I have to keep breastfeeding until he weans himself.
I can’t just pick up and go out for the night–I have kids.
I can’t hire a babysitter because we can’t afford it.
I really should work out.
I have to put my family’s needs first.
I shouldn’t be so nice–people take advantage of me.
I can’t do that because what would people think?
Guess what. I don’t believe a word of it. Not one bit.
Shocking, right? Harsh. Not something you want to hear from your coach or anyone else’s.
But it’s the truth.
I do not believe you.
Let me explain.
I’m not calling you a liar. I completely believe that you believe all the things you say are true. Heck, I’ve probably believed a lot of them at some point, too.
However, I know that as true as your beliefs may feel to you they don’t have to be true for you. And therefore, they don’t represent truth.
We all have stories we tell ourselves, ones that we clench our fists around because they feel so real for us. And when we’re challenged on them we often clench even harder. Because we have to be right or because we don’t know where we’d be without them.
I have a friend who, years ago, initially loved her therapist. But after a few months she quit seeing her because the therapist “isn’t a mom and doesn’t understand.”
While yes, she may not have had the experiences unique to motherhood, what I, in hindsight, hear my friend saying is, “She doesn’t buy into my stories.” Stories of how hard it is to be a mom and how lost and trapped she felt.
It’s wonderful to have people in your life who get it and whom you can feel connected to through shared experience.
In order to help you escape the thoughts, feelings, and beliefs that are limiting you, that cause you stress, that make you feel less than thrilled about life, it’s imperative that I, as a coach, don’t believe your stories.
Not believing you means I can see your limitless potential and have faith in your ability to see from other perspectives, think creatively, make different choices, overcome any challenge, and/or accomplish any goal. It means knowing that because something feels true to you today it doesn’t have to feel true to you tomorrow, or in six seconds. It means truly being on your team.
We all have beliefs around how things are or have to be. For years I believed that being a mom was really fucking hard. That felt real and true to me. Eventually I realized that I could choose another story. Now I choose to believe that being a mom is easy (for me). And so it is. Whew, freeing, right?
I’m sure someone out there is responding with, “Well, your kids are 7 and almost 5–of course it’s easier for you than it is for me with 3 and 1-year-olds!” Look at that, it’s another story–that your kids are hard because of their ages!
What if that didn’t have to be true?
I challenge you to notice your stories, or what you suspect are stories if you aren’t sure. Just notice them. Nobody’s asking or expecting you to change them. Just notice them and see what happens.