I’ve worked as a psychologist now for many years. My time with the Prison Service and the NHS involved working with people who usually had done something pretty awful. Then there is been my time working as an academic, teaching psychology to students wishing to learn all about psychology theory and practice.
My time in the coaching arena therefore seems to be quite different to these things, but are they so different?
Although, in practice I don’t ‘do’ the same thing in my concurrent roles, what I’ve learnt, even more than I could have known before, is just how similar we all are as human beings. There are similarities between all of us regardless of who we are on face value. Similarities that go beyond how we look, beyond our jobs, our homes the materialistic goods, who we associate with or even what we dream about and wish for.
Although I’ve discovered that I could literally write an entire book about these ‘similarities’, one particular quality which has stood out for me in particular of late is just how afraid people are when faced with their own potential greatness.
Tell someone that they are amazing…that they can reach their fullest potential…that they can achieve their hearts desires, that they can and indeed deserve to be happy and FEAR raises it’s ugly head!
People so often don’t believe that they can be ‘great’. But why?
As a coaching psychologist I love helping people figuring out their own reasons for disbelief, sabotage, or even deliberately trying to fail. Why is that we try and fail at something that maybe we have proclaimed to always want or desire?
I think that sometimes we feel that by really trying to succeed at something we become afraid of how we might look to others.
What if we fail? What if things don’t turn out as I’ve planned? What if what I want doesn’t fit with others perceptions of who I am? What if I feel let down? What if when I get to my destination it’s not what I thought it would be? What if I end up having to let go of my stories about myself…who I though I was…what I thought I wanted? What I thought I really wanted to do?
It’s usually not really our greatness that is so bright….it’s the barriers that we out in the way to achieving them that seem so insurmountable.
There is a reason that some people feel that they reach their potential and others don’t. It’s really just a decision.
Decide to be great and you will be. Decide to not be great and you will be. What you say is true….is true!
Personally I hope that, and to help more people in my life time to reach their fullest greatness and full potential….after all that is what life is all about.
Until next week!