I had an experience today with an instructor for my coaching program. It wasn’t a pleasant interaction but because she was of a “higher” status with respect to the situation that we were in, I let her feedback overwhelm me a little bit.
I recognize that I am in a stage of my own growth where I need some cheer leading from people. I need encouragement and I need to listen to those that I know truly have my back, and no one else. I am like a fledgling bird trying to figure out how to fly.
The situation this morning raised the volume on my inner critic. The one I have just recently begun to quiet. The dialogue was not pretty. It came in hard and fast and brutal. You aren’t meant to be a coach, you have nothing to offer.
All because she had given me some constructive criticism that was not delivered in a manner that was useful to what I needed at the time.
The really cool thing though is that I am able to recognize it isn’t what I needed.
I was also able to recognize where I needed to work on some boundaries and be firm in who I am. I took a look at that, who I am, and how I want to show up and sat with that for a bit.
I don’t even remember what she said that set me off. The words don’t even really matter.
I decided that her feedback wasn’t that useful to me because I do not want to show up for my clients like she shows up for hers. There is no anger in it, it is from a place of love and curiosity for who she is and the people that she treats.
It was a good reminder that people will give feedback and criticism based on their own experience. One piece of criticism can outweigh a hundred pieces of praise. Words from a complete stranger can cause internal questioning so deep it can ruin the day. But. We decide how much power we place on those words. We can decide if that feedback is from someone that we trust and admire who show up in a way that we want to emulate. If the answer is no then let the words go. Look for the other things that came from the interaction, the insights and strengths and focus on those.
What I did get from the experience was a lot of growth on my end. I was able to identify an area in my personality where if I do not figure out how to manage and shift it a little better it will end up being an energy drain for me and could negatively effect my clients. I was also able to sit in my own truth and decide what was useful for me and what wasn’t, something that I would not have been able to do a year ago. I was able to accept her world view and more importantly, mine, and make it okay to have had that experience. I was also able to quiet the inner critic and lovingly disagree and come up with all of the reasons that I do belong in the coaching industry.
These shifts are not small. They may seen common sense to some, but for me it is huge. I came from a place, just a year or so ago, where I was so confused about what was me, what was the outside world, where my voice was and if it was even okay to listen to it. This is still something that I sometimes need to decipher.
It is a reminder that transformation is possible. That once steps are taken there is no going back and that one only has to be brave enough to keep moving forward.
I am scared as hell to keep going. I have no idea what happiness or joy or living in those emotions feels like, but I am getting more glimpses every day. Sometimes I want to stop. To stay where I am at and accept that the changes I have made, which have improved my life a little bit, are enough because I have pulled myself out of the deepest depths of pain. I am still in the cave though, it’s still dark here and I am still walking blindly, but for the first time in my life there is a small circle of light starting to appear, a beacon that I can finally see as a guidepost.
If I can share nothing else of my journey it is this, to keep going. I say it as much for myself as anyone else reading it. Change is small at first, but mountains are built on grains of sand and right now I have gathered enough to see the foundation and there is nothing more motivating than that.
Keep going. You are more than enough and more than worthy to have everything you want in this life. And so am I. ❤ ❤