It’s no secret that I believe every successful coach has a coach (walking our own talk keeps us in integrity) and that oftentimes, coaches go through the very similar peaks and valleys that their clients go through. While working with one of my coaches last week, I uncovered a new layer to make my way through.
Following the Christmas holidays this year, I found myself struggling with the month of January; all of it. I normally am able to find the positive spin on this and find something joyful in the mundane and icky, and this year, it just wasn’t happening. I wasn’t even wanting to do my basic non-negotiables like daily meditation. I was hit with one of the more severe cases of winter blues that I’ve had in a while. We went through all the things I had been doing, taking my daily kick-ass supplements, adaptogens, extra vitamin D, I have a “Happy Light” and workout in the morning almost daily. And yet, I was still finding excuses to skip meditation despite the fact that I knew it would make me feel infinitely better.
The first thing my coach asked me when I mentioned all of this was “Are you OK with this?”. I checked in with myself and I most certainly wasn’t OK with it. I’m a woman of action, I get things done, I do what I say I’m going to do. And for about two weeks, I wasn’t doing it. I replied to his question with a firm “No”. His reply back was then “Can you offer yourself compassion about it then?” Hmmm, that was harder. I realized that while I was busy not doing the things that take care of me at a Soul level, I was also internally giving myself shit about it. Isn’t the mind a funny thing, telling me to skip this and that, then giving me shit about skipping the very same. Damn it! This is self-sabotage behaviour! If you’re interested in learning more about your own sabotaging behaviours, you can take this quiz (my top self-sabotaging behaviour is to become controlling - fun).
Then we went through some timeline techniques and I could see where I’d really kicked into the action mode I’d mentioned earlier. Action-Jess is the one who gets me out of ruts, she moved me to Vancouver, she got me jobs and ultimately, she took over when I separated from my marriage many years ago. Action-Jess is solutions oriented, puts on the blinders and goes for it. I LIKE Action-Jess. I give her tons of credit for getting me into running my own coaching practice on a full-time basis. High-Five Action-Jess! Right?
Hang on a second.
The more time I spent in awareness of her energy, the more I began to see how freaked out she’s been. In that awareness, that meant that I’ve been propelled by an intense fear for a very long time. To be clear, this fear isn’t at the surface for the most part, however a lot of the behaviours I employ in order to “get shit done” are fuelled by fear. Because of this, it translated into having a hard time offering compassion to that part of me. I was holding on to a belief that if I slowed down, I would fail; Action-Jess isn’t allowed to rest.
Except that it isn’t sustainable. This is why I have experienced burnout more than once. This is why I loathe online marketers telling people they have to hustle, grind, push & drive; there’s something about that mindset that seems to omit the need for rest and rejuvenation. When you disallow that, your body then needs to take over and MAKE you stop by getting you sick, exhausted or injured.
I’ve had awareness of most of the behaviours involved for some time, and this illumination seemed to click something into place. January 1 came and went and it’s OK that I don’t have 2019 all figured out right away. I do have a plan and I’m putting a lot of intention into mapping it out with awareness to the desires that are propelling me forward. I’m leaving fear in the passenger’s seat while I take the wheel. Offering compassion to myself almost immediately triggers a parasympathetic response in my entire system allowing me to approach everything from a more relaxed state.
And so I extend an invitation to you, to offer yourself compassion when things aren’t going the way you planned, when you have massive expectations of yourself and you feel like you have to have it all figured out yesterday. And if you have a hard time imagining this as possible, then I invite you to schedule a Clarity Session with me and we can help you learn how to do just that. I would be my absolute privilege and honour.