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The Power of a Shift

coaching ego productivity shift Jun 02, 2023
The Power of The Shift

Coaching is distinct from therapy. Coaching is future focused, therapy isn't always oriented this direction. Coaching also does not work within a diagnostic criteria. The coaching process creates powerful futures. This power is experienced in shifts.

Shifts are paradigm altering, life changing adjustments in perception and awareness. Often, when we are facing difficulties or challenges the cause is rooted in our mindset. Shifts uproot our mindsets and have the power to not only change our futures, but to alter the way we see our past as well. Experiencing a shift is akin to having a lifelong journey to find the "key". But then finding that you've had it with you in your back pocket all along.

It is one thing to explain the concept in metaphor, but sharing the experience of shifts is perhaps more illustrative. I've had several radical "shifts" as a result of coaching. I'll share my experience with a couple of those shifts here.

I Want To Be More Productive

When I first began working with my coach, I wanted to address productivity. I felt I couldn't get enough completed. Additionally, I would plan to do things, forget them, and begin other projects. This had been a pattern for most of my life.

What I expected during the call was to get a plan, strategy, and/or tips to improve the quantity of things I could accomplish. But my coach asked questions delving to the source. What we discovered was that I believed that my worth was based on what I could accomplish or produce. Because of this belief, I created a habit of busyness. I attempted to be busy all the time. I wore my overwhelm of a sign of how much I wanted to be "worthy". When you're this "busy", you're less productive. You get less done.

It began to make sense why I wasn't being productive. I wasn't busy for that purpose.

Also, my productivity strategy was to use willpower. This isn't sustainable. I began doing things that I truly enjoyed. I applied "flow", learning to do things for the joy of doing them as opposed to tallying up the "accomplishment column".

The shift was in two parts. First, I had a limiting belief that what I produced equaled my worth. This is common and may sound familiar. I am worthy simply because I exist. Second, staying busy is a symptom of this belief. Productivity should be a labor of love in and of itself. I believe the net result was an increase in productivity, but that was no longer the goal. The goal is the sense of fulfillment I get out of doing the things I love.

I Am An Egomaniac and I Need To Keep Myself in Check

Another shift I experienced from the coaching experience was examining my belief that I was an egomaniac.

I was the oldest of six. I was told that I was a showoff when I was young. I was the lead singer in a band. I have a significant position in corporate America and am a life coach. From these ideas, I believed this could be a dangerous blend of narcissistic qualities. I often felt I was being viewed this way on the outside. This made me feel bad about my predilection to be the center of attention. I questioned my decisions as a leader and told self-effacing jokes. I made myself invisible as a way to prove that I had control over this ugly drive to be in the limelight.

There were two or three life events that illustrate the course of this shift. First, one of my best friends was to be married. He had asked that I said a few words. I wrote a long speech about all we had been through. But then I became concerned that I was "making it about me." In the end, I gave a quick toast that seemed rushed and empty. I remember thinking... "at least the dragon's still caged."

Then, my grandparents passed away. At the funeral, I wanted to speak. I wanted to gather everyone around and tell a story to connect the hearts of all those my grandparents so loved. But I decided this was also my ego wanting to be the center of attention. I would be making it about me if I spoke. So I chose to remain quiet, invisible.

My brother made a speech and afterward, he mentioned that he couldn't believe that he was the only one to speak. He was incredulous and somewhat concerned that I didn't take the opportunity to speak. I originally was frustrated by this. I thought, "They're mad at me if I speak, and they're mad at me if I don't speak!" I thought.

Then, my best friend, Brian died. I did something completely different.

There were tragic circumstances around his death. Yet, I only wanted them to remember how powerful, loving, and amazing of a person he was. Without thought, I completely gave myself to this. I put myself in the middle of everything. I wanted everyone to remember how funny he was and how he would never stop touching you as he spoke! I gave his eulogy, made a slideshow of our adventures, I gave what comfort I could to his mourning parents, and I remained open and unattached.

After the events of his funeral, I had a bit of guilt putting myself out there as much as I did. I started looking for coaching on how to move forward. Through deep inquiry, I realized that when I put myself in the middle of everything, my ego actually dissipated. It became a "flow" experience. It wasn't about 'me', per se. 

What was important to me was connecting people in powerful ways. I wanted to do this as an older brother, a singer in a band, and as a speaker synthesizing thoughts, emotions, and experiences in a way everyone could connect to. This is simply what I am - a synthesizer, a connector. And denying myself this, only denied myself my humanity.

We experience shifts in this fashion often. It is a part of being human, growing, and learning. However, what is clear is that coaching expedites and deepens this growth in powerful way. Once you unlock that potential, it doesn't make sense to put the cork back in the bottle.


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