Getting it "Right"
I was in class earlier this week, doing my best to understand the material, asking questions and taking notes. I want to be the best coach I can be. I want to make sure I have this skill we’re studying “right”. But the teacher repeatedly calls me out for my focus on getting it “right”. And finally, the statement that sends me over the edge is this: “There is no right or wrong way.” I nearly freak out at this point. I was so angry. My rant goes like this: “Why would I be paying for you to teach me this if there wasn’t a “right” way? Why do I have an exam at the end that I can pass or fail based on whether I give the “right” or “wrong” answer?” I mean I was seriously p@#$#@ off.
Deep breath…having a seriously strong reaction here. Time to take a step back. I begrudgingly say to myself: “OK self, what does this have to teach me?” And let’s be honest, this is after I’ve railed on for a bit about how stupid I think that statement was, all full of myself and my “rightness”. So…Coach Renea, what do you need to learn here? What is the truth here for you?
What I realized is that life keeps throwing at me this lesson of Being vs. Doing. I am driven. I pretty much always have been. Doing, accomplishing, winning, learning and getting it right…this is what we’re supposed to do right? And throughout my life I’ve mostly been rewarded for those things. In 3rd or 4th grade I was tested to see if I should be in the TAG (Talented & Gifted) Program. I didn’t make the cut and was told I was an “overachiever”. I didn’t really know what that meant and mostly I was just upset that I wasn’t “talented & gifted”. I mean seriously what child wouldn't choose the label “talented & gifted" over “overachiever”?! But I digress.
The lesson I’m learning is this…
When we are doing from a place of being, life flows and the “work” is effortless in a way that I can’t describe with words. I’ve experienced it at different times throughout my life but I just didn’t really understand what it was until now. Being is about coming from a place of who I am, of who I want to BE & my purpose. The focus is on the “Who”. This is in contrast to focusing on the “What”. What I want, what I think I should want, what my list says, what others say I should want, what I can check off a list to say I did it. Acquiring, accomplishing, going and going…I’m very busy and very important. I mean just look at all these things I’ve done! The irony is how much more I get done without it even feeling like work when I’m focusing on doing from a place of being who I am and who I want to be. My goals and the steps to reach them become a matter of being pulled forward towards my best me vs. struggling, working and doing because I “have” to do this list of things. Often the “what” focus is about what we don’t want, what we’re running from vs. what we want to be running towards.
So what I took away from my class this week is that I am learning and developing a mastery of the coaching competencies because I want to BE a coach that helps people live their best lives. It’s learning not from a place of getting it “right” but from a place of being my best so I show up fully for others to help them get where they want to go. It’s not about me and having the “right” answer, it is about being of service and helping others BE their best. It gives me a new take on the saying, “We’re human beings, not human doings.” I used to get fairly annoyed with some of this type of language, thinking it was saying we could just sit around doing nothing and expect things to miraculously be great with no effort on our part. I don’t claim to entirely have it. You’ll definitely still see me with my notebook taking notes and making lists, but it's a new kind of list. The light bulb over my head is showing a glimmer though, it’s flickering, but I think I’m getting there. But then of course there is no right or wrong way. :-)