Monday 2 December 2013

Living in Ignorance?

I coach by email as well as by phone, Skype and in person. It's a different experience entirely, with strengths and weaknesses (more here).

Clients often find themselves bewildered or afraid when I show them a world of possibilities and they don't know what to do with them. It can be very unsettling, and people tell me this is one of the top reasons they decide not to have coaching.

Here is an extract from an email I sent to a client this morning which might be helpful to some of you.
[being bewildered and upset] is not unusual.

There is some comfort in certainties - even of you are certain of continued misery.

Familiarity and a sense of predictability about the future is important to our sense of security - one of the lower level needs as Maslow pointed out.

But if you want change, then you have to undergo change. Also, we often find it uncomfortable to admit "I just don't know!" - but that is also normal, and in fact, accepting ignorance is the beginning of a journey to better things.

There is a scale of ignorance we move through in life as we get older. Younger people are certain of everything because they are ignorant of their own ignorance! They're wrong about most things, but they're happier because they have certainty.

As we get older, we find deeper insights about ourselves and the world we live in. These insights dissolve our previous "mistaken certainties" and we can find ourselves adrift - with the wrong husband, the wrong career, the wrong hat - and so on. Some people call this "midlife crisis". Most of us go through it - me included.

Smile. Relax. It's OK not to know. And accepting that you don't know is ultimately far more sensible than pretending that you do!

The mind map work should give you a sense of how your current life fits with your values and drives. Perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that you largely are in control. I can show you options, but you will decide what if anything to do, and that is as it should be.
So - try to find the courage to see things clearly. The truth, whatever it is, is generally a solid foundation oon which to build your life.

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