This blog post is in response to a recent Talkback Tuesday post, and I would like to say thank you to relaxlavender for asking “What advice would you give to yourself knowing what you know now about your journey over the past year or two?”
When I first read this question, the following points immediately came to the fore; I didn’t really even have to think about them:
- Be kind to yourself
- It is ok to not get it right
- You really do have it within you to do whatever you like; just look within
- The opinions of others and yourself are not “the truth”
As I was reflecting on this later, I felt certain that, if I could meet the Deanne who walked into that very first coaching conversation, this would be the advice that I would give her. However, a further question also came to me: Knowing what I know now, if I was the Deanne who walked into that very first coaching conversation, would I want to hear this advice?
My assessment is that in the time leading up to that first coaching conversation and also for many months following, I was suffering. A further assessment that I hold is that it is human nature to want to remove suffering, and this is why the Deanne of today would want to offer the aforementioned advice. However, knowing what I know now, I don’t think I would want to hear this advice if I was the Deanne who walked into that first coaching conversation. I think I would feel somewhat cheated.
The journey that started with that first coaching conversation has been amazing, and I feel as though I have learned so much. If I had been given advice back then based on what I know now, I may not have experienced this journey. Without this journey, I may not have experienced new and amazing friendships. I may also not have started to follow a much earlier dream of becoming a coach, or have experienced the wonderful support of an international ontological coaching community. I may never have learnt how to manage my crazy, overthinking mind, and I may not have learnt so many amazing things about myself and my interactions with others. Would I have known how to consciously experience the mood of wonder without this journey? And what about that amazing, bubbling and energetic feeling of combining peace, ambition and wonder; would I have experienced that?
As I was writing this post, I was reminded of something that I wrote in my final coaching course assignment, relevant to my experience of the course. This felt similar to how I was feeling in answering this question, and I have included a modified version below, relevant to my ontological journey:
I don’t think that anything I could say to my former self would necessarily improve how my life progressed; it would simply change the experience and the available learning. When I think about my journey in this context, I become quite protective about preserving the experience that I had; I will always be incredibly grateful for the learning that came to me as a result of this journey, and I will forever hold it quite close to my heart. I wouldn’t want anything to change that.
This then led me to thinking that perhaps there was some different advice that the Deanne of today would like to give the Deanne of a few years ago, and perhaps I just hadn’t worked out what it was yet.
It was then that it occurred to me.
If I could offer advice to an earlier version of myself, or to anyone for that matter, it would simply be: “In everything that you do, always strive to be a committed learner and always trust that the answer lies somewhere within you.”
My opinion is that, in those early days, I judged myself for for being a learner. This advice would have allowed me to understand, right from the beginning, that learning is ok. Instead, for quite some time, I operated from the assumption that the people around me were simply being kind, and that learning was a euphemism for failure.
How would it be if we all understood that being a learner in life is ok?
In everything that you do, always strive to be a committed learner, and always trust that the answer lies somewhere within you.
Who am I?
I am a leadership and life coach, available for coaching and facilitation services. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.