By Stephanie Marshall, Toronto based Master Alignment Coach

September 8th 2020: “Well that sucked.”
-Stephanie J. Marshall

I’m one of those people who is obsessed with the fall (for me it starts after Labour Day). It’s the real “new year” and it brings sweaters, new notebooks, and a fresh start. It’s the only time of year new habits almost feel easy because there is so much possibility wafting through the air.

Yeah… no. 

Not this year. I thought that I had a firm grip on that September Energy, but apparently not. Confession? I led a week-long September Reset workshop the previous week and then last Tuesday I led two coaching sessions about optimizing time and energy… and I thought I was all in, but then… as soon as my fall started, I had a mini-crash. I wish I had a fabulous reason but the truth is, I was just tired and I couldn’t viscerally connect to what pushes me to do the things I need to and a little past my comfort zone. 

I felt shame. I had a huge list of things to do to propel me forward into a future that I’ve been saying I want, so why wasn’t I in action? Or as we coaches like to say “Inspired Action”. I coach on this stuff and help people navigate this exact issue. Often. Successfully. And I wasn’t so tired that I wasn’t able to find the energy to be 100% on for my coaching session, I just wasn’t able to be accountable to the stuff for me. I even took a step back with the not eating as much crap and drinking less Diet Coke.

So I figured it out. Yadayadayada… old pattern of going too hard and crashing, hormones, poor planning with some specific details, tired, not enough vision work etc. all things I’ve gotten better at but sometimes trip me up. And I get myself out of slumps so much faster than I used to (as well as functioning better throughout them). But I’m sharing this for another reason. THE SHAME. 

Last Tuesday evening I shared my shame and frustration with my client group. I told them how mad I was at myself and shared how I was judging myself. And here’s the thing, everyone had been there. Do you know how many women have said to me “If you really knew how bad I am when I get off track you wouldn’t believe it, I’m the worst”? More than you think. I never judge them, or believe that they are objectively “the worst”. But I had a moment where I actually believed that I was the worst person in the world for not following through when I should. 

So we did a deep dive into the shame that procrastination can bring, the embarrassment we can feel when we are too tired and our actions don’t match our intentions. We were honest, and isn’t it funny the way shame can’t survive once it isn’t a secret? Shame can take up so much space and so much emotional energy, but it isn’t a great emotion if you want to get to the other side. Being driven by what you want is so much more energizing than being driven by what you don’t like in your life, but sometimes finding that driver when you need it is hard work. But finding the drivers is usually much more efficient than focusing on the weeds, the stuff you aren’t in the mood to do, and much more useful than focusing on the shame. 

Here’s the thing about the coaching work and tools when you put them in play. They are simple, but it doesn’t mean that they are easy. It can be really uncomfortable to admit to things you’ve denied for years or get out of your comfort zone. But wow the results are fun to watch or experience. 

If you need a hand, get in touch and we can chat about whether this stuff is right for you. 

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