I was sitting in my office with my client Noah, him sharing with me all the things that are causing him a great amount of stress these days. His is another powerful situation of personal reinvention that seems to playing out to wide audiences like the sound waves so easily heard at the Hollywood Bowl. He too is going through a reinvention of self that seems to be taking a tremendous hit to the relentless ego.
As an entrepreneur and someone whom others have always turned to for help, he could no longer play that role. His way of retreating was a reason and a reaction at the same time. If he kept to himself, he didn’t have to be honest with others about his situation and this way, he could deal with it on his own. The catch was he knew he needed help with asking for help.
It was interesting to me how methodical and organized he was in terms of his priorities, who and what was important to him; in addition to what he knew he needed to do. He would talk in circles of which I realized I needed to catch him on the way to his next go around. What I pointed out to him was that he also was looking too far in advance and was letting our creation of time overwhelm him.
This reminded me of another client, a woman in her late thirties who was going through a major transitional time and personal reinvention herself. She too could see out in to the future and knew what felt best to do in looking ahead, but was stumped by her far reaching future that seemed like it would be here tomorrow. I remember hearing her say, “How could I, the person who is usually the pillar of strength for everyone else, be going through all of this?!”
She painted the picture for me of the most stressful six months she recently went through. In the past and was used to easily picking herself up and hopping over the river to the next opportunity that came her way within a few months of losing a job, but this time was different. This time it had been much longer and the government help was running out.
She finally got an offer, which felt like just in time, and within a few days of accepting it, the company rescinded it. After being told very simply that Management decided to go in a different direction, she angrily hung up the phone and felt the world crushing down on her. She fell to her knees, had a good cry and picked herself up to take a shower that felt more like a bad energy cleanse.
After calming herself she realized what she had to do. She humbly called those close to her and did something she had a really difficult time doing. Done in a manner similar to being ashamed, she asked for help. What she didn’t realize then was that she was setting herself up for something really great. It was during this time that she scaled back her belongings, found a storage unit, packed her stuff up in boxes and moved in with family.
“So what is it about family dynamics sometimes?” This was a question a friend of mine posed to me, as we were uncovering why she felt she had to handle everything on her own. She had learned that we all hit plateaus in our lives; whether it’s with personal experiences or business, and that it’s at those times when it’s best to reach out for a hand.
She was struggling with her ability to do that, and knew it had to do with how things were handled when she was growing up. It was typical in her family that whenever someone was going through something drastic, you don’t talk about it until it becomes a crisis. It was just understood, with a never discussed agreement, that it’s best not to worry anyone else.
When you did talk about it, there was an overreaction from all family members and now everyone was trying to solve it. With everyone’s reactions masked as assistance, it was more overwhelming than to try and be the sole survivor. She wanted to have a breakthrough in this area and was trying to get clear about what was underneath all of this.
It’s been said that when you try something new and try to get better at it, you will arrive at the plateau where most people throw in the towel and give up. It’s those who choose to master this new task or way of being that they ask for help. Help can come in many forms and one way is to hire a coach.
A coach will assist you to discover what crawls underneath and surfaces itself just enough to cause ripples, road bumps or potholes in your journey. Is it that you are afraid of being rejected, or that maybe you aren’t perfect after all? Maybe it’s the fear that others might find out that you really don’t have all the answers or that you have a limiting belief about not having anything to offer them?
You know on an intellectual level that these types of thoughts just aren’t true. You also may be aware that making the assumption that things will always be how they’ve been in the past is not always the case either. On a deep level you may also know that there was some sort of earlier event in your life as to how these things got created.
What kind of thoughts do you really want to be having? If you were to truly believe in yourself how much would that free you up? By asking for help from others, what are you open to receiving? In surrendering to where you’re at and being at peace with it, it’s amazing how a trapdoor can magically open with help showing up without having to ask for it at all.
Like my friend who realized that by being open to having others lend a hand, it doesn’t mean she’s not enough to begin with. She also got that just because those in her family deal with things this way doesn’t mean she has to, anymore. Her new belief is that she as a person is more than enough, that she has all the resources she needs, and the sooner you ask for help when circumstances begin, the more energy she has to overcome it!
The first few times she did, it was a little strange but soon it became not just easier but fun! Whenever she is now around her family, she is also aware of those buttons our loved ones seem to find so easily and push just enough to get a reaction. Her new response: Step 1) listen without reacting, Step 2) be inquiry to find out why they were saying what they did, Result = the button gets left alone.
Not unlike the aloneness that my late thirties client felt in going through this major transition time. She shifted her intention so that she no longer had to go it alone. As soon as she surrendered to where she was at, it was interesting what showed up. Not only did the help come, it also came in the form of things or services she needed. Sometimes they were things that she never even expressed out loud.
The timeliness also surprised her. Things were moving so fast that she didn’t have much time to get uncomfortable with their arrival or think about why they came. It was weeks later that she also noticed that she felt more relaxed and that she didn’t have to make as much effort to make things happen. They just did.
Like the speed of time that was overwhelming Noah. In reaching too far ahead, he couldn’t see what was right in front of him. As if to engage in a game where he could either stop time or slow it down, he now understood the power of choice in every moment.
By choosing to take each 24 hours, one day at a time, he was only in the here and now. It was then easier to map out what he needed to do and actually do it, by leaving the uncertainty about his potential future to the future. He then proceeded with the simple task of making a few phone calls, something that didn’t seem so simple just a few weeks before. By taking that easy to chew on, bite size piece, he heard a voice on the other line say, yes, I’ll help you. As he took a deep breath after hearing those words, he could dial the keys on his phone once again, only to spell out the word “possibility.”