A couple of weeks ago, driving south on the 101 freeway, just before I got to the 110, I passed a building I never noticed before. Spray-painted on the side: “You deserve the right kind of love.”
I smiled in ready agreement but then wondered, “what is the right kind of love? Is the right kind different for me than for others?”
Later that day, I met with Rita and Peter (all names changed) who are getting married this summer at a 5-star resort. Rita’s parents are divorced and her father is footing the entire bill. Only catch – if she invites her mother, he won’t pay for the wedding.
Rita wants a wedding that will blow up Instagram but since her father is paying for it all, she didn’t know what to do.
She claimed her father had put her in a hopeless situation. So, she’s caved and isn’t inviting her mother who lives in Florida.
Actually, though, Rita’s dad hasn’t put her in a hopeless position. Rita has a choice and so as to lessen her guilt, she’s chosen to believe she’s caught in a hopeless predicament.
A couple of days later, while waiting for a haircut, I glanced through an Esquire Magazine interview with the actor Tom Hardy (“Dark Knight Rises” and scores of films). The guy stunned me with this quote:
I have always been frightened with men, to the point where I couldn’t go into a gym because of the testosterone, and I felt weak. I don’t feel very manly. I don’t feel rugged and strong and capable in real life, not how I imagine a man ought to be. So, I seek it, to mimic it and maybe understand it, or maybe to draw it into my own reality. People who are scary, they terrify me, but I can imitate them. I can stay terrified, or I can imitate what terrifies me.
If you’ve caught one of his movies, you would be puzzled by his admission of fear as he presents as a no-nonsense “tough guy.” In fact, he’s so tough, he’s determined not to be held hostage by the fear-inducing lies he tells himself.
Then, while procrastinating writing this post by cleaning my desk, I found this quote I had scribbled on a post-it:
95% of the beliefs we have stored in our minds are nothing but lies and we can suffer because we believe all these lies.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements
Reflecting on the week’s random moments, I’m now wondering if the “right” kind of love we deserve is the love that allows us to not drive ourselves nuts with lies we tell ourselves!
In my experience as a communication skills coach and trainer, I’ve discovered that the biggest lie of all is the lie that “I have no choice” – the lie that my happiness and well-being rests in the hands of others.
I now tell my coaching clients that maybe the “right kind of love” is a love “right” enough that we can face down the fears that our lies conjure up.
A love that lets us wiggle free of the crippling belief that if we don’t match others’ expectations of us then we’ll be harshly judged.
Maybe the right kind of love (for self and others) is the love we take responsibility for. And that’s why undertaking communication skills coaching really is an act of love!
- Where are you feeling helpless in your life – professional or personal?
- Are you really helpless – or are you afraid of the consequences that may follow doing what you know you need to do?
- Why couldn’t you find a way to manage those consequences?
- Who or what could help you?
Answer these questions and realize that –
Deserving the right kind of love means we stop feeling helpless.
That’s the “business” of CONFIDENCE!