“My job is to live a great life.”
One of my mentor coaches said that during my training, and it really stuck with me. As a coach, my job is to help people make their lives better, and to do that, I have to know what a great life looks like, and feels like.
But, I am also a human being, and most human beings just can’t be great every day of every year of their life. And the past few weeks have been rough for me. I’ll spare you the details, but I have faced challenges on multiple fronts— personal, professional, and creative— and by the end of last week I was in complete meltdown mode.
And layered on top of all of that, was a new thing I have just started to recognize: the idea that people would regard me as a failure of a coach if my life wasn’t always awesome. Does Jen Sincero talk about NOT being a badass? Does Mike Dooley send Messages From the Universe In a Pissy Mood?
But here’s the truth of it: many (perhaps most) of us are drawn to coaching precisely because we do struggle, the same way many people become nutritionists or weight loss experts because they’ve had their own health problems to cope with, or people with anxiety become mental health professionals.
Myself? I have a history of chronic depression, and I suspect I may also have undiagnosed ADHD issues. (When I was in school, “hyperactivity” was just becoming a buzzword. I suspect that a few years later I would have been on Ritalin.) Growing up with extremely critical parents leaves me prone to fear of failure and rejection sensitivity. And here I am, trying to launch a coaching practice while also submitting novels to agents and keep a comic running?
I have extremely high standards for myself, apparently. The dark side of bringing the awesome, is the pressure of wanting to Be Awesome all the time, when sometimes Just Being is enough.
I just need to remind myself of that from time to time.