Colorado Life Coach: Growing Up Is Hard!

New growth, in the midst of fallen trees. Kind of like life, huh?

I have lots of grace, compassion and empathy for my family, my friends, and my clients. I understand that they are a work in process. They try new things and fail sometimes.

But I’m a coach! I feel that I should know better! I should have already learned this!

Why am I harder on myself than on others?

Growing up, I received the message (whether it was intended, or not) that I needed to strive for perfection. Then, when I wasn’t perfect, I felt like I was in trouble.

Does anyone relate?

Now that I’m all grown up (at least on the outside), I struggle with situations I don’t handle well, or don’t know how to handle.

The new growth seems overshadowed by the mistakes.

Once in awhile I come across a book that really rocks my world. Keep Your Love On: Connection, Communication & Boundaries, by Danny Silk is the latest!

As I read, I am convinced more fully than before that I have lived as a powerless person most of my life. Life just sort of happened to me. I made friends because someone sat near me in school, or lived across the street. I didn’t seek to be friends with people I admired or respected. I didn’t take responsibility for my life, so I blamed others and situations for my circumstance. Because of my victim mentality, I also couldn’t change my life.

If I’m a victim, than I’m not responsible for what happens to me.

The problem with this kind of thinking, is this: If I’m a victim, I don’t have the power to change my life.

Several years ago, my life was a total mess. I saw a psychiatrist for depression, anxiety and sleep issues. Chaos ruled! During a session, my doctor told me, “Your boundaries suck! Why don’t you teach a class on boundaries, so you learn them.” I did. 4 times! It’s hard to change things you’ve done your whole life.

It’s still hard. Boundaries are constantly changing. You meet new people, try new things, experience new situations, and each one requires boundaries. I struggle daily with this issue. I question myself: Is this a healthy way to handle this situation? Are these good boundaries?

Sometimes I do pretty well. Other times, I totally blow it, and get down on myself.

These are times I only see the fallen branches laying all around. I forget to look at the beautiful new growth.

I want to have more compassion with myself as I continue to get healthier. Today, I’m going to treat myself like I’d treat a client. Listen in, if you’d like:

“You didn’t learn this stuff growing up. It’s hard to change these patterns. You’re trying something new and you’re not going to get it right every time. Keep going. You’re doing great. You know what you need to do. Slow down your thinking, so you can make a good decision, then make it. I’m proud of you. Lots of old people, like you, just quit trying to grow. You’re still working on it. Way to go!”

That’ll be $70, please.

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.

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