“You know what? I don’t think this is working…”
That’s the point at which our work can start to make a difference.
Everyone gets to this point in their leadership. If you are working with someone that can actually make a difference for you, and you are willing to let themmake a difference for you, you too will get to this point as well.
You probably hired a coach thinking that it would be a really empowering experience. You even declared that you wanted someone to hold your feet to the fire and not let you slip away. To really have you take an honest look at your life, and get really clear on what was next.
So for the next six months, that’s really all we do. I just keep inviting you to take an honest look at your life. And from that honest look at your life, you discover a few things:
First, you discover that you’re making a lot of messes. Like a lot of messes. There’s a bunch of stuff that isn’t working, and it feels pretty stark taking a look at it with this level of honesty.
Second, and most importantly, you discover that taking a look at all these messes feels fairly bad, and that looking at it alone doesn’t seem to be fixing it. Like, you’re noticing all these crappy things you do, but you keep doing them.
It’s a lot like you’ve been having this great time at the bar, drinking red bull and vodka, and suddenly it’s 2:30AM and all the lights have been turned on. Things look pretty dire. Who is this monster you’ve been dancing with, and who the heck are these people that you’ve been calling your friends for the night? Is that a mirror over there – OH DEAR GOD TURN THE LIGHTS BACK OFF!!
So if anything, you feel worse off than before — at least before, you got to hang out in the ignorance of those dim lights. Now, you can see the reality of what you’re creating, while continuing to do it.
There is a concept called the Long Dark Night of the Soul – a period of despair that you confront as you open your heart to life and confront the futility and emptiness of it, but before you’ve learned to find the wonder, awe and majesty available in that emptiness.
This is the Long Bright Morning of the Soul. We’re shining a big, giant spotlight on your messy life. And when you try to close your eyes or turn away from it, we shine a light there and point that out too. (It’s fine to screw your eyes shut — I just want to support you in being conscious about the choice you’re making, so that you can be at choice and at cause in your life).
Your hope coming into this was that with enough awareness, you’d eventually choose something different, but you’re discovering that that isn’t the case. All that’s happening is that you feel like you’re constantly bungling things up, and you feel really bad about your choices.
And that’s the point where you conclude “I guess this just isn’t working…”
But what you can’t see from inside this mess is that this is the sign that things really are starting to work.
This is the point where you have to drop the toxic hope that if you just confront yourself enough with what you’re doing, you’ll magically feel motivated to take things on. This is where you confront the awareness that awareness alone is insufficient to move you forward.
In dropping that hope, you’ll realize that only you have the power to change your life, and if you want to do it, it’s going to take a commitment on your part to get into action.
That action will only happen once you confront the Long Bright Morning of the Soul, and only if you’re willing to go through the crappy mess you’re creating, rather than turning away from it.
So you’re right.
This isn’t working.
That’s how we know it’s working.