How do you judge your progress?

How do you judge your progress?

There’s a misconception with coaching that as soon as you engage a coach your life will start to get better. And luckily for many it does. But unfortunately for many the journey to better is through a long dark tunnel of worse.

Of course if you’re already at rock bottom, get a coach because the only way forward is up.

But what if your pain is internal? What if nobody knows you’re even afraid?

Th clients I work with in coaching are not the weak ones, they’re the strong ones. The ones that have kept everything inside for so long that nobody even knows they feel broken. And their carefully constructed surface self masks a deep unending fear of being found out.

True transformation can’t come when we take what you have and slap a fresh coat of positive paint over it; it comes from truly facing and healing the damage and crud covering our core.

So for many of my clients, happiness is the problem not the progress.

Progress comes when they admit they feel afraid and find the root cause of that fear.

It comes when they admit that they are hurt and sad and let go of the suppressed tears.

It comes when they face the hatred and the anger at the people who stole their innocent years.

It comes when they release the guilt, resentment and regret that they were the ones who let the pain continue.

For me the first sign of progress is when you do something that feels like the opposite. For the brave to be vulnerable, for the sad to express their anger and the angry to cry their tears.

Progress may be falling in love with a new hobby or falling out of love with an old one.

It is not a journey to be entered into lightly because if our outer world is created by our inner world, and it is, then when we transform and heal our inner world chances are everything in our outer world must change.

Change happens in an instant, it’s the fallout of the change that takes time to come to grips with.

It’s learning new skills, practising new behaviour and questioning everything you used to accept as true.

It’s not quitting the job, leaving the relationship, moving to a new place and hoping it will go away. It’s healing the voids that caused you to choose them and then deciding which things are still a match and choosing when and where to stay.

One of the hardest parts about progress, especially for the strong ones, is that so few people will ever know.

This entire journey that could take months or even years may not even be visible to the people in your life. Your greatest breakthrough may have been the day where you said no instead of yes or yes instead of no and nobody even noticed it was different.

But you did. Your coach will.

So honour your Own progress.

Nobody has your trauma or limitations, your beliefs or possibilities.

Don’t look sideways at what “they” are achieving – comparisons will feed the flaws.

Keep focused on who you are becoming, what you need to get there and an occasional glance at how far you’ve come.

And remember – if everything in your old life suddenly doesn’t seem to fit, good.

You’re making progress.

Letting Go 

The last few days of the year always makes me feel like cleaning.

There’s a sense of urgency to clear out the clutter, a feeling of letting go.

This year especially with 2016 (for those of us into numerology) is a 9 year, a year of finishing, the end of a cycle of our lives.

So today is the day to get it done. Let go of anything from the last 9 years that no longer serves you.
Donate clothes that don’t feel right – even if they still fit!

Donate books you don’t read, throw out broken things you won’t mend.

Clean out the tops of the cupboards and the bottoms of the beds.

Clean the clutter, the dust and the air – open as many windows as you can find, light your favourite scented candles and bring in some fresh flowers or plants to act as a filter.

And it’s time to let go emotionally too. Time to release old grudges, leave the baggage behind.

As we look back on the year that was, there are always conversations we wish we’d had, things that could have been said, resentments for truths never set straight or regret for gratitudes never shared.

You’ll know if you have them, they feel like a lump in your throat, a weight on your chest – things you don’t want to start a new year dragging with you.

But the moment has passed, the opportunity to say it in the moment has gone forever and it’s not always worth bringing up again.

So rather than picking up the phone and risking ruining your New Years Eve, instead grab a pen and paper and write an old fashioned letter to them.

This idea came from a friend of mine and it’s a great way to release the emotion without needing anyone else to come to the party.

Why not just an email? Well there are two major reasons for doing it the old fashioned way
1. It’s Much harder to accidentally send a hard copy letter in the heat of the moment that you’ll only regret later

2. The physical act of writing is for now a different, more cathartic release than typing because for most of us we were still brought up writing by hand so our emotional neuro connections are stronger.

The purpose of this letter is not necessarily to send it. Of course you might if it turns out “perfect”, and especially if it is a letter of gratitude, love, forgiveness and reconnection.

Write from the heart, and remember – if it is a letter of resentment, write it then hold on to it for minimum 1 week before you send it. Often what happens in the writing process is that we’re able to let it go emotionally and it doesn’t matter if we get a response. Getting it out of our system is usually enough to forgive and move on much, much lighter.

So long, Farewell 2016. Thank you for the memories.