Friday, 24 June 2011

Painting the Smelly Stuff

This is an anonymised extract from my dialgoue with an E-Coaching client:

There's a nice analogy I think I can get away with with you, (it's a bit rude). Perhaps you've heard it before.
We start life as a diamond. Shiny, new, open and entirely wonderful (children are these things).

In our diamond years, we are punished by parents, teachers, other children and by our understanding of reality as seen through our child's eyes. We come to think of ourselves as turds. As we grow through those years, we become more guarded, more cautious, damaged, somewhat angry, bewildered and afraid.

Emerging into adulthood, we bury those thoughts. We try to conform to a world in which everyone else looks fine, happy, settled and successful. In other words, we paint the turd.
Welcome to being grown-up.
You have already started to reverse this process. You have acknowledged that your world is not how you want it to be. You've stripped some paint off the turd, exposing it to scrutiny. You have accepted that it's time to re-think, and you're working on it, and you've found some things you didn't know before. You're digging back through the smelly stuff to the diamond which is still inside.

You have understood some of the damage which your parent did to you, and the effect it has had on your adult outlook and behaviour, and you're considering new ways to be. Those involve facing fear instead of running away from it, having difficult conversations instead of buying them, seeing the strategy and prioritising it over the short-termist choices of the past.

In short, you're getting back to the diamond. You're saying "This is me. This is who and what I really am, and this is what I want in my life. Please can I have it with you?" (Remind you of children?)

It seems to me that this is very real progress which could (head down - coachese inbound) "transform your life".

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