Whose life is it anyway?

The whole concept of life ownership is a curious thing. So much goes into it: What I want, value, believe, enjoy, love. Who I want in my life. Where I want to be headed. What are my boundaries. What is the dream.

Many people I’ve come across as coach are of the opinion that they know themselves pretty well. What I hear often is something along the lines of “We’re all very self-aware anyway”. But what does that actually mean?

Self-awareness didn’t work for me

My experience of self-awareness used to contain equal amounts of frustration, bafflement and feeling trapped. I was very painfully and clearly aware of myself and the limiting beliefs and behaviours going on in my relationships, my eating patterns and my career for years and years and years – without a clue over what to do with all that awareness.

I kept writing things down as they occurred and re-occurred, wondering what they mean and what I could do, but never getting anywhere further. I had a mountain of self-awareness and nowhere to go with it!

Until I gave up

On a very ordinary day towards the end of summer 2010 I finally gave up trying to sort it all out by myself. It just wasn’t happening. Now, being a very head-strong, independent person, this seemed like a very odd step to be taking. After all, this was MY life! Up until that moment I was firmly of the opinion that since it was my life and definitely no-one else’s, I should be the one sorting it out. I should own up to the mess I had made and fix it! However, the only thing I hadn’t yet tried was not doing it alone.

Amazingly, by giving up on trying to cope on my own, I actually took ownership of my life for the first time ever. I was standing up to the world, saying “You know what, I can’t do this on my own. I simply have no idea what to do next. Could I get some help here?” That was when I embarked on a very intensive journey with a life coach to become the person I always was but I never properly acknowledged before.

There is no magic

Help – once you ask for it – is available in abundance. The mere act of admitting I needed help opened my eyes to the people and the possibilities that were available to help me understand what it was that I needed to do. Turns out I needed to accumulate a lot more awareness, to look deeper and wider, in order to work out what I wanted. What was important to me. What my dream was. From there, it was a choice of acting on it or not. Well, here I am, acting on it!

People come to coaching with all kinds of needs and wants, and what they get out of coaching is pretty much determined by what they put in. The bottom line is, you need to be willing. Everything else unfolds from there.

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