Sometimes there is a question during a coaching session that really resonates with me. Powerful questions that leave you with a strange sense of discomfort, mulling over them for ages…looking into the deep recesses of your conscious and unconscious mind to find the answer! My colleague, David Collins, asked just such a question last week and the affect on me was profound. Even though the answer came to me almost immediately, it made me realise the depth of my growth and development recently and how much my work means to me. Having spent years drifting along, feeling a little rudderless in the stormy sea of life, I was instantly aware of where I am right now, both personally and professionally.
As someone in long-term recovery I have spent many years on my personal growth and the development of recovery capital. I have made a huge effort to teach myself tools and techniques for living a forward-focused and solutions-driven life, being part of my personal solution rather than part of my problem. Because merely stopping the bad behaviour or removing the addictive substance may be part of recovery, it definitely only constitutes a small part thereof (in my humble opinion). Recovery needs to be about rediscovering events, people, pursuits and interests that bring us purpose and fulfillment. About moving forward with our lives and becoming the people we want to be!
It took me a long time to find the perfect combination for me, to honestly evaluate my personal resources, and develop a personal plan on how to proceed towards the life that I wanted to live. It wasn’t about just stopping my desrtuctive substance abuse, but rather about retraining my brain to respond in “trigger” situations, rather than simply react and fall back into my what I knew how to do in challenging situations – namely drink, fight, avoid…nothing particularly positive or constructive. And it took time and effort! Learning healthy coping skills in my mid-thirties was no easy feat, but when I heard that powerful question, my response was immediate. In a flash I was appreciative and grateful for how my work has paid off. How making the effort to identify where my skills (personal, professional or other) might be lacking and then go out and explore options that are the start to decisive steps being taken to reach my goals, has helped me become the person I am today. The person that I always felt I was supposed to be, a person who lives in their integrity.
So when the question “What would your twenty-year old self say to you if they met you in the street today?” was asked, my immediate response was “What took you so freaking long?” The truth is it did take me a long time to become the person I envisioned being when I was starting out in my twenties. A person who lived a life of purpose, being of service to others, living with passion, courage and self-love. And even though I am proud and grateful of who I am today, it wasn’t until that very moment that I became clear on the distance I have traveled, the growth I have achieved and how until I got really, really clear on who I wanted to be and where I wanted to go, I was just dawdling along letting life happen to me, rather than being in charge of my own destiny.
So ask yourself the question “What would my twenty-year old self say to me if he/she met me in the street today?” And then practising the principles of honesty, willingness, openness and courage (to mention but a few), decide if you are going in the direction you want to be going, living the life that you want to be living as the person you aspire to be, or whether it is time for directed, planned change.
Til next time,
For more information about Recovery Coaching, pesonal development and goal setting please contact Leigh-Anne (082)-442-5710 | email@example.com