Drop Out or Face Reality
About a month ago I received an email at work saying they were hosting a 30 day coaching class. It was a chance to get back on track with accountability and moving forward instead of staying stuck. It sounded like work. Well, 0f course it would be, but wouldn’t it be worth it? My thoughts went to my primary excuses: cost and time. It was free and I had time to attend. Alrighty then. Since my two primary excuses were gone I made a decision to take this step to help me stop whining and start acting. I will at least meet some new people while I’m there.
The first week we had 30 people show up. We all seemed ready and eager to take action to change our lives.
I heard stories of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had come to the right place. We were split up into teams of 3 to keep each other on track. Our teacher gave us homework to look at our values to see what was important to us and to create goals and act on them.
That week a cold moved into my head. I wasn’t able to attend class during week 2 but I asked my team to send me the homework so I didn’t have that precious excuse to drop out. Well I did miss a class…maybe I shouldn’t go next time. Does that sound familiar? Stumble once and give up all together? I’m really good at that. My team told me there were around 10 people that showed up that week. Maybe the rest of the class was sick too.
This week, week 3, we had 8 people.
I was surprised to see so many empty chairs. As I was sitting in the room my mind kept going to the number of people that reach out to me and then I never hear from them again. You know, that moment that your hair is on fire, you reach out for help and then realize it was just a temporary desire to change because the sting of losing your paycheck has gone away. Then life evens out for a while because you’ll just be a little more cautious, or you just don’t care again. Maybe you get skiddish because you realize that change doesn’t come in a magic pill (it took you a while to get to your point in life, so why would it be quick to get out!?) so you figure that you are comfortable in your misery. You go about your comfortably unhappy life. “It’s always been this way, so why would I think it could be any different?” I remember those days!
Anyway, I was thinking about this as I was listening to my classmates speaking about their experiences for the week. The successful people were tickled by their progress and willing to speak about their goals. I scanned the room and noticed folded arms and closed body language on the quiet ones (including myself).
I didn’t accomplish my goals. I took action steps, but they weren’t the ones I said I would do. I was feeling like a failure. The teacher would not be impressed by my lackluster performance. I didn’t want to admit it to my class either.
Then I realized that it was “stinking thinking.” My head was playing games, as usual, and I didn’t want to live like that anymore.
If you’re wondering, yes, I really do have all these thoughts going through my head at any given time.
So I raised my hand and I spoke up. I shared my story about having an epiphany this week. I shared about being more aware of what was stopping me and that I appreciated that knowledge. Even though my progress didn’t go in the direction I thought it “should” have, it went in a direction and it was still considered progress.
There, my “failure” was out.
The teacher was excited to hear my words. It gave her permission to talk about what happens when things don’t go the way you planned. And it also gave my fellow classmates permission to share their experiences too.
Admitting my reality opened the door for others to reveal theirs. There is strength in sharing with people. It allows us to be human. I like to say that I am perfect in my imperfection. I am a work in progress.
I’m glad I faced my reality instead of dropping out. Just because we stumble from time to time doesn’t mean we can’t get back up, learn and try, try again.
Get back up