I recently had an email from a former coaching client. Alice (name changed) wrote:
I took to heart much of what you said at our meeting many months ago. As a result of talking with you and taking various classes, there has been and continues to be an internal shift taking place within me that has significantly increased my perception in the value of my skill set and has resulted in my being much braver to venture out on my own in the workplace. I still work WITH Ray (Ray is her husband and she used to work “for” him in his consulting work), however, I am in the process of creating my own subdivision within the company.
Just in case you’re wondering, self-growth sucks – no better way to describe the process.
PS: Your advice on how to dress professionally was important to hear and shows that you are brave too!
I was delighted when I read this note – delighted that Alice is seeing the value she brings to the work her husband does and delighted she’s sensing that she can “do it.”
I especially like her description of “self-growth.” Yes, it sucks! It is hard work because for most of us, by the time we set about consciously creating new mindsets and new behaviors, we’re so set in our old ways, no matter how dysfunctional, we resist change.
Alice, though, was hell-bent on changing, on finding her voice, on finding a new way of being. The basic truth is – without being “hell-bent” nothing new will appear.
And in terms of her P.S., well, I was surprised. Alice has a wonderful, down-to-earth way about her. She has a hard time understanding why people would waste her time or their time engaging in b.s. To use an overused word, Alice is genuine. This is also reflected in her clothes. She’s in her late 50’s and dresses with an LL Bean casualness. I urged her to think about what impression she wanted to create when meeting clients.
I didn’t think I was being especially “brave” in my comments. We had established a relationship of trust and so I felt comfortable and confident in giving impression-management feedback.
Trust lets you do many more things you wouldn’t think of doing!
Bottom line: Yeah, self-growth sucks BUT the alternative is even suckier!