Yesterday I wrote about the importance of defining what success means to each of us. It reminded me of this piece, published in my Coaching Moments column a few years ago, when I was almost ready to sit the practical part of my coaching exam. Now that I’ve embarked on a new journey as a blogger and online writer, its message is still relevant today.
We enjoy some precious coaching moments at our kitchen table which I’d really miss if my kids were more tactful!
I cooked one of our favourite meals the other day, a homely pasta dish made with a rich sauce of olive oil, mountain herbs, oven roasted peppers, baby tomatoes, garlic and onions. As we were sitting laughing and chatting at the table, out of the blue, my nine year old son said: “Mum, are you still using that stuff from the telly on your face? I think it’s working. Your spots have gone and you’re looking younger.”
I was still smiling at this when I went shopping yesterday and slipped the eye cream from the same skincare range into my trolley. One of my goals for last year was to boost my confidence with a clear, glowing skin but I hadn’t shared it with anyone, not even my family.
My weight and complexion are triggers in the minefield of my self esteem. I have a medical condition which went undiagnosed for years, resulting in confidence crushing symptoms like chronic fatigue, fluctuating weight gain and skin problems. Since I began treatment, waves of returning good health have made me feel unstoppable! A grubby, football playing nine year old boy telling you your skin’s looking younger is an unexpected but welcome way to measure the results of a goal you’re achieving slowly but surely!
And it’s a goal with great knock on effects. Over the past few months, I’ve cleared out my bathroom cabinets, bagged up and binned the Big Me clothes from my wardrobe and started tackling scary bits in every room, even the dark side of the garage. My creativity and coaching confidence have blossomed and my communication is cleaner. To be honest, after months spent buffing myself up, gutting the house and paring back our life to the basics of simple abundance, I don’t know which came first, the clutter clearing or the coaching confidence.
With the help of my mentor coach, I’ve been peeling away my coaching sins, upgrading my defaults and letting my natural skills shine through. A couple of weeks ago, I did a call I was thrilled with, full of silences that resonated and questions that tapped into a deep, clear pool as I just relaxed and enjoyed being present with the person I was coaching. Moments like that I can score.
But today, as I applied the eye cream that’s so expensive it had better miraculously attract George Clooney into my life, I remembered how important it is to make sure my non-coaching goals are measurable. If we lose track of how we define and measure success in every aspect of our life, in the details of our day, then we run the risk of never feeling truly happy or satisfied. What will have to happen in your day for you go to bed tonight feeling like a happy, successful human being?
Richard Carlson, author of the hugely popular ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ and countless other books including his latest, ‘Don’t Get Scrooged’, died suddenly last month at the age of forty five. As a tribute, I’d like to leave you with a quote from ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’; it comforts me to know that even though we lost him early, he left behind a family, friends and fans who loved and appreciated him. He touched lives and made a difference.
“I find that if I remind myself (frequently) that the purpose of life isn’t to get it all done but to enjoy each step along the way and live a life filled with love, it’s far easier for me to control my obsession with completing my list of things to do. Remember, when you die, there will still be unfinished business to take care of. And you know what? Someone else will do it for you!” ~ Richard Carlson Ph.D