Saturday, September 24, 2011

What was I thinking??

Ok. I'm a coach. You would think I know better. It's even worse. I'm also a licensed therapist. I must admit I hate when family, friends, well-meaning people say when I'll shared with them a personal challenge, "But you're a therapist, a coach. Shouldn't you know better?" Ha! I think one the reasons my clients get so much value from our work together (so they say) is because I am human - and being human over the years I have made tons of mistakes and have had tons of challenges and disappointments (I've also had amazing positively experiences and made great choices!). What distinguishes me - I guess - is I've made it my business, my life's work actually, to grow, learn and evolve into the best Marian, the best human possible. As an old colleague of mine would routinely say when asked how he was doing: "I'm great... and leaving room for improvement." Well, I could think of no better choice of words to describe me.   

Still... I have to ask myself... "What was I thinking???" As recently as yesterday I signed up for a web-based program that if followed, would have thrown me so off my business plan. It wasn't a lot of money. In fact it was cheap - and it seem like I could make $$$ doing this. 24 hours later (actually less) I realized what it would end up costing me is tons of frustration, time, aggravation and opportunity costs in my coaching business - a business that makes my heart sing. So I cancelled the agreement (it included 60 day cancellation clause).              

Deep breath.

And then there are the other less then "brilliant" choices I've made over the past year now I have to ask myself: "What was I thinking?"  In 20/20 hindsight it's easy to see the errors of our decisions that were clouded by emotions, "opportunities"..... a host of other things. And because I am resolved to make a difference in my life in this area - and in the lives of others, I am thinking. Thinking.... and thinking.... thinking....tick tock.... still thinking....

So this is what occurs to me.... when I've made what in retrospect looks like a convoluted choice what they seem to have in common is one thing: I did not honor my core values. I responded to excitement or in some case resignation - but not to a truth of who I really am. Does that mean to avoid excitement and opportunities that stretch ourselves? Absolutely not. It just means - at least to me - is evaluate the situation by asking this question: Is this choice supporting who I really am and helping me grow in (here's the kicker) ways that align with who I really am (the best parts of me) or is it a distraction, an avoidance, a risk that deviates from the goals I had established are meaningful to me. Now, if you have  this overwhelming desire to jump out of a plane (with a respected company of course) and still if there is no supporting evidence that this concurs with your life direction - I say jump!  Sometimes we must take that leap of faith.

Still, for me... I've taken enough jumps and I haven't even left the ground. So the next time, rather then look back and ask myself: what was I thinking? I will (I hope) in that given moment before taking that leap, ask myself: what AM I thinking?