What a busy, busy week I had last week. After class on Tuesday night I turned around and immediately had my meeting with my peer on Wednesday night. That made for a busy and challenging beginning of the week (which already added to an already busy week getting ready to go out of town). But I’m back now. I made it home safe and sound yesterday. As I continue to catch up on neglected chores and grading responsibilities, I am being called to recall and write about my coaching experience from last week.
Tuesday night in general is somewhat challenging for me, in terms of time management. Typically I work out and get home just in time to sit for class, however this week I decided to forgo my typical routine and allow for enough time to prepare for class and to maintain my somewhat put together appearance for our “guests” in class (I did not want them to see me as a “hot mess”). As I recall my justification for not going to the gym so I could look presentable, I am reminded that this is a shallow level 1 or 2 stage of authenticity. I am noting a correlation between my stage of authenticity and my self-image. Again, my confidence level is highest when I look to God for confirmation and reassurance instead of others. Suffice to say that my level of authenticity mirrored my sense of self on Tuesday.
We discussed the GROW model and SMART goals. the former is the way to structure the coaching session and the later is the specific goal that the individual wishes to achieve. We stepped through each of these with examples and demonstrations from two of our “guest” class members.
Part of the homework that we discussed was how we rated the different areas located on our “wheel of life”. It was very obvious what my lowest area of satisfaction is and I noticed how each of the areas affected the others (my unhappiness with myself or my appearance or social or spiritual life affects my marriage, and vice-versa). Or perhaps it could it be that my marriage satisfaction impacts these others areas?
Using one area in which I am the least satisfied, I came up with my SMART goal that I will work on with my peer partner for the week. Not surprising for those that know me, I decided that my goal would be to lose 5 pounds in 5 weeks. (Again even as I type this goal out I am hearing that voice in my head that is saying “what happens when I reach that number, will I be happy?”) What arbitrary number do I have to throw out there or reach for me to feel content or satisfied with myself?
While I don’t want to go down the weight loss-self esteem rabbit hole, I do feel that it is not the number on the scale that leads to contentment, but instead it is the list of small decisions I make day to day to avoid temptation to help me achieve my goal. So while I say 5 pounds in 5 weeks as a way to measure success, what really measures this success is the series of small victories I have within myself.
The sharing of our goals was just part of the peer meeting, the other half of the meeting I had the pleasure and privilege of hearing my peer partners life story. Their story touched my heart, and not because of how it related to me, but how it allowed them to express where they come from and who they are. Debriefing gave me reinforcement that my silent listening and nodding is encouraging and comforting. The build up of the pain that never gets expressed can be released without judgement during our meeting. Just the safe space made by active listening and story sharing I feel is invaluable to the coach and the client as well.
While I shared in my peer partner’s emotions, I also began to hear them to admit an insecurity that I also struggle with. The words used to express the fear and doubt are the same words I’ve spoke of before.
Unworthy. Not good enough.
I assured them that they are not alone in this fear, and I too have feelings of lack of purpose and reoccurring bouts of extreme loneliness. How can one be in a room full of people but yet feel so alone? Why do I feel so different?
One thing my peer partner said really stuck out to me, and made me realize more why my husband can’t identify and often can’t handle my past.
” My (spouse) did’t marry a broken person. They married a confident and self sufficient person. When they see me broken they don’t know how to react.”
These statements ring a bell and speak a truth that I have gone through and have known for quite sometime. How God has orchestrated this relationship and partnership to strengthen and grow us together. To put things into perspective and to help build up one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
We who are strong ought to bear with the failing of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. Romans 15:1-2
Never is this more true than with my interactions with my classmates, peer partner and trainer.