We all want the lives we want, right? The lives we’re working for and deserve.
So how exactly—and why—does the daily practice of extraordinary self-care matter in a culture chock full of ambitious individualists? Get ready for this news flash, friends: because the nose-to-the-grindstone success model you may be sweating is… well… history.
First some truth: there was a time when I regularly asked myself, “why life coaching?”
Because, honestly, I cringed at the term. Despite my passion for the profession, I tap-danced all around that particular phrase when describing what I feel privileged to do. It was funny, really. Life coaching just felt cliché.
But then one intense day, a very special lady in my life, my elderly mother, unexpectedly ended all that. She got down to the essence of things the way moms do, saying, “Why beat around the bush? You’re a life coach.”
Great big wave of her little hand. Great big emphasis on life while—more truth here—at the end of her own. So, instead of feeling annoyed by her opinion, it was instant goose-bump city for me. Long story short, cut to now: I’m a life coach.
Ready for maximum enjoyment and badaddness on a daily basis?
Then your positive mindset is the ticket. Because the truth is that you, despite all the parts and pieces of you that can be quite a cast of inner characters, can be your own personal cheerleader-in-chief. And on call, as needed, on the daily.
You can in fact allow only helpful thoughts, with a clear call to take a hike to all else that may want its negative say. What’s more, it can be fun, yo!
Ready to play? Just say yes. Then off we go:
1. Sniff like a bloodhound for negative voices.
You may not have a natural ability to notice “voices” inside you, thoughts that are discouraged or fearful for whatever reason, or that are just plain struggling to trust that the life you want is possible. But like any skill that you work at, you can learn to do this. Let’s go there.
First, work to notice those “you can’t” or “the sky is falling” voices when they strike. The “what does it matter, it’s all bullshit anyway” variety. What else do they say, exactly? Listen closely.
When’s the last time you got a surprise from someone, or from Life itself? And I do mean the good kind.
Can’t remember? Ready to change that? Well, then it’s time to invite some surprise into your life.
Because the truth is that often, for all our talk of wanting more of this or a different that, we tend to travel the same well-worn paths over and over. We “soldier on”, acting out habits that have grown stale.
And those habits may include ignoring casual daydreams—or rich fantasies—of adventure or change. Instead, we stay in our well-worn lanes.
Ah, happiness. It’s one of life’s holy grails. But how to find it?
The truth is that we often seek happiness, like distant treasure we’re determined to find. Someday, somewhere, off in the hazy future, where the grass is greener, all our wishes and dreams will be fulfilled. Then we’ll “be happy.”
But what do we really need to be happy?
When my oldest son went off to college, I realized that my dream for him was the capacity for happiness. Indeed, as I was letting go of my first little guy who had grown into a fine young man, nothing else I could want for him even came close.
I’m reflecting on a setback I’m having right… now.
And after a good day yesterday. A phone session with an inspiring new client, lessons with two super-fun students, an empathic hug from their sweet mom. Poker night with two of my sons and their ladies. Then, boom. Grief storm. I cried off and on all night.