or lights you up is definitely a good place to start.
What’s getting in the way???
I have heard the phrase ‘get out of your own way.’ but I actually think it is so important to talk about it because I think it is just so common. All too often the only thing holding us back is ourselves. It can be helpful to imagine a baby and remember that we were all babies once, because as babies and toddlers, before we understood language and conditioning, we just were fully accepting of true worthiness … our unconditional acceptance of who we were. However as we grow our true selves can often get covered up under layers of conditioning and expectation… you suddenly only feel worthy of love and belonging on condition of you doing or behaving in a certain way. Very often, unconsciously we find ourselves in a world of striving to achieving certain standards and living up to ours and others’ expectations. As adults many people feel they will only be truly worthy when they ‘lose that weight/ earn a certain amount/get that job/ get married and have children of their own/ finally get that parental approval…. etc etc….
Living in this constant state of striving is exhausting…. and only sets up for a deep feeling of unworthiness.
To me the much more preferable alternative would be to live in a place where we all realise, we are ‘doing our best, and our best is always enough,’ because I genuinely believe that is what most of us are doing on a daily basis.
I also think it is so important for people to realise that we are wired to have more negative thoughts as an in-built survival mechanism, which unfortunately creates a lot of anxiety…
And this is where being brave and taking action is so important….
If we can start to understand that these obstacles, we face are obstacles everyone faces striving/ living up to expectations, and negative thinking… we can start to be a little braver.
I am certainly guilty of ‘running away’ literally from jobs that scared me in the past… it seemed the easier path at the time…
Awareness is the starting point for any change and growth. it’s about learning how we are currently approaching things, but it is also about not getting lost in our spiralling, distracting negative thoughts….
It is important that we understand that just because we are thinking something it doesn’t mean it is correct! So often people worry endlessly about what other people think of them, whether something is going to work out, or about worst-case scenarios, when actually all they are worrying about is a story they have created in their own heads, none of which is based in reality…
Coaching is about stepping away from the negative thoughts and towards the ‘what if!’ and helping people to take action.
Once we start bypassing the doubts in our heads and taking action, we can start to smile gently to ourselves and prove to ourselves that the doubts/ the fears were in fact all imagined and often unhelpful stories in our own heads.
Taking baby steps…. tiny, consistent action is all that matters. Making changes and taking action might seem hard, but it doesn’t have to be. If you would like some support finding that courage to take action, I would be delighted to help you with 1:1 coaching. group coaching, or through my new monthly ‘Nurture Club.’ Please just click on the link to book a gifted 1:1 coaching session and find out more.
In the meantime, if you would like some inspiration please click on the link to watch a beautiful film on all of these themes.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did,