Jaw-Dropping Amazing or A good Enough Life?

How are you? We’re on day 71 of Covid, can you believe it? Wondering how you’re doing with the shift into Summer and what that might mean for you. Maybe you’re starting to settle into your new norm and have enough Band-Aids in place that it’s starting to feel ‘good enough’ for now.  After all, good enough delivers comfort; some sort of predictability and feeling of control. 

I notice this mindset with my driven clients, and I want to share it with you because I see the personal and professional costs if they let it get a hold of them. I was coaching one of my executive clients this week, and she shared that our coaching work, after 8 months of experiencing major shifts inwardly and outwardly, was starting to feel like a chore. Of course, initially it felt like a gut punch. However, once I began to get where she was coming from and really seeing her, I had an assertion around what was going on. We had created big results up until now; we’d accomplished some incredible, professional goals that matched her ambition and commitment to growth. However, since hitting those milestones, life very quickly had become good enough across all the major areas of her life. Comfortable, easy usually excludes excitement. Without the excitement and dreaming about the impossible, I’m not surprised coaching started to feel like a chore.

 We course-corrected and looked at where she might be hiding and playing small, and it brought up so much emotion! On the other side of that emotion was the realization that the reason she hired a coach was to move way beyond her comfort zone, the life that’s “good enough” and into a life she never thought would be possible. 

 *THIS* is what I do. As I told my client, the real work begins now. Her homework this week starts with her asking for what she wants from three colleagues at work, on the back of courage and vulnerability.

 I’m fortunate to have found my professional calling and have the opportunity to work with such high-caliber clients. I get to witness hundreds of people experiencing the leap from “good enough” to “jaw-dropping-amazing.” I realize not everyone is up for the latter; it’s very uncomfortable and confronting at times. 

Here’s to living a jaw-dropping amazing life,

“Through my work with Sarah, I developed a skill set that delivers far more awareness and intention than I had before. As a result of Sarah’s guidance and process, I realized my role as a leader and continue to experience the positive changes in holding that space. In addition to the impact on my professional life, I also created a strong, intentional vision for my personal life.

There are two skills I developed via Sarah that I use daily. The first is realizing that much of my unhappiness was directly attributed to unmet expectations. While many expectations were ones I placed on myself, I came to understand that I commonly applied expectations to others. The real a-ha! moment that Sarah coached me through was an understanding of the difference between expectations and agreements. This shifted so much for me, generating change across the board in my life.

The second breakthrough that has reduced the friction in my professional and personal lives is the ability to distinguish, and not commingle, acceptance and shame. Through many convos, exercises, and analysis with Sarah, I fully understand that I am the sum total of my experiences and choices. While they have been a mix of good and bad, all I can change is how I move through the world today. I cannot fully explain how liberating this insight has been and the fruit it has yielded in my life.

A third breakthrough has been around having an awareness of being a leader (willingness to have honest conversations and sit in the discomfort) vs. trying to make everyone happy and not rock the boat. I have found that in every aspect of my life, when I show up as a leader and am willing to say “the thing” and stick with it, breakthroughs and change occurs. When my focus is on being social and pleasing, the frustration continues.

Probably the biggest surprise I’ve had is around my marriage and the role that I have played in its current status. My way of being, because I was living through expectations, was not always kind or deferential. I was always expecting of him what I expect of myself. I never realized that my expectations, my lack of transparency, created a huge gulf between us. I have shared this breakthrough with my husband, taken responsiblity for what I have done, let go of my shame, and invited him to enter a new space in our relationship.

Sarah helped me see that the game that I’ve been playing is too small; that I’m capable of much much more. She’s given me the freedom and tools to strategically think bigger.

I think Sarah’s gift is challenging people’s assumptions about themselves to help them redefine what is possible in their life. She does it with such care, nuance, and patience that the changes feel organic — like she’s uncovering who I really am, and I recognize that person. Sarah’s insights about me and her ability to gently guide me toward my best self is masterful! In Sarah, I have found a masterful leader and by far, my biggest champion.

Sally Nellson Barrett, Founder of Just Jump Films/ I Love Public Schools

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