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Embracing the Awkwardness of Growth

I’m halfway through my year-long Life Coach Training Program and I’m noticing my urge to judge and doubt my progress thus far. I hear the voices in my head tell me that I should be better by now, or that everyone else has more experience than me, is younger than me, or braver than me.


In the early months of this training program, I felt a bit like a newly born fawn with wobbly legs, learning how to walk for the first time. The awkwardness was…definitely awkward, but it was to be expected. It felt uncomfortable AND exhilarating. I was learning brand new skills and I was existing almost 100% outside of my comfort zone.


As my experience and confidence grow, I feel steadier on these new legs of mine. I’m building my new career, honing my coaching skills, and growing my business. Yet in the challenges of growing the discomfort feels bigger and the voices of doubt sound louder. ‘Shouldn’t you be an expert by now?’ ‘Why don’t you have this all figured out yet?’ ‘Just look at all these people who are better than you!’


I hear these doubts AND I choose to listen to them less. I recognize that these thoughts are driven by my fears and anxieties and are NOT TRUTHS about me or my circumstances. In a way, they're just trying to protect me from being uncomfortable, taking risks, experiencing failure.

And they’re really effective. Until they’re not.


This is why I got into coaching. It’s why coaching is such an invaluable support structure for doing the BIG THINGS that can shift so much in our lives.


If we let self-doubt and fear govern how we show up, not only in conversations with others but within ourselves, then we become a victim to our thoughts and our worst fears seem inevitable.

I spent a lot of my life playing small and safe. I was a pro at being exactly what and who people wanted me to be. And in doing so, I sacrificed a lot.


Coaching has gifted me so much more than I imagined possible. It's opened my eyes to how I've given away my time, agency, and power to others. It's shown me that I held a deep story of myself as a victim of my circumstances. A story that made me powerless in my relationships with others.


Yeah…it’s not pretty.


It’s not awesome to realize how often I gave away my time and talent in my work, or how I supported and even enabled unhealthy relationships. But recognizing this behavior of mine gives me the chance to show up differently. And to reclaim my power in the process.  


I don't want to gloss over the very real imbalances of power that exist to disempower and disenfranchise many. Limited access to resources and opportunities due to structural racism, sexism, ablism, etc. are very, very real.


But why I coach, and why I see the beauty and power in being coached is that many of us give away or doubt the power and access we DO have. Which means we can get it back. If we establish a more empowered relationship with these self-limiting beliefs and respond to our circumstances with a fresh perspective, a whole lot more is possible than we previously believed.


Coaching gives us the tools and mindset to navigate our lives and relationships with responsibility and agency.


So I ask this...


In what areas of your life or in which circumstances do you give your power to others? And if you can change this, what’s possible?

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