A few weeks ago, my husband and I were watching a somewhat unknown movie called “Jackie and Ryan.” It’s not a blockbuster, so many of you probably haven’t heard of it.
Essentially, a struggling mom (Jackie), who is in the middle of a nasty divorce comes across a transient musician (Ryan) in her home town. She is a former professional musician, and they connect and eventually become friends/lovers.
In one of the scenes, they are talking and Jackie says, “Don’t you ever ask yourself, ‘How did I get here?’ ”
Ryan pauses and then says, “Not really. I just ask, “Where am I going and how do I get there?”
That scene stuck with me.
Jackie’s question focuses on the past. Not just the how, but the why. I think it’s an important question to ponder, but not to dwell on.
Too many of us, though, operate like we are still living in the past.
We create meaning and beliefs from things that we heard and read about, as well as things that we experienced. Those beliefs become the lens through which we see and experience our future. In the coaching world we call them Limiting Beliefs.
Instead of carrying around our past on our back, we carry it around in front of us and it often gets in the way.
Ryan’s question, “Where am I going, and how do I get there?” looks at life a little differently. He is focused on the present and the future. In order to get anywhere, you need to know where you are starting from. It doesn't necessarily matter how you got there.
Ryan brings learning from the past into his future, but he isn’t letting the past hold him back, or hold him down. His past isn’t limiting him, it’s driving him.
This is often how I differentiate coaching from counseling or therapy.
Therapy, in my experience, takes the Jackie approach. Let’s talk about your past to figure out why things are the way they are.
Coaching, on the other hand, is focused on what’s happening now, and how you want it to be different tomorrow and in the future. Coaching is about shifting those limiting beliefs, creating new beliefs, and acting upon them.
So, are you a Jackie or a Ryan?
Are you stuck in the past wondering how you got to where you are?
Or are you looking at where you are now, and planning ahead for where you want to be and how you will get there?
Your past doesn't have to determine your future as well.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
Photo Credit: Google Images --Authorized Use
Last Sunday, I was lounging on the couch in our living room after my husband, daughter and I had spent the morning hiking not far from our house. It was a beautiful, cold day, and I was wrapped in a blanket just enjoying the opportunity to lay down and rest my pregnant body. My daughter was asleep (well, not yet), and my husband had run to the pharmacy.
What joy to have several minutes to myself.
Bzzz. A text message.
My neighbor: My son just made a cake, want to come over?
Me: Can’t come over, but you can come here.
My neighbor: Great, be there in 10 minutes. Okay if I bring a friend?
Me: Of course!
I slowly put the phone down and glanced around the house.
I practically leapt off the couch.
I spent the next 10 minutes running around the house picking up toys, wiping the table, putting away dishes, and desperately trying not to look like a busy, pregnant mom who just went hiking.
But the fact of the matter is that I am a busy, pregnant mom, and I had just gone hiking (as was obvious by the hiking clothes I was still wearing.)
What the hell was I doing? Why the frantic rush to not look like the person I am?
The truth is: I am a trying-not-to-be-people-pleaser. I want to impress people. I want their approval.
That was what all the rushed cleaning was about.
I wanted them to look around the house and think:
"Wow, this woman really has it together--all the toys are put away, the dishes aren’t in the drying rack, and there are no crumbs on the table, despite her having a 2 year old. Impressive.”
Of course, I knew they wouldn’t say that out loud, but at least they might think it, which to me was better than:
“Holy sh*t, this woman’s house is a disaster. How can someone live like this? When can we get out of here?”
I have written about people-pleasing before and the difference between people-pleasing and kindness. (People pleasing comes from the ego, and kindness comes from the heart.)
But despite knowing all this, and coaching others around it, my people-pleasing side still rears his ugly head from time to time.
At this point, you are probably wondering, "What does this have to do with prostitution?"
Last week I was reading an essay by Martha Beck in which she compares people-pleasing to prostitution. She says, “Anything we do solely to please others, in the absence of either real desire or moral necessity, is a way of selling ourselves, our time, our energy.”
It’s a bold comparison, but one that I find works.
I would rather have continued my lounging on the couch for 10 minutes. There was no real desire to clean, nor was there a moral necessity.
I was selling my time and energy for the approval of my neighbor and his friend.
Until next time...
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
You know when you buy something new and you are all excited about it because it seems so special. Then, suddenly, as you look around it seems like everyone else has what you just bought.
It happened to me last week, but it wasn’t something I bought, it was something I wrote.
For those of you who read last week’s blog post, you know that I wrote about how I was giving up resolutions and was instead focusing on recommitting. I talked about why and how the two are different. (If you didn’t read it, you still can!)
Anyway, that very night after I posted it and sent it to you I was reading a book called Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Ecker, and he was also talking about the importance of committing.
What he wrote made complete sense to me, so I wanted to share it with you.
He wrote that there are three levels of so-called wanting. (In his example it is about wanting to be rich, but you could substitute any adjective for rich and it still makes sense--happy, confident, successful, etc)
The first level is simply wanting. You say to yourself (or those around you), “I want to be _______.” If someone could wave a magic wand, or a genie could come out of a lamp, this is what you would wish for. Unfortunately, wanting something and having it aren’t mutually exclusive. You actually have to take action to get what you want.
This leads to Harv Ecker’s second level of wanting.
The second level of wanting is “I chose to be __________.” This entails making a decision about it. There is a sense of responsibility attached to making a choice. Your mindset is different when you chose something, than when you just want it. In this instance, you are more likely to take action.
The final level of wanting, and the one that will most likely lead to success, is “I commit to being ________.” The definition Mr. Ecker gives for commit is “to devote oneself unreservedly.”
This is where Mr. Ecker and I seem to align. When you commit to something, you take actions on a daily basis to show your commitment. You go after whatever it is without holding back. If something doesn't work, you try something else. Again and again.
Your commitment doesn’t end.
In his example of being rich, once you commit to being rich, you still remain committed even once you become rich.
In the examples I gave last week about being committed it’s the same. There is no end to my commitment.
Just because I am currently healthy doesn’t mean my commitment to my health is over. I still commit everyday.
Just because I took a few bold steps to grow my business doesn’t mean my commitment to being a bold leader is over. I still have to commit everyday.
Like last week, I want to ask you again. What are you committed to? Who are you committed to being?
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.
I used to be a New Year’s Resolution kind of girl.
Each year, I would spend the last few weeks of December finalizing what I was going to change starting January 1st.
And each year, a few weeks into the new year, I would feel like I failure.
I wasn’t going to the gym as consistently as I hoped. I wasn’t eating how I said I was going to eat. I wasn’t doing the things I had resolved to do.
Guess I will try again next year….
This year, no more resolutions.
Instead, I am making commitments, or better, I am recommitting to things that are important to me. And I won’t just do it now. I will do it throughout the year--sometimes even daily.
Here’s the difference: