You probably know this already, but this is your journey, not mine.
I remind clients of this quite often but I’ve also had to remind myself of it at numerous times over the years too as I’ve navigated my way through coaching or healing programmes with my own mentors.
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of obligation and people-pleasing even in a coaching relationship (after all, it’s often mirroring what we do in other parts of our life too). This can mean we end up doing things or making decisions that we think our coach wants us to make or that we should be doing for x reason. I’m a recovering people-pleaser so I know this well!
The only actions and choices we should ever be making are ones that feel aligned for us.
In most of my coaching programmes we have a check-in between sessions that I call a ‘progress rap’. It’s a chance for the client to pause in the midst of the fray of life and take stock for themselves about how they’re doing this week, to track progress around what’s working better or different, and what they want to focus on for the week ahead. This helps them stay on track and keep the momentum going, avoiding the trap of life taking over and nothing changing. Sometimes we also use it to troubleshoot anything that’s come up for them; it might be a fine tweak to what they’re doing this week that will make all the difference and so we plug it in.
This is not an exercise for me to check up on them.
And I’m not their mother.
They know this.
And again, sometimes they need reminding.
Why? Because we are so used to being a ‘good boy’ or a ‘good boy’. To doing what we’re told. It was hardwired into most of us in our upbringing! We want to be seen to be doing the right thing and conforming or performing. We want to be approved of. And if you think this doesn’t apply to you, ask yourself how much you think about what you’re wearing or how tidy your house is when you have your parents coming to visit. 😉
I don’t care what you’re wearing or how tidy your house is.
Likewise, if my client does or doesn’t do their progress rap, it doesn’t make any material difference to me.
I am absolutely interested in and care about the progress they’re making, in how focused they are for the week on things that will make a difference to their goals, and I will troubleshoot anything that comes up with them. BUT there’s absolutely nothing right or wrong about what they send me. Or if they send it. I’m not grading them on how good a client they are for doing their homework (which I actually call Joy Work, because well, as cheesy as it sounds that’s really what it’s all about!) and I’m certainly not going to berate them if they don’t do it.
What I might do is help them figure out what stops them taking that pause for themselves in the week. We might unpack the value in tracking progress or in having their intentions for the week ahead clear, so that they know WHY it’s so worthwhile.
We may end up talking about how uncomfortable they are about celebrating themselves and their progress. That comes up sometimes. I‘m big on celebrating and bragging our evolution!
But all of those things simply help remove roadblock after roadblock as necessary to help the person move forward more fully and faster.
That’s why it’s useful.
It’s not about what I think they should or shouldn’t be doing.
It’s about them doing what’s useful, worthwhile and relevant for them to up-level themselves and have a higher quality of life. Maybe that’s having time freedom in their business, or FINALLY beating their chronic stress patterns, or actually feeling as confident and powerful at work on the inside as people perceive them to be on the outside.
Let’s stop should-ing all over ourselves, peeps!
So, in the context of becoming more of your best self and living your best life, this is an invitation to move out of this sense of ‘should’ and into the feeling of ‘get to’.
It’s not that you should stop rushing through your day and pushing through, even when things feel far too busy to pause for a sanity check. It’s that you get to pause and settle your nervous system back into equilibrium before you decide how to prioritise your day and what to do next.
It’s not that you should lead better or be more confident, it’s that you get to bring the level of clarity or confidence to people that helps you make even more of a difference.
It’s not that you should be kinder to yourself or more compassionate throughout the journey you are on. It’s that you get to bring more compassion, love and kindness to yourself.
I’m not going to tell anyone what they have to do. I’m going to help them make fresh new choices from their own empowered self so they get to have a different, calmer, better day.
So they get to show up how they really want to at work.
So they get to enjoy this kind of quality of life; a life that feels great to be in every day.
PS. Reach out for a free, life-affirming inquiry call if all this talk of up-levelling has your toes twitching or your soul doing jazz hands.
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