Wed, 6 January 2016
I have a client, we’ll call her Stacy, who got a really difficult assignment from me recently. I asked her to sit with joy.
You may be wondering why that’s so difficult. I mean, isn’t that what we all want? Isn’t that why people hire life coaches in the first place? To find and feel joy?
Let me explain. The women that come to me for help are serious go-getters. They are extremely good at doing things for everyone else, but putting themselves last. They do one project and are on to the next. They set enormously high expectations of themselves which they can rarely reach (and if they do reach them, it’s at a huge cost and mostly because it matters what others think of them) if they ever reach the expectations at all. They struggle with perfectionism, people pleasing, isolating, and the need for certainty and control.
And why do they act that way?
They act that way because the other way of being— standing up for themselves, being imperfect, saying no, letting go of outcomes— all require being vulnerable. And being vulnerable has an unstable outcome, and possibly a painful one (like failure), so they just don’t. They do what they know to stay safe. In their minds they protect themselves. Vulnerability is just not a way of being for them.
So, what does this have to do with joy?