Reason #2342 that I Love Coaching:
I often felt like an outsider when in groups of people. When I was younger, I blamed it on others in the group. "They just don't get me..." and "These people aren't my speed." Then as I got older it became more "I am not trying hard enough to get along with others..." and "I'm doing something wrong..." or "It's all in my head." I became a performer, an "extrovert," and people said I was talkative, outgoing, and loved attention. I always left group settings feeling incredibly drained and exhausted.
During my Life Coach Training, one of the teachers asked me if it was possible that sometimes maybe I really just didn't belong. Was it possible that I was out of my element and needed to change it? As simple as it sounds, I hadn't considered that possibility but rather had worked myself into a variety of different limiting beliefs about the value of myself and others. Although I wasn't sure that changing my environment was always the right answer (there's rarely one answer that's always true), I did think it was absolutely possible that there were times I had put myself in the wrong groups of people. The training helped me learn how to remove those ideas that kept me stuck. From there, I cleared out those unhelpful thoughts and could be receptive to what I wanted to feel - more comfortable in myself no matter where I was or who I was with.
Yes, I could probably do this pretty well on my own... eventually. Martha Beck compares Life Coaching to hiring a personal trainer. Sure, most of us know how to work out at the gym but Personal Training isn't a multi-bazillion dollar industry because people love to throw away money hiring a hot trainer to tell them how to inflict pain on themselves. (Okay, this isn't true for everyone!). It's a huge industry because we know that if we hire that super-hot trainer, maybe we can get super-hot bodies and feel/look/hunt-for-super-hot-bodies, sooner. We have a plan! A goal! And we know when we pay that person, they're going to guide (kick our asses) us to our best selves but frustratingly, we still have to sweat it out and do our own work!
As I study people and spiritual traditions and work on self-coaching and coaching others, I learn more about how I interact with the energy of my environment and people in that environment. I've come to trust that I'm in particular groups for a reason and that although not always apparent, I've only to be patient until the purpose of my presence in that time and space becomes apparent to me. There's always that moment of "Ahh. Now, I know why I am here in this moment, in this place, and with this person."
What I've learned is that I'm able to be more present in my interactions with others and that gives me the opportunity to be ever so much more grateful for the people that honor me with their presence in my life.
If you're like me and reviewing 2013, asking yourself where you want to make some adjustments to make 2014 a most kick-ass year, consider trying something different when you set your resolutions and your budget for next year. Instead of just hiring a trainer for your body, get one for your heart and mind, too!