I am going through a coaching training program that’s been truly amazing. It is helping me build skills that will directly impact my everyday job, which involves consulting and coaching attorneys, but I am also seeing how this impacts my everyday life. How I communicate with people and how I can take the skills I’m learning to impact potentially everything that I do.
Today, I had to do an exercise with some of my other coaching participants. It involved being a coach, a participant or an observer. The participant had to set up a problem he or she had and the coach and observer put together a metaphor that would then guide the participant to a potential “Aha!” moment, relating the metaphor to the problem that they had. The goal was to have participants utilize real-life problems, so that the exercise was authentic and genuine.
Having struggled this past week with a few things, I had my problem ready to go.
Despite my successful weight loss, I still struggle with binge eating and overindulging in foods (particularly sweets). I also struggle to reach some financial goals of mine with impulse shopping (lately, it’s been with clothes). It all led to me pitching my problem of being impulsive. I’m impulsive to my cravings for food and eating and I’m impulsive to my spending of money. They are a problem because they prevent me from hitting certain goals I have in terms of weight loss, health, fitness and financial goals.
I explained the problem and why it was a problem for me. The coach came back and told me a story (as the metaphor). The story was about a little girl in a village who was asked by her parents to go fetch some water for the family. Along the way, the little girl was stopped by a an elderly neighbor who had made some cookies for her. She put the water down and ran over and got some cookies. Some of the water had spilled out, but she had enough to bring home. And then on her way home, she was stopped by a local store owner who noticed she was always admiring a doll he had in his shop window. He knew she didn’t have any money so he offered her the doll in exchange for some water for his dog. She gladly gave it up. And then she went home with no water now for her family and had to face her family, who were not happy that she did not come home with the water as she was requested.
It was a great metaphor, but the ironic “Aha!” for me here was that, while I saw myself in the little girl being tempted by the cookies and the doll, I immediately came back with that I could see myself NOT giving into those temptations because I had people depending on me. My parents would be disappointed in me and had expectations of me. For my health and weight loss and even my financial goals, these are things solely for ME. There is no one else (other than me!) depending on me to do these things.
WOW. Extremely powerful.
While it won’t happen overnight, the takeaway from this for me is that I need to learn how to start showing up for myself. How to take my own expectations and potential disappointment in myself and make it enough to resist the impulses to give into those things that are not in line with what I want for myself. I want to get to a point where it does not feel right or okay to not show up for myself.