The Hero In Our Own Life Story
Life coach’s love a good ol’ action hero movie where the baddies get the boot and the good guy gets the girl. We thrive on the hero winning at the end of the day. Why do we feel so close to this affinity of a hero and his/her heroics? Why do we always want the good guy to win? A good hero movie allows us to connect very closely with a hero, their personal lives and their triumphant successes. This connections allows us to live in their mind, as if we are the same person. We want to win in our life so we want them to win in theirs. Deep down inside ourselves, we want to win at life. We want to be the hero in our own life story.
We want to succeed, thrive, conquer and win… AKA: The Ultimate Hero Story. This concept serves us very well when we are children, but then we grow up and our life story becomes more a dull drama, than an action packed success story.
Nothing Is Ever Good Enough & I Don’t Celebrate Successes
So why the dull drama? As a Life Coach, I have found that the people and institutions that have the greatest influence on our habitual thinking and perceptions of the world. As children, our greatest influencer’s are usually our parents/guardians.
Take a minute now and think about the shared beliefs, values and worldly perceptions that you share with your parents/guardians. We share these ways of thinking because, as children our growing brain wants to learn the best methods of survival so that we can grow up and live out our lives. These “methods” that we adopt aren’t always in our best interests. Example : Your dad is hard on you and your success is never quite good enough (looking back, you can see that your dad was always hard on himself and never felt good enough, so he projected his learnt behaviour’s on to you). Although you may not enjoy being treated in this fashion, your subconscious mind is storing these moments for future use. Later in life you find that when you “fail” at something, you beat yourself up and sit with regret for days on end. Worse still is when you do achieve success, you are too modest to celebrate and just move on to the next thing.
At the very least you can forgive yourself for the way you treat yourself, because its all you knew. You no longer need to hold onto such patterns and limiting beliefs. Its time to start releasing what was not yours in the first place.
Perfection Is An Illusion
There are few things in life that come out perfectly. Even nature produces its products with minor errors. Machines are another culprit of error during the creation process. There are too many factors on any given day to create the perfect setting and the perfect outcome. Think about this, Penicillin was discovered by mistake. If the scientist had done his experiment perfectly, then what would have happened to the discovery of Penicillin? Trying to seek absolute perfection is in itself a fatal flaw that can prevent people from starting projects, finishing them on time and enjoying the creative process. The human body, with its inter-connecting, interacting functions is not made to absolute perfection. Yet, just the simple act of keeping your body alive day after day is a miraculous act. What does a sports team do when they lose a game? They go back to the drawing board to discover where they went wrong, find out an effective method to correct their error and practice that method until their “mistake” has become a strength.
I hope you are seeing how the need for perfection may be more a need to satisfy your mind, than a need to be perfect. Regardless of whatever you decide to undertake, all you can guarantee is that you commit 100% of yourself, your energy and your focus to the task at hand. The rest as they say is history! When you are angry at yourself that you didn’t perform 100%, does that anger bring back the past so you can amend it? No, there is not much that can be done.
Maybe your boss sees a mistake in your work and lets you have it. Well, you did your best at the time. Learn from your mistake. Our mistakes are often absolute gems that, when someone is going to make the same mistake, you will be able to correct them before it even happens. Let your mistakes be the fertile soil that allows your wisdom to grow and develop.
School says that perfect grades will make you great. That may be true for school, but once you leave school and have to create an adult life for yourself, you quickly discover that perfection is not possible. You don’t all of a sudden know how to cook. You try it, make some mistakes, realise what you may need more of or less of some stuff and then try again. When you drive a car, you pop the clutch until you learn how to control the pedals.
Our genius lies not in never making a mistake, but in learning from our mistakes.
When Someone is Being Hard on Themselves
Below is a simple and effective life coaching exercise :
Lets say you get a job where you have to mentor some teenagers. You love inspiring them and watching how their inquisitive minds work. However, there is one kid who is very hard on herself and acts exactly how you used to act when you were hard on yourself. You heart goes out to this kid because you know from your own experience how unproductive and destructive such behaviour can be.
What will you say to this child? (Really visualise yourself having this discussion.)
You look again at that kid who was so hard on herself and you notice that is in fact You.
What will you say to yourself?
Accept What You Cannot Change & Move On
Ask yourself these questions:
“I cannot change what has happened. Why do I still feel the need to hold on to this memory and why do I allow it to hurt me so much?
“Will I be more, or less empowered by beating myself up from this issue?”
“When I play this issue over in my head, is it allowing me to move forward with my life or is it keeping me glued to my past?”
Take a look at your “event of failure” as if you are a scientist observing an event in an experiment. Look at the event as if looking through someone else’s eyes. Now, ask yourself :
“What mistakes did this person make?”
“How can they do it better next time?”
“What was out of their control?”
“What emotions served them in the moment?”,
“Which emotions did not serve them and tended to be destructive?”
When you get your answers, allow yourself to move on from this experience. What’s done is done. You have taken everything of value from the experience. These valuable moments will serve you next time something similar happens.
We hold on to issues because it serves us some sort of purpose. Does this issue serve you a valid purpose that helps you to grow and develop into a better person? If not, allow yourself to let it go. Let it go and move on. Life is too good and too damn short for you to beat yourself up!
What Can You Do About The Past?
1. You can learn from it.
2. You can let it go… Or
3. You can hold onto it with every ounce of your being. Carry that crap on your shoulder and let it weigh you down. Hmmm… Option 1, 2 or 3? What do most people do? They choose option 3! Why? Because they don’t want to detach themselves from the experience. Our emotions are what hold us onto our past. The emotional toll of an event, holds us prisoner to that event. Ask yourself this : “Who will I be if I don’t hold onto this way of thinking?”. “Am I able to become a person who is not a prisoner of their negative thoughts and behaviour’s?”.
How A Life Coach Can Assist
By subduing the conscious mind to a major extent it is possible to analyse the part that feels it is necessary to be hard on you using a technique called parts therapy. This can be a real eye-opening experience into the workings of the mind and gives great insight into why a person will choose self-destructive behaviour over a more empowering behaviour style. From this point on it is possible to create positive and more empowering behaviour characteristics that are in closer alignment with your higher needs and goals.
You can free yourself, if you want to. You can allow errors and mistakes to let you grow from your experiences.
You no longer need to be so hard on yourself. Live an inspired life as apposed to a life filled with self-pity and anger.
Thanks for reading
Donovan – Life Coach