One of the hidden benefits of being a coach is that as we help others grow through their detours and bumps, we start questioning our own thought patterns and behaviours.

Of course, during the coaching session, it’s important for me to turn the volume down on my own experience as I focus on my client, but after I hang up the phone or leave the room, I sometimes scratch my head thinking this could have been me talking.

Knowing we often live the same experiences as our clients helps coaches apply a large dose of compassion. We also recognize the blind spots that keep a client stuck in the status quo… because we have been there, done that!

We also need to help our clients find the courage to take a more resourceful direction by shining the light on perspectives that no longer serve them.

A few quick clues to blind spots

With clients’, as well as in my own experiences, I’ve come to appreciate the clues life reveals when we’re caught in a merry-go-round of old beliefs:

  • Any time you are sure you are right… but are miserable.
  • Any time you keep talking about how much you have invested in something: “I can’t walk away now!”
  • Any time you keep asking yourself over and over again: “What went wrong?”
  • Any time you feel you have tried everything in your power… but keep getting the same result.

The very patterns that keep you in the same direction may be the ones you need to interrupt to renew your professional or personal life.

Trading in habitual thinking for broader horizons

Take the example of a client who chose a job for money and security; staying 15 years in a field that did not really appeal to her. She would volunteer for challenging assignments and find satisfaction for a few months, only to go back to her job with a heavy heart. Yet, she felt she had invested more than a decade of her life in this area and couldn’t possibly imagine walking away from it.

After she experienced a big loss in her life, we started looking at what was really important to her.  She was now ready to challenge her past beliefs and explore future directions.  This would not have been possible had she continued to focus on her investment and remain in her comfort zone.

Take the example of another client whose professional life is a constant struggle. He keeps trying to move up the ladder in his organization, but always gets derailed. He is aiming for a prize that eludes him, but was taught that perseverance always pays off.  While his frustration grows, he wonders out loud if he can keep going.

In our conversation, he started shining the light on a plan B and even a plan C.  Maybe there was more than one ladder and more than one gold prize to be won. After all, did he really want to climb that same mountain over and over again?

The more he thought about other options, the more they became attractive to him. He may still consider openings where he currently works, but he now has a much broader horizon.

When you keep struggling with no rest in sight, you may need to shine light on the habitual patterns of thinking and behaving that are keeping you stuck. Coming to terms with beliefs that you have not yet challenged, may actually help with being clearer on what you really need to live your best life.

I look forward to reading about your comments on uncovering blind spots!



2 thoughts on “Is It Time to Get Off The Merry-Go-Round? Find Your Blind Spots First”

  1. Hi Dominique,

    I never fail to be amazed that human beings are so connected! My own clients present the content of their lives and, while their stories are unique to them, the context, speaking to my own meta experience, is always the same. We cannot get the changes that we would like to have, when choosing to still hold on to the investments – the very constructs – that propelled the creation of the personal realities we know. None of it is good, bad, right, wrong. The question is always, ‘Is it working for me’.

    What and how we choose is what creates. Too often, we are choosing from the context of ‘resistance’, so we keep on getting what we keep on getting. Resistance, truly, is futile. Will we ever allow ourselves to trust fully that we can never get our lives wrong and that we will never get our lives done? We can’t get our lives wrong, simply because our lives our never finished. However, if we choose to hold/feel these thoughts as true (I do; my choice!), then we must open ourselves to everything that we do not yet know that we do not know. Scary?! Resistance is the mechanism we use to distract ourselves from feeling the fear that arises from knowing that it really IS OK to not know.

    We are creating all the time. The question is: Are we willing to become conscious and intentional creators, 24/7? Are we willing to hang out on the leading and cutting edge of thought as a malleable structure? Are we willing to be in the process of allowing our thinking to turn itself into the outcomes that draw us forward, rather than being so focussed on the actual manifestation in physical form, such that we lose sight and enjoyment of the experience along the way?

    Yes, I know, this could all sound very intellectual and philosophical, like tasty frosting applied to embellish an already over-cooked and crumbling, dry cake. Truth is that, as aware as I hold myself to be, I am only now awakening to how I have done and do ‘resistance’, identifying it as something other than how I have really experienced it; as such, my process of ‘resisting’ has thwarted the reclamation of my full potential. Enough, already!

    Like, you, my conversations with others have left me scratching my head, knowing that their stories, different content, have been mine. Cultural conditioning has made ‘resistance’, as an enduring yet highly limiting force in support of the status quo, possible. Whom could we become in simply choosing to fully put down all ‘resistance’ and its associations… and to completely pick up all ‘allowance’ and its associations?

    It all starts with me. It all starts with each of us.

    Thank you for posting your thought provoking blog. I appreciate it, Dominique. 🙂

    1. Dominique Dennery

      Thank you Sheila. We do get more of what we resist. Your explanation sheds light on our common experiences as human beings where we hold on and get the results we don’t want. With your permission, I will use your beautiful saying that we can’t get our life wrong! We often forget this and grow attached to outcomes rather than enjoy the process of just living everyday. Thank you for sharing so generously.

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