Dimensions of Awareness (part two)

We are worth it

Recently I was in a one-to-one coaching session. My coachee was a professional; an intelligent, able, engaging individual who was on the cusp of significant career progression.
She was stuck. She was stuck in two ways. First, she was facing challenges in leaping the various hurdles that stood between her and the ‘finish line’. More significantly, she was stuck in a spiral of negative self-belief. Failure was affecting experience was inviting critical feedback was creating failure. I watched the tears welling in her eyes as she told her story, tinged with hope and desperation.

There were no simple answers, no quick fixes. I suggested we try something. Affirmations. The use of affirmations has several origins; I came across them first through exposure to NLP. The principle is simple, write down positive words or phrases that express something truthful about your qualities or values and find a way of holding on to the idea and the feeling.

My coachee wrote down some words. She looked at them, at first with disbelief and then with uncertainty as if she barely dared to believe they were about her. Something, someone had told her somehow, somewhere that these qualities were not the right ones. That in some way they were not good enough.

They were good words. Engaging. Empathic. Approachable. Caring. Emotionally Intelligent. Client Focused.

Slowly, as she held onto the thoughts and feelings I saw a glimmer of transformation. I watched as she recaptured something of that self-esteem and self-confidence I knew, she knew, was always there. She began to feel good about herself, began to see how this experience might be translated into a virtuous circle, one where self-belief feeds experience feeds success feeds self-belief.

The session left me thoughtful. On the one hand I was delighted that at least for a few brief moments I had made a difference. On the other, I was saddened. I was minded of the critical and destructive messages that she had received which, over time, had eroded her core of self-confidence. I was left wondering why we do this to each other; what a sad indictment of humanity that so often we take each other down rather than acknowledge and celebrate each other’s worth.

I reflect now on what a simple and profound act it is to recognise someone’s qualities and to let them know; because they are worth it.