Maybe you can relate to this…
Last week started out so well. And then it got ugly. Pretty fast.
I had super productive Monday! I was up at 6AM, hot yoga, meditation, reading and journaling were all in the bag by 8AM.
Then I was at my desk like a productivity ninja and by lunch my to-do list didn't know what had hit him. A great coaching session with a new client and a drink with my dear neighbour Phil later and I was on cloud nine.
Simone and I worked on shaping the agenda for The Beginning, our first Less Ordinary Life event of the year which in a few weeks time. Winning!
But things turned a corner when I had a tough Therapy session. I found what came up for me so challenging that I felt myself shutting down – the emotions that were surfacing felt overwhelming.
I felt frustrated to find myself resorting to an old coping mechanism with my therapist, who only has my best interests at heart (and the patience of a saint!).
I am getting so much better at talking honestly and openly about my feelings and my needs, but I still find it hard. There is often a gap between what I experience and how I feel about it, and though the gap is shrinking - it is still challenging!
I am also learning to set clearer boundaries about what is and is not ok for me, as I become more aware of my own needs. All of this is hard and scary and difficult but I'm doing it and feels right and it gets easier over time.
But if I can still find myself shutting down in front of my Therapist - who is one of my cheerleaders, I know there is still work to do.
I know my emotional shut down wasn't just about what we were talking about in my session. It was also about a lot of other 'stuff' that is going on for me right now. Fears, anxieties, unresolved conflicts... And a lot of what is going on for me right now links back to what I'm still holding on to from my past.
The lesson? I've still got emotional baggage. More specifically, and harder to admit?
I've still got some emotional baggage that I tricked myself into thinking I no longer have.
There is still some pain, still some hurt, still some anger and still some sadness from my past that I am holding onto. It can bubble up when I feel misunderstood, or rejected, or disrespected.
So now I've admitted that truth to myself, I'm quite keen to relieve of this dusty baggage. Pronto.
Unfortunately, as my awesome coach Kath reminds me, there are no real short cuts available when working on yourself. Whether you call it personal development, spiritual growth or self realisation (I call it The Work), it takes guts and graft.
It takes a whole lot of courage, investment of time, effort and grit to unearth and reconnect with past pains and hurts. And you need to tap back into them if you want to let them go, free yourself and remove the 'blocks' that can otherwise hold you back in life.
So what's the message?
If you want to build a life you truly love, you must be willing to do The Work.
The Work is not fun or easy, but it is worth it. And I'm worth it too. It's for this reason that I am continuing with Therapy until I know I am done-done-dah-dah-dah-done. And why I've also invested in coaching (and supervision as every good coach should!) for the year ahead.
You're worth it too.
Remember the greatest investment you can make is in yourself.
“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning The Work of becoming yourself” - Anna Quindlen
So what is The Work that you are doing on yourself right now? What baggage are you ready to put down? Or is there something that keeps happening and holding you back in life and you are not quite sure why? Perhaps something has come to mind as you've read this - and that's a great place to start:
Trust your intuition.
This reminder is as much for me as it is for you: you don't have to battle alone.
So what feels like the biggest barrier in your life right now? And what support do you need to take the first step in the right direction to positively address it?
Sometimes, all it can take is one focused conversation with someone with your best interests at heart to get back on track or to work out your next step. And sometimes, we need a little more support, maybe we need a day, maybe six weeks, maybe six months, maybe more...
Whatever support you need, know you are allowed to seek it out:
Give yourself permission.
It can be hard to find people in our day-to-day lives to objectively hear us out, challenge us to do better, and support us to discover how. Especially as friends and loved ones often have their own (often well meaning) agendas and opinions on what you should do.
If you're not sure where to start, but are keen to get on with The Work for yourself this year, I'd love to speak with you about your hopes and dreams. Check out some of the inspiring stories of leaders I've supported with The Work.
Is there is something from your past that's holding you back from your future? You can find out more about Less Ordinary Therapy and book a complimentary call with Simone here.
Take the first step.
Are you ready to invest real time in The Work for yourself this year? Join me and the teamlater this month for our first #LessOrdinaryLife masterclass of the year, The Beginning. On Saturday 17th February we will host a lovingly curated day in Central London to empower you to start The Work for yourself this year.
We will be exploring the concepts of self discovery, self love and soul purpose, so that you can build a life you love.
Remember, it's all about taking that first step. So I'll see you on the staircase!
To find out more about the coaching, leadership training and therapy that we provide at A Life Less Ordinary Wanted please check out our website here and please do get in touch to find out we can support you or your organisation with The Work.