We are a society who is WAY too hard on ourselves. Nothing we do is good enough. Then when it’s time to grow or change something, we’re not fast enough. We’re not patient with the process. We crush under these insane expectations of where we “should” be verses meeting ourselves where we are at.
On the flip side, we’re a society who at times refuses to take ownership of our wrongs. As if saying “I’m sorry,” or “I was wrong,” is a complete and utter acknowledgement of our incompetence. As if not knowing and just listening would destroy our very existence. Or maybe for you it’s just “I don’t have to and I don’t want to.” OK, nice. It’s your choice. Then please, accept the relationship, the dynamic, the situation, or the culture you’ve created by choosing that attitude.
So there you have it. We are too hard on ourselves in our growth when it would be life changing to be supportive of ourselves and show tough love to ourselves. And then we are too arrogant with our righteousness, our rigidity. We crave love and acceptance, but are we willing to take the feedback our loved ones are giving us so that we can create that? No, we cling to our need to be right. Even if being right doesn’t get us what we truly want. We’re scared to let that go, aren’t we? Because ultimately, who will we be if we are not our convictions and the big soap box we’ve constructed so carefully?
This is our ego people. This is our lizard brain that makes us think we will destruct if we are movable on a position. It’s not true. In fact, it’s the very sticky place we need to be. In the sweet spot between discomfort of looking at ourselves through the eyes of another. I know it hurts. I know it’s uncomfortable. I know it shakes the very foundation of who we think we are.
But I also know this is our edge. It’s the place where we’re stuck. We’ve built and cemented our walls. If you’re happy, satisfied and fulfilled with where you’ve cemented those walls then GREAT. Amen. If you are not, then it’s time to eat some humble pie. I’ve been working out this muscle and eaten more pie than I ever imagined possible. Feedback is all around us. Look at the faces in front of you. Look into their eyes. Listen to what they have to say. That’s a living and breathing soul in front of you. If you’ve heard it before, then perhaps you need to take a look there.
Resistance is ok. It’s part of the psychological process of change (and transformation). It’s usually the first visitor to arrive when we want to make a change. Resistance is really just fear (www.accomplishmentcoaching.com). Fear is a great teacher. We’re never going to remove it from our brains. But we don’t have to let it run our lives. We can give it a seat at the table and listen to what it has to say. We can feel the fear and do it anyway. THAT is true power.
Now I have one distinction I fell compelled to make. Being shamed or shaming someone is making yourself or someone else wrong. Giving or getting feedback that is designed to create connection, open communication, a better relationship, or even setting a boundary (an act of self-love) is a beautiful thing. Some people avoid this beautiful act of intimacy for fear that they’re shaming someone (you’re not as defined above) or a crappy story that it won’t make a difference (more wall building).
We all want the pretty flower, no doubt. And the idea of the heroic facing our battles and having courage is so theoretically inspirational (flash image to Wonder Woman and Gladiator). However, in my experience of growth and in working with clients, when it’s time to put the petal to the metal, we’re like oh HELL no. We’ve forgotten that valiant imagery of being our own hero. Me too. But people, no mud, no lotus.
In my fantasy, getting into the mud looks a bit like Wonder Woman crossed with Joan of Arc and the chic from the Hunger Games with a sprinkle of Tomb Raider. On a daily basis, what it looks like is saying sorry when I’ve snapped at my boyfriend, checking my ego when I feel it taking over, feeling my disappointment, stepping one step further beyond where I stopped the last time, and the courage to honor and remember my dreams. It looks like telling my boyfriend how I really feel. Telling a friend she hurt my feelings. Speaking up for what I want. Feeling my resistance to put myself out there but doing it anyway. Working on my budget because I’m committed to financial freedom. Doing my daily gratitudes. Being curious.
What about you? What does getting into the mud look like?
For women: Sacred Self Love group coaching
For anyone choosing to get into the mud: One on one coaching