Breakout of Your Box
You’ve heard I’m a mind-body, relationship and business coach. I refuse to choose a niche.
I’ve noticed that, whether I’m coaching a woman on her problems with body weight or chronic pain; problems in her relationship; problems in a career transition – almost every woman makes herself wrong. It’s an epidemic!
She can be beautiful or plain, thin or heavy, have a solid or troubled relationship, have a successful or struggling business – it doesn’t matter. She’s in there criticizing, blaming and disapproving of herself. UGH! The men I coach don’t seem to have this same issue.
It’s so painful to hear. Most of my clients don’t even notice how much they disapprove of themselves until I point it out to them. Then they begin to hear the constant tape running in the background.
How do I know? Well, I discovered my own tape.
A while back, I was feeling bad about myself and didn’t know why. Through some inner reflection, I realized I kept trying to fit other people’s definition of what a “good daughter” was, and I was failing at it. As a result, some part of me was criticizing me, saying I was wrong.
I became more curious.
I realized I was scanning, listening and gathering people’s expectations and using them to create a box, which defined how I should behave. Then it gave me constant commentary to make sure I fit in that box.
As I listened, I woke up to the stream of disapproving comments constantly coming from the box:
You should…get to work, stop wasting time, clean the house.
You shouldn’t feel so tired, emotional, afraid, negative.
Don’t be too happy – someone will feel jealous and reject you.
Don’t eat so much– you’re going to get fat.
You should call your sister, your parents.
If you don’t get back to that client they’ll be mad at you.
Don’t be the center of attention.
OH. MY. GOODNESS! It was painful.
The sides of the box were built with other people’s ideas of what’s a good daughter, sister, partner, successful business owner, pretty woman, appropriate friend, neighbor, blah, blah, blah…the list is endless!
As more and more people’s expectations were added, the box got tighter and tighter. I was always unconsciously trying to fit inside this box.
The good news is that once I heard and saw the box for what it was—a fabricated entity based completely on other people’s ideas rather than my own, I could start to separate from it.
Just because my family defines a “good daughter” as visiting frequently and for longer periods of time, didn’t make it right for me. For me, a “good daughter” means being present, honest, and caring in my communications. And my twice-a-year visit for a few days was what allowed me to stay that way.
Do you relate?
Don’t keep living in misery. There’s something you can do about it.
Step one: Check in with yourself periodically throughout the day and notice if you can hear the commentary that’s running. Then ask yourself, “Is it true?” Do you “have to get there on time or else?” Maybe it is, or maybe you’ll be just fine coming in 10 minutes late, safe and sane.
Step two: As you check in periodically throughout the day no matter what you’re feeling, doing or wanting – stop making it wrong. Instead, decide to tell yourself whatever it is you feel, are doing, or are wanting – it’s there for some good reason. Honor what you feel. Make it right not wrong. Take action from that place rather than trying to change yourself.
Believe me, you are not nearly as bad as you think you are. Author Marianne Williamson once said “You are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Playing a smaller version of yourself does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
P.S. If you want some help breaking out of your box, why not join us for Get Unstuck,
CrisMarie Campbell and Susan Clarke are Master certified life coaches, business consultants, speakers and authors of The Beauty of Conflict. They believe real relationships are the key to creating great business results. They’ll take your team from mediocre to great.
Interested in coaching? Check out CrisMarie’s executive coaching and personal coaching, or Susan’s personal coaching and equus coaching.
Want to take a class? Sign up for one of their virtual classes: Get Unstuck, Relationship Mojo or come to their signature retreat Find Your Mojo in Montana. Click here to check out all their service offerings.
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