Anyone can get stuck in life.
This is my personal story of getting “unstuck” so that I could take my life from “good” to “great”.
I was a rebellious teenager. Very rebellious. To say my childhood was not idyllic is understated, but seriously, who’s really was? No long or dramatic stories here, but by the age of 20, I couldn’t stand myself or my life and ended up in a recovery group for alcoholism and drug addiction. Trust me when I say I didn’t get there a minute too soon. Getting sober saved my life: physically; mentally; emotionally; and spiritually.
To paint a picture:
I was 20, working in a bar (underage with fake identification) , my best “friend” was a 45 year old junkie with a criminal record as long as my arm. I weighed 205 pounds, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and couldn’t make a sentence without using “F — -“as the noun, verb, AND adjective. Lovely right? (not).
That was over 30 years ago.
I have been a personal-growth zealot ever since. The first several years were rough. I had much soul searching to do. The only thing I had to change was everything. Pain motived me to become feverous about turning a troubled life into a sane and purposeful one. I worked (several) 12-step programs. I went to therapy for years. I read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I helped others. I prayed. I meditated. I did yoga. I ate veggies…I did whatever I could grasp. Life got so much better. Unbelievably better in every way.
The new picture:
I lost over 40lbs, quit smoking, and upgraded my circle of friends, I could even get through a whole day without dropping an F-bomb (most days 😉). I am the first and only female in my family to get a 4 year college degree (and then go beyond), I’ve traveled much of the world, married the man of my dreams, (better still, the man of my dreams married me) and in my early 40’s, had practically checked off every box on my bucket list!! (I do have a new one though 😊) All gifts of grace.
That list is mostly “outside” stuff that came as a result of the “inside” work I had done. I had worked hard to gain self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect; I had healed old wounds from the past; I had successfully turned around what could have been a total disaster of a life.
Life was good. But something was missing….
Part of the problem was that life was good. I didn’t want “good”. I wanted “great”. I had come too far to settle and rest at good, but I had no idea how to move forward and I had no I idea why I couldn’t figure it out.
I went back to therapy because that was in my comfort zone. I had been doing it off and on for years. I have nothing but respect for the mental health profession but creature of habit that I am, I went even when it just wasn’t working anymore because it was what I knew, and it was safe.
Why wasn’t it working? Because I wasn’t trying to heal anymore; I was done being pissed at my parents and not a stone from childhood left unturned; I was in touch with my feelings. I just wasn’t getting much out of it anymore. I had done so much therapy that there were times I felt like I was coaching the therapist and they should give me the co-pay. Seriously.
Therapy was good when I felt like I was drowning and couldn’t even get my head above water. However, I felt like I’ve been floating for years and I wanted to learn how to swim. Intuitively I knew how, I just needed someone to (gently) push me off the float.
I had a lot of practice going bad to good, but I simply sucked at going from good to great. Damn it! I had to try something different because I didn’t want to just “exist”, and I was determined to breakthrough this invisible barrier and thrive.
Fortunately, I found a way out.
Life Coaching picks up where therapy leaves off…
I had considered working with a life-coach years prior but to be completely honest, I could not justify spending money on something that in my mind, may not work. Therapy wasn’t exactly working anymore, but insurance paid for it. Now, let’s be clear, I would easily drop a few hundred bucks on a shopping spree for things that I didn’t really need but would bring me about 48 seconds of glee. I did have a problem investing in myself. Ironically, that thought process itself was part of the problem.
So, I was skeptical and even cynical, but I convinced myself was if it didn’t help, the worst case was I got a few less massages or ridiculous shopping sprees. That is what it took for me to take the first steps and what has become one of the most positive and life-changing experiences I have ever had. I consulted with two coaches and I found one I intuitively knew was the right one for me.
I learned at the core of my “stuck-ness” was old faulty and limiting beliefs. Ones that I had no clue I even had. So deeply embedded in my thinking they weren’t even conscious. Until, with my coach, I slowed down. Way down. None of these ran in my “conscious” but like peeling layers off an onion, when we explored what was behind the conscious thinking, there were some pretty damning beliefs about myself and the world running behind the scenes.
I’ll share a few of them with you here:
Old Beliefs about my self-worth:
I’m a good wife/daughter/sister/friend when I DO things for people.
I need to excel at something simply to measure up. If I was the same, I was less than, if I was better, I was ok. I never believed (really believed) like I was good enough at anything.
Confident people are so cocky and arrogant. Having true self-confidence will mean I am conceited.
Old Beliefs about money:
People who are rich are selfish and greedy. Translation: If I have a lot of money, it will mean I’m selfish and greedy.
Spiritually and money cannot exist together.
Spending money on my well-being was a waste because there was no instant or tangible return. (cliché as it is, the old “I’m not worth it” belief)
Old Beliefs about taking risks to fulfill my dreams:
What I dreamed of was not rational but lofty and whimsical, therefore childish.
I don’t have a Ph.D. so no one will take me seriously.
It’s better to have the security of a job that I’m barely content with than be vulnerable to try what I truly am passionate about. * * (even in a situation where I do have a safety-net to catch me if I fall).
These are just a few, the list was much, much longer and deeper than this.
Coaching offered a practical, solutions-oriented approach to overcoming them. Were there moments that related back to my past? Yes. Where there new self-awareness’s that brought on painful moments? Yup.
The difference was that I quickly learned how to weed-out these thoughts without dwelling in them or their roots all over again. There was just old programming that needed to shift but it did not involve reliving it. Simply observing experiences with adult eyes and deciding the message was either never true, or true once but no longer serves.
In 12 weeks, the change was profound. Like, 5 years of therapy profound. It was almost like being lost in the forest, wandering in circles for hours but not realizing, a quarter mile in the right direction will take you straight to a road.
Worth every cent. Exponentially worth every cent.
Finally, really happy and really unstuck. Finally living my dreams. Life just keeps getting better every day. It’s not all rainbows and roses but I have found a true sense of wholeness and happiness. I know what I am truly passionate about and have a deep sense of purpose.
Instead of reacting to the world doing what I believe it expects of me, I consciously and deliberately create the life I want; doing what is true to me and as a result I feel energized. I feel enthused. I feel grateful and I truly look forward to whatever adventure or challenge life has for me.
I continue to use those same strategies in my daily life and to help others to find what works for them.
Sadly, I think many people live their whole lives, cradle to grave, never knowing their true calling and purpose. Afraid or simply “content”. Content is good but when you know great exists and you can create it, why settle?
If any of this resonates with you and you think you’d like to work with a life-coach to reach any of your goals, it’s simple to find one here at Life Coach Library. By registering and filling out a short questionnaire you will be matched with up to 3 coaches and then can see for yourself how amazing working with a coach is. Give it a try, it’s risk-free.
Author | WENDY COPE, Personal Growth Coach www.healthytothecore.net
My story is told above. The profound transformation I experienced triggered a deep passion and desire to help others. Anyone can get “stuck” at some time in their lives. I work with people of all walks of life although my area of expertise is the recovery community. Helping people get “un-stuck” brings me deep satisfaction. I felt inspired to create a platform that serves both coaches and clients and that’s how Life Coach Library evolved. Educating people and getting the message to them that they CAN reach their goals while providing a practical means for great coaches to grow their business is what Life Coach Library is all about.
Education: I completed my coaching certification at Coach Training Alliance. I hold a bachelor’s degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher’s license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning.