The courage of my clients and workshop participants inspires me so profoundly, that each day, I renew and strengthen my belief that we can do whatever we set our minds to. Individuals whose marriages have ended after 20, 30, and even 40 years turn to coaching because they know that with the extra push and support, they can search for love, intimacy, and companionship again. Whether it was their choice or not to leave the marriage, they are often feeling as though they have been beaten up emotionally; they have suffered feelings of rejection, anger, confusion, fear, and despair. Through it all, as they work tenaciously to heal, they venture bravely out of their comfort zones and into the unknown world of internet dating.
Inspired by an incredible recent conference that I attended, “The Internal Family Systems Model,” I’ve been thinking a lot about the parts of each of us that holds us back from whatever it is we really want to achieve. If we allow ourselves to get to know these parts, as the model suggests, in a curious and compassionate way, we may just find our ticket out of the swamp and onto the fast lane of the highway toward our goals.
So, how do we get to know our “parts” and has this Life Coach gone completely mad? The first answer is actually quite simple, and then, you can assess the second one. Here’s the step by step breakdown, when you have privacy and are in a comfortable and private environment:
1. Identify a goal you would like to achieve but are feeling held back from. For example, beginning internet dating.
2. Ask yourself, “What is the part of me that is holding me back?” For example, “My shy part is holding me back.”
1. Although it may not be easy to envision, the challenge of divorce can be accompanied by significant opportunity that would not have otherwise presented itself. Identify one goal that you can accomplish now, that you could not have achieved during your marriage.
2. Divorce can often cause our confidence and self-esteem to waver. Recognizing your positive traits is essential at this time. Identify one of these special personality or character traits that can show itself more clearly now than previously.
3. When we are involved in a difficult life transition, we tend to focus inward. Going beyond ourselves is an effective way to find meaning and put our issues into perspective. Identify one new strategy to contribute in some small way towards helping others or impacting the world.