I recently wrote about how I gave up personal development for a month and how much it helped me, so the fact that I spent an hour on a Zoom call with a life coach today was unexpected.
I was talking to a childhood friend last week about how I’ve been in a cycle of on-again, off-again attempts at building a blog and he pointed out that I had said the same thing the last time I talked to him. And um, he wasn’t wrong.
He offered to set me up with a free session with a high performance, success strategy coach, Anel Bester, who he said changed his life after just one call. I figured that it really couldn’t hurt since clearly I’ve been pretty fucking stuck, so I made the appointment and went through with it.
I’m not the kind of person who asks for help, and I’m especially not the kind of person who asks for help and then tells the world about it. In fact, writing this right now and knowing that I need to share it makes me want to throw up and then wrap myself up in some sort of cocoon and then come back out for a minute to throw up again. I’m guilty of only wanting to be vulnerable on my own terms, which obviously isn’t very vulnerable of me. But I’m sharing this because I’m tired of hiding and I’m tired of withholding the messages that at least one person out there needs to hear just because I’m afraid to bother the people who don’t need to hear it. And that, coincidentally, is what my session was focused on.
I know I’m not alone in believing the lie that we need to be “experts” before we can help anyone else. But more and more, I’m finding that even when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, I still know just enough to help someone else who knows a little less than I do. How many of us stifle ourselves and rob the world of our authenticity because we believe we’re not “enough” yet? Anel pointed out that I’ve been telling myself the story that I’m unqualified over and over again, and it’s become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And while I’ve been aware of this, hearing someone else say it to me was a million times more effective than the internalized version of it that I tell myself that I tend to shrug off.
In all honesty, I’ve mostly avoided talking to anyone about how stuck I’ve been because I like to be right. We all do. It fucking sucks to have someone tell you that you’re full of shit and that you’re what’s stopping you from moving forward. Nobody wants to hear that. We want to be validated, we want someone to agree that our shortcomings are impossible to face and then applaud us for how well we describe those shortcomings. But how does that help us? How does that push us forward?
Was it comfortable to open up about how I wish I were doing things that I’ve been keeping myself from doing? Was it easy to admit that I still desperately want acceptance sometimes? No and fuck no. But do I feel better now that I’ve said these things out loud to someone who was then able to tell me that I’m doing myself and everyone around me a disservice by holding back?
Here’s the thing: Anel didn’t tell me anything new. And if you do put yourself out there and go for a coaching session, you probably won’t come out with any brand new information. But, you WILL come out with a new way of seeing the information you already have if you’re talking to a gifted coach. I didn’t want the session because I had no idea what was wrong, I wanted it because I know exactly how I sabotage myself and I’m tired of it. I was ready to receive the perspective that Anel offered me and I went into the session willing to be coached, which is where you need to be if you don’t want to waste your time.
It’s okay to ask for help. My seeking an outside perspective doesn’t make me weak or stupid or just as unqualified as I feared. It means that I actually care about moving forward. And yes, there are absolutely some scammy “life coaches” out there who really have no business telling anyone anything, but that’s true of almost any profession. I’ve paid for licensed therapists who had no business telling me anything, so do with that information what you will. You really don’t know until you try. So I tried. And I’m glad I did.
Are you tired of your own bullshit yet? When was the last time you asked for help? Have you ever used a coach before? Leave a comment below!