31 Days of Life Coaching – Day
My Big Breakthrough
At one point recently, I had had enough. I was too busy and as result I was stressed out, worn down, and weary. I felt distant from God, my family, my friends, myself even! I knew I had to do something. I had been in this pattern before and here I was again.
I talked to my awesome life coach. And we uncovered this lie:
I believe that what I do, not who I am, is what makes me worthy of being a part of a group or having friends or being loved. In other words, I have to earn my sense of belonging. If I don't serve a particular purpose, then I can believe I’m useless and unworthy of love.
This lie caused me to say yes to too many things…many of them good things. <--click a="" to="" tweet="">--click>
However, the good robs from the best. And since there are only so many hours in each day, I want my day to be the best it can be, which means I’m spending time on the non-negotiables, on the things I must do, most want to do, and am uniquely qualified to do or called to do.
I had to take intentional time to think about this particular lie that motivated my busyness, because I wanted to make a lasting change. I didn’t want to keep repeating the busyness cycle. So I wrote down the lie: I believe that my worth comes from being available to, pleasing, and serving others. I made time to further reflect on this lie to go a little deeper and beyond the obvious. Where did the high value on doing come from?
This process of thinking through helped me take a giant step toward a breakthrough. A breakthrough that surprised me…
I got off the phone after my coaching call encouraged that I was making the connection between the lie that doing made me valuable and the overcommitment, and yesses that ultimately led to the “scurrying” life.
As I stood looking in the mirror, getting ready for the day, I was asking questions of myself and hoping for further insight. The “conversation” went something like this.
Hmmmmmmm…Someone must’ve communicated this “I am what I do message” early on in my life. This thinking is clearly deep rooted.
Maybe it was Dad. He had a very strong work ethic. Believed in working as hard as we could, getting good grades, achieving in the workplace. Certainly, when I reported success, he was very pleased. But he also communicated unconditional love. There was a sense that he loved me no matter what I did or didn’t do.
On the other hand…What about Mom? Mom? Really? She was seemingly so uninterested in our successes and failures. She wasn’t overtly concerned about grades. In fact she seemed neither thrilled with our achievements nor devastated by our failures. And most of the time, she didn’t even know what any of us did on the work front.
But the light bulb went on. In fact it burned brightly…
It was my mother who had communicated the lie that my worth was in my ability to serve, to show up, to be there for her. And that translated into my belief that in order to have connection, be loved, or be seen, I had to work for it. Be available. Please. Meet expectations. Wipe the countertops perfectly. Keep my room spotless. Talk my mother through her failing marriage. Be a counselor of sorts to Mom during the tough times. Be there for her. Love and forgive no matter what she said or didn’t say. I found a way to connect with my mother by striving, working, doing things to please her and meet her needs.
With this newfound realization, the lie was exposed on a deeper level. And I’ve had a much easier time trusting that I am loved just for being me. That I can say no and true friends will still be my friends…and in fact my “no” may open up a “yes” opportunity for someone else. I’ve realized that “scurrying” to please leaves me rundown, and giving my life margin for rest and writing renews, refreshes, rejuvenates me.
This a process. I still have a tendency to say yes, people please, and the need to be included is indeed deep rooted. But I am working on this. It’s out in the open, in the light, and this breakthrough is leading me one giant step closer to living my best life, the life I so want to live.
Coaching Question for Today
If you’ve uncovered a lie, try digging a little deeper. What’s at the root of that lie?
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