The wonderful thing about the human condition is that it’s deeply personal and individual. Though it is a mindset and state of being that unifies us, we each experience it in very different ways. Safety and security are a big part of what defines the human condition. That is, as long as the world keeps spinning and life keeps on the way we want it to, we feel safe and secure.
But when it doesn’t, we’re thrown off our game. We suddenly feel the intense need to fix what’s broken and change what isn’t working. We want to get things back in alignment, partly to prove that we are right in the way we are living and partly to feel a sense of security and comfort.
So what happens when we discover that something that used to work for us—something that used to help us right the wrongs and rebalance the cosmos—no longer suits us?
When I was growing up, I used humor to fight the discomfort of being the middle child. I liked to tell stories, crack jokes, and make people laugh. When something wasn’t right, when the world felt too still and silent, I used humor to find equilibrium. Being entertaining and charming was how I made my way in the world.
Later, when I became an entertainer and a dancer, the skills I’d honed as a child served me well. I enjoyed the spotlight; I knew how to make the story my own. I was able to rely on my early successes and use them later in life.
When I started coaching, I realized I could no longer rely primarily on those skills; while humor and charm are absolutely positive traits and can serve very well in social interaction, I needed to develop other skills that would help me get to the heart of what I needed to do for my clients. Simply being charming was not going to help other people leverage their strengths and gifts. So I had to really stop and consider, Who am I now? What am I doing? Who do I have to be to in order to support this part of me?
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