Recently I received an e-mail from José. Some time ago I was able to help her untangle the mental knot in which she was entangled. The positive change process she went through during (and especially between) the coaching sessions, was spectacular. Afterwards I asked her if she was okay with me sharing her journey here. Her change is a good example of someone embracing a “Trying is Being” mindset. She wrote me that email with her story as she had experienced it.
This is her story.
José and I get in touch during the pandemic. She is a mother, married and entrepreneur with employees and a physical business that has to close due to a lockdown.
Initially, we are talking about the sense and nonsense of social media to promote her business. However, as soon as I started to dig deeper, I found that there was a lot more that was troubling her. Her life challenges were causing a lot of stress and she did not know how to deal with that.
…I soon found out that I actually needed to deal with the gremlins in my head. I had to sort myself out first.— José (coachee)
Accepting that this situation could continue any longer, was the first step towards her improvement. She recognized that something had to be done, although it was unclear to her what was wrong exactly.
I was very confused with myself and didn’t know how to tackle or solve certain things within myself
Digging deeper (Stop Trying)
It was impossible for her to clearly see what the problem was, exactly. Let alone that a solution would present itself. That is where a good coach can be of great value. Through talking, listening, asking and reflecting we started to unravel the complicated issues in her head.
During the sessions we spoke in a safe and trustworthy atmosphere to clarify these difficult and sometimes emotional problems. Not only did we talk a lot, we also worked with various exerices.
She was able to indicate what gave her meaning and happiness, but now why. A card game revealed her inner values so she better understood what made her tick. And roleplaying various situations gave her insights in the triggers that would make her “lock up” mentally and what her behavior looked like when that happened.
Between the sessions, we looked for ways to build a regular journalling habit into her daily routine to learn how to reflect on her own behavior, without judgement.
After all this, we found her main challenges:
- She was unable to have difficult, sensitive conversations with other people. Particularly in situations where her decisions would have an impact on the people around her.
- she would suppress her own opinions and emotions in order not to confront others with bad news.
- As a result of that behaviour, she would continually overstep her own boundaries which eventually led to mental and physical issues.
as long as I was busy for someone else I didn’t have to be busy with myself and I didn’t have to talk about it with someone else!
To get here, José had already overcome quite a few hurdles. The conversations were deep, my questions were challenging. Reflecting on her own behaviour was confrontational. We learned what situations gave her a feeling of failing. But at no point did she stop trying. Together we peeled off the struggles, (limiting) beliefs and challenges layer by layer to get to the crystal clear core of her self-worth and confidence.
The recovery process (Start Being)
Through the conversations I got to know myself better and I learned from Arno about how I could start to recognise triggers, situations and behaviour. With that I was able to ‘try’ to solve them myself. I learned to allow emotions to be present and also learned to respect my personal boundaries.
Her recovery was not easy. As she wrote; she could now “try” to fix things herself. Sometimes that worked better than others, but step by step she found the attitude and behavior to deal with these situations in ways that suited her character. That showed she started to embrace “trying is being” as a mindset.
It was wonderful to see that she independently found ways to deal with the opportunities and challenges that life presented her. Both professionally and privately she has had to deal with a lot and her own drive to achieve also got her navigating challenging life changes. In every situation, her confidence rose as did her resilience. She found her own ways to determine when to pivot and when to persevere.
Meanwhile, she continued to write for much-needed self-reflection. We practiced conversations or situations that she dreaded. She also learned not to take the perspective or opinion of others as personal criticism. This allowed her to work better with others and be less against other people by default.
Moreover, we also found ways to significantly improve her sleep, which greatly benefited her energy during the day.
Arno is calm and really takes the time to listen to you and then helps you. For example, by helping to prepare a difficult conversation I now feel strong and confident going into a conversation.
Trying Is Being
In my opinion, José has embraced a true “Trying is Being” mindset. She knows what drives her and became aware of her strengths and challenges. We still speak regularly and the challenges she now takes on were impossible for her a year ago. I will not go into details, but I would say she has an “above average” amount of change and challenges to deal with.
I feel I have gotten to know myself a lot better. My confidence has also improved greatly. I now dare to enter into situations that I used to walk away from!
She really has embraced “Trying is being” to improve her life in very real ways. Just like Yoda said.