630-484-2336 ben@bedo.org

OK, how many of you at some point felt like giving up this whole coaching thing?

What?  Really?  So, it’s only me that’s felt that way? Come on.  You had to have felt it at some point.

Perhaps while you were taking one of your coach training classes, or when you were swamped and overwhelmed in Certification, or perhaps when you lost a client (or maybe five in one week) or got yet another “no”, or maybe everything was fine until now and something just got triggered while you were reading this.  And maybe you’re still so excited about coaching that you haven’t yet fallen into the pit of despair. and with all those classes and experiences you’re learning how to wield your coaching tools with more confidence and competence.  You’re growing as a coach every day.

So even if you’ve already been there in the pit of despair and frustration, or not, I’m here to tell you that eventually at some point, you’ll question your commitment and ability and direction with coaching.  You’ll doubt what you are doing.  You’ll want to give up and do something easier and less fulfilling.

This is natural, and every single coach (even yours truly) has been filled with that very doubt-sometimes more than once.  You see, it’s part of the growing process.  You’re stepping out of the comfort zone, your stretching and growing, and starting to take some risks.  And sometimes when you stretch a little too far, grow a little too fast, you end up being a little tender and vulnerable.

Sure it would seem the most likely alternative would be to stop growing, stop stretching.  After all, if it’s going to make you tender and sensitive, easy pickings, then why do it?

Well, for starters, ever try to “not grow”.  It’s kind of impossible.  Growing is a part of life.  We have to grow.  Externally as well as internally.  Physically as well as Spiritually as well as Mentally as well as Emotionally as well as a hundred other ways.

So we can’t avoid it.

Besides, if we really and truly kept in the same place with our lives, we’d go crazy.  We’d get itchy and uncomfortable and desperate to break out and try something new.  So stretch and grow.

Like a snake that needs to shed its skin when it has become too small.  The outer layer becomes really uncomfortable and confining and ugly looking, and finally the snake can’t take it any longer and withdraws someplace safe to remove this frustration.  Even after the hard outer layer is finally left behind, the new skin that is now exposed is tender and vulnerable, easy to be injured by the outside world if it’s not careful.

You may wonder why the snake does this if it places it in danger.  Wouldn’t it be much easier and safer to simply keep the old and uncomfortable shell?  At least it would help protect it from danger and help it live longer.

Good question.  In fact, it sounds very much like the one that was just asked two paragraphs ago.

It’s certainly a question that our Saboteur keeps asking, and in fact, would have us believe that it’s better to stay small.  But the snake knows something that your Saboteur keeps conveniently forgetting.  We (the snake as well as us) will naturally continue to grow.  You can’t stop it.  It’s part of living.  And the more the snake resists that inevitable growth and change, the more uncomfortable it will be confined in that tight, dry and crusty shell.

Kind of like trying to fit in the clothes you wore in high school-not only are they way too small, but terribly out of date.  However, by going with the growth and change, and even helping it along by clearing off the old, and no longer helpful outer shell, the snake has the freedom and ability to grow even larger and more powerful than it was before.  And that makes for one happy snake.

Not to make any assumptions that you are a snake… but you get the metaphor.

So, knowing that you might be a little tender in the process, but that it will help you grow bigger and stronger, what’s the old skin that you want to shed today?