Me, Myself and I
Updated: Aug 23, 2020
Did you know you are in a relationship with yourself?
Some people claim it's the most important one in your life.
I had no idea. Clearly, it wasn't on the top of my list.
In my mind, I thought it was time to work on my closest relationships.
My husband, my kids and my parents took center stage.
These relationships were “the really important” stuff.
I got a dose of reality from my coach.
"Your relationships change when you change. You are the only one you have control over. The people in your life don't have to change for you to feel better, you do."
She didn't say it in a "you're the problem" kind of tone. She gave me the compassionate, tough-love I needed to hear.
"Go to work on your relationship with yourself. Find out how you talk to yourself. How you treat yourself. What are you thinking and doing and why. What emotions do you feel on a regular basis? Get conscious of what's going on with YOU."
I was frustrated with myself a lot and drove myself crazy so that didn't sound like much fun.
Initially, it wasn't.
I wrote down the thoughts running through my head about little things, big things and everything in between. I wrote down how I felt. I wrote down why.
This wasn't journaling. This was like cleaning out an overflowing closet.
My coach was there without an agenda to help me sort it all out and decide what was working for me and what wasn’t.
In coaching sessions, I would show up stressed out and anxious about "everything I had to do”.
My coach would ask me loads of questions.
"What is everything? Who created the list? Who’s in charge of your time? What if this list is bullshit and there is nothing on it you have to do? What if it’s all a choice? Why are you choosing to believe you have to do it all?"
By questioning me, she was helping me unravel a giant mess of who I thought I should be and what I was supposed to be doing.
Over time, everything from career and money expectations to wife and mother expectations were all up for discussion.
I couldn’t believe how many lists I had and how long each of them was.
I had the “good person” list, the “good mother” list, the “good wife” list, the “good daughter” list just to name a few.
Before coaching, those lists felt like background music to me.
You know the music is there, but you're not tuned into it.
Every time I sat down with a paper and pen and wrote down what I expected of myself, I wanted to cry and go eat a bunch of oreos.
No wonder I felt so overwhelmed and frustrated with myself.
The expectations I was living by were an impossible standard.
My coach asked why. What was I trying to accomplish?
Turns out, the "do it all" mentality was an effort to feel good enough.
That hit me hard.
My coach would say, “You’re already good enough. I believe that, do you?"
I didn’t. I thought I needed to be the person my lists.
She would ask me:
"What does a good person even mean? What is a good mom? Why do you think that? Does it help you to think that?"
With each session, I poked holes at my lists and began to feel better.
Even good enough.
What’s interesting about not feeling good enough is that it can motivate the crap out of you.
I’ve had a lot of success in my life, but I realize some of the reasons behind it were from the good enough gremlins.
I’m grateful because they got me this far. But that isn’t how I want to operate in the future.
I'm starting from a place where I believe I’m already good enough (most of the time anyway) and my motivation comes from my values.
That feels infinitely better than where I was with my never ending lists of expectations.
I get it now.
If you want better relationships with other people, you start by learning to have a good one with yourself.
Do it for you. Do it for the ones who matter most to you.
P.S. That coach? I’ve become her.
I help overwhelmed “do it all” women stop hustling for their worth, reconnect with themselves and feel calmer and more confident.
This is Part 2 of a blog series called Around the Wheel, How My Life Has Changed from Life Coaching.
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