Vail on purpose: Create the story of your life
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” “Since we’ve been coaching together, I’ve made some important changes in my life,” Stu said as we began our session.
“I’ve invested a lot of time and energy in my company and have done a lot of work to clarify my goals,” Stu began. “And yet, as I lay out the plans, it feels like nothing is moving fast enough. We’ve seen a slight increase in our sales, but not enough. Things are hard right now and I’m not sure why.”
“You sound discouraged with your business and I’d like to talk about that further, but let’s check in on a couple of other areas you’ve been working on. How are things going at home?” I asked.
“Jeannie has been busy too. With all of our commitments, it feels like we have little to no quality time together. Between shuttling kids to their activities, our careers, and our own personal interests, we are like ships passing in the night.”
“And what about your goal of working out four times a week?” I asked.
“I’ve gained back the 10 pounds I had worked so hard to lose,” Stu said. “I haven’t been working out and eat fast food a lot. So healthwise, things aren’t going well either.” He continued, “Things just seem to be hard right now. Nothing is clicking.”
“How does it feel sitting in the space of ‘hard and not clicking’?” I asked.
“Frustrating,” Stu said. “Hard and not clicking is the opposite of when I am in my groove, feeling my mojo.” He smiled.
“Let’s talk about that for a minute. Tell me the story of your life ” say in six months, when you are ‘in your groove, feeling your mojo.'”
“In six months I’ll be…” he began.
I interrupted. “One other thing: Tell me the story as though it has already happened.”
Stu began again, “My life is very smooth. Our company has taken off! The Web site we designed at the first of the year has done exactly what we expected. In fact, it has exceeded our expectations.” He continued describing his work life, getting more excited with each detail he added.
When I asked him to tell me a story about his health and fitness levels and about his relationship to Jeannie, the same thing happened; he became even more enthused.
After we had explored the possibilities, I said, “From this space of being six months in the future and being in your groove, how can you return to now and move towards the future you so accurately described?”
“From the future space it feels as though anything is possible. I can see how what we are doing today has potential to grow and change. But just talking about it doesn’t make it happen,” Stu said, sounding slightly discouraged.
“The point wasn’t to play make-believe as though it would make it all better. What I’m more curious about is how it feels to approach it from the ‘hard’ point of view versus the ‘anything is possible’ point of view.”
“Oh. I get it. The ‘anything’s possible’ point of view feels expansive, exciting and alive. The ‘hard’ point of view is, well, hard,” he said.
“What if for this week, you were to look at your work, your relationship and your health from the ‘anything’s possible’ viewpoint and come up with some action steps to move you forward? If you get stuck or slide back into ‘hard,’ create another story about the future ” as though it has already happened.’
“I’ll try it. One thing I do know is that ‘hard’ is a tough place to be creative or enthusiastic. It will be much easier from the ‘anything is possible’ viewpoint.”
When you are feeling stuck or things feel hard, shift your approach by becoming a storyteller. Create a story of the future, told as though it has already happened. Go from feeling as though things are “hard” to feeling as though “anything is possible.” Have fun being realistic, outrageous and make it juicy. Once you feel your energy has shifted, come back to now and think of ways to move forward. If you feel yourself slipping into negativity, shift your approach by telling another story.
Sheri Fisher is a life coach who lives in Grand Junction, Colorado with her husband Tom and three sons. Her practice, Living On Purpose, focuses on personal and professional coaching. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. If you have topic suggestions, please e-mail or comment on Sheri’s blog, http://www.coachwithsheri.com/blog/. Sheri can be reached at email@example.com or for more information, visit: http://www.coachwithsheri.com.