Be True to Yourself

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm

As a coach, I’m able to see the greatness in clients – greatness that is often hidden from their own eyes.

It’s kind of ironic that many of us have blind spots when it comes to our own strengths and talents. In getting to know a client, in seeing them really come to life when talking about experiences they’ve relished or dreams they’ve been carrying around, their talents begin to shine through.

Sadly, I am often struck with, "Wow, she is living such a small version of the life she could have." So clients often hear me say, "Think big."

The start of a new year is as good a time as any for each of us to look at the size of the imprint we’re making on the planet. How much of ourselves are we holding back as we meander through life? How much are we compromising our dreams?

You might be thinking, "Well, I’ve got these kids to support or this mortgage to pay." This line of thinking is usually a disguise for the collection of fears that keeps our dreams at bay.

If you’re reading this publication, I imagine you’ve already learned to meet your responsibilities head-on. That doesn’t have to preclude expressing your greatness and living a life that is just the right size for you – not so small that you can’t move with freedom and grace.

You’ve heard people say about someone they admire, "He just seems so comfortable in his own skin." This always perplexes me. If we aren’t comfortable in our own skin, what the heck is going on? Did the wrong size get ordered up when we were conceived? Are we trying to walk around in someone else’s skin? Are we that afraid of being who we are – of being who we are in a bigger way?

I will never forget the client – a beautiful woman – who told me she felt that she was an eagle doing an imitation of a chicken, pecking around for a few kernels of feed. She learned to soar. Last I heard, was still soaring upon her eagle wings.

Another client rose up to her full height and asked for a transfer to an office her firm has in Europe. She’s there now, sending me thanks for encouraging her to "think big." A man in his late 30s wants to jump clear off his career path and begin a new one that is more true to his heart and his talents – in the arts.

These clients aren’t making rash and impulsive decisions. They sought coaching because they wanted to develop a strong action plan for realizing their dreams. They want to be true to their own values as well as to life commitments they’ve already made – like to spouses and kids, for example. They need a solid plan to guide them through the white water between an unfulfilling life and the larger one they yearn for. And they want reality checks along the way.

These are individuals I’m talking about. But the same thing can be said of business organizations. I had coffee the other morning with one of my friends who has a talent for guiding the leaders within a company through a process of clarifying the essence of what they’re about and developing inspired strategic planning around that. She helps them think large and passionately about who they truly are as an organization and what unique products or services they might offer up. We’ve all seen companies re-invent themselves successfully and repeatedly.

This might be the year for you to do the same. If you think so, start your own plan. I always begin with the end in mind, so define in great detail what things would be different if you created a life more true to the person you are – and how they would be different.

Then, work backwards with the steps you envision taking in order to get into that picture. Identify the obstacles. If there weren’t obstacles, you’d probably already be there. Some obstacles are within you and some are in the environment, the systems within which you operate. Create a timetable for your plan. When you’re ready, talk about it with the right people. Ask for what you need. With some valued and trusted person, you might want feedback about any holes or oversights. You might want only encouragement and support as you re-fashion your life.

I’m sure one thing you don’t want is someone saying, "Who do you think you are?" By the time you’re having that conversation, you will know a heap more about who you think you are and your inspiration for this change.

I don’t know of anything more important you could do in 2006 than to step out of the understudy role and into a starring role in your own life.

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