Many of us have an area of life that desperately needs improvement. But for some mysterious reason, we remain stuck, just wishing we could break through like the Koolaid guy.
This week, I busted down an internal brick wall of my own and it felt like a huge victory. I’ll share what did it in hopes that it will help you get unstuck yourself.
Admin work causes me despair. Onboarding, bookkeeping, and—most irritating of all—tech issues with my website make me feel like #Luhu the cat.
Putting it all off bothers me, but what’s worse is the judgment I layer on top of feeling immobilized. Why do I do this?
The only way to figure out the problem is to replace judgment with curiosity. To become interested in learning what lies beneath the pattern.
“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.”
In my method of coaching, curiosity takes the lead. Liz Kinsella, a fantastic Martha Beck-trained coach, volunteered to do some digging.
She asked if we could talk to the part of me who resists this odious work.*
I close my eyes and an image of my First Grade self appears in my mind’s eye. She is playing in her childhood friend Kristi’s backyard. It’s after dark and she doesn’t want to go home. She glances back at adult me like, “ugh, leave me alone.” She throws the ball back to Kristi and ignores me.
Liz asks why my First Grade self hates this stuff so much.
My little self doesn’t want to talk to me and continues to play with her friend. So I read her thoughts instead. She feels like a little adult, worrying about way too many grown up things. This has caused her to feel sad and tired. She just wants to be a kid. Whenever she becomes aware of yet another adult task, she feels overwhelmed.
Liz wants to know what my First Grade Self needs from adult me.
She doesn’t want to be in charge of anything. She plays at Kristi’s after dark because she doesn’t want to go home. She feels too much adult responsibility there. She wants to have fun.
As I feel what it is like for her, I cry her weary tears. I tell her she doesn’t have to take care of any more grown up work.
Liz asks where she’d like to go to have fun.
She remembers an afternoon at Roosevelt Park with her three siblings and how free she felt rolling down the grassy hills. I take her back to that wide-open green space, thank her for her hard work and give her a hug beneath the massive oaks. I assure her that I am here to take care of the adult business from now on. She seems relieved. Lighter. Ready to stop worrying and just play.
Later that afternoon, I notice the following:
When I think about all the pending admin, panic does not flair up inside me. First Grade me is now off the hook—she is at the park. I feel more integrated and less reactive.
As I wait in the car for my older son to finish an appointment, I call Godaddy to straighten out my domain issue. I purchased the site on September 5 and mysteriously I am still not the owner. I have called, emailed, and Live Chatted many hours away. I ended all conversations before reaching any resolution, requesting a confirming email that it is done. No such email has arrived.
This time, I stay on the phone. We discuss ICANN policy for transferring domains, security blocks and authorization codes. The conversation continues for the ride home and lasts throughout Taco Tuesday prep. I chop steak and toast shells listening to the dulcet tones of tinny “on hold” music. My blood does not boil. My breath is even, my nervous system is calm.
I make a list of technical instructions to provide the current domain owner in Reykjavik through an encrypted email to initiate the third domain push. I request a follow-up ticket.
I thank the agent and say good bye. I eat tacos.
The next morning on my run, I dial Godaddy and opt for no “on hold” music while I enjoy my run listening to silence. I send love to the whole Godaddy organization on the other end for completing the transaction. I feel gratitude in advance.
At 9:51:37 a.m., I receive a notification that I own the domain luckybirdcoaching.com and it has been transferred to my existing Godaddy account. I quietly rejoice.
I now understand why it’s been such a challenge to acquire this website for my coaching business. One of the central tenants of this work is “live it to give it.” Sounds dorky but this was necessary work I needed to do for myself in order to facilitate growth in others. Overcoming internal barriers to get what we want is the whole flippin thing.
The day after I figured out my own block, a client spoke about her inner procrastinator who was getting in the way of her goals. That much younger part of her is now off enjoying herself too, allowing the adult version to get some work done.
When we honor all parts of ourselves, especially the ones who are stuck and unseen, we get the sense that it’s all going to be okay.
Writing Prompt: What are you resisting? What can you get curious about instead of judging? What lesson might you need to learn? How can the adult you take charge of the situation?
*This method, called Internal Family Systems, allows you to “stay in Self,”— the part of you that is always steady, not affected by trauma or cultural conditioning—to develop a relationship with each of your parts, and heal them. The key is that the healing comes from you. This means you can do IFS with a coach, a therapist or even on your own. For more info check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOX9_W-1_sU
Ready to start doing some work on yourself? Email me to schedule a complimentary Discovery Session at firstname.lastname@example.org. Curious about coaching? Learn more at luckybirdcoaching.com. And if you are family or a friend, I have an amazing coaching community ready to partner with you.
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