I’m a Life Coach and as such I believe wholeheartedly in the power of coaching, so recently when I was feeling the need to step things up in my life and my business, I decided to get myself a kick-ass coach and as you might expect, he kinda kicked my ass. Before we even got down to business, without even meaning to, he helped me to realise that I wasn’t being true to my heart.
We were talking about coaching and he asked me to describe what coaching meant to me, I shared with him my thoughts and then he delivered a line that changed everything. He said: “This is all about empowerment, helping you begin the process of listening to your heart.” In that moment, I understood completely how I hadn’t been listening to my heart.
Let me give you some background. I’ve always believed that if you want to know what your purpose or calling in life is, then you simply need look at what the biggest lesson you have learnt in life is and then go help others to learn the same. For me, this lesson has been to love myself, to shift from being my own worst enemy to becoming my own best friend. It hasn’t been an easy ride.
Over the last year or so I’ve played with the idea of creating a new site dedicated to helping people to love themselves more, realise their own self-worth and cease with any sabotaging, addictive and self-destructive behaviours but something has held me back. When Izzy, uttered the words “begin the process of listening to your heart” I knew immediately that I was going to have to look at whatever it was that was stopping me taking the next step to realize this dream.
Mind the gap
During that same call, we talked about bridging the gap between my intention to create the site and actually launching the site. In order to bridge the gap I had to understand what the gap was in the first place. When I really listened to my heart, I realised that while on the one hand I wanted to help people overcome the shame of addiction, on the other hand I didn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world my own struggle with addiction. That’s some gap.
Once I realised this, it became obvious that what I needed to do in order to bridge my gap was to find the courage to really love the parts of myself that I’d rather keep hidden.
Less than eight weeks later, I’ve written a very revealing post detailing my struggle with addiction, I’ve published a video in which I talk about my transformation and I’ve finally launched my new site www.lovecourage.com. (Don’t worry Life is Limitless isn’t going anywhere!).
To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.” ~ Oscar Wilde
Standing up and admitting to my addictions, shame and struggle with codependency has at times been hard, but the response I’ve received from doing so has totally blown me away.
What’s your gap?
Trust me when I say that we all have a bridge to gap, if not several. What I mean by that is that there will be some place(s) in your life where there is a gap between what is true and what you think or say is true. Working to bridge our gaps is how I would define living with integrity. Let me explain.
Integrity for me is when our thoughts, words and actions are in alignment. While I was talking about helping others to love themselves completely whilst feeling shame about certain parts of myself, I was not living from a place of integrity, that’s a gap.
Maybe you have a goal or dream that you tell people about and then find yourself doing nothing to further that goal or worse still, taking actions that sabotage the achievement of that goal.
Time for some radical honesty
We all have blind spots, areas of our life where we can’t see the truth or are unwittingly in denial about what’s really going on. If we have a blind spot or are in denial, how can we expect to uncover our gaps?
Well, totally unrelated to this recent revelation in my life, but a useful exercise for working out where your gaps are is something I tried last year. Inspired by the title of a book, I wrote at the top of a piece of paper the words: Things I need to get radically honest about. I then carved out the time and space to let the words flow and ended up with a list of things that I had been trying to avoid admitting to myself, precisely because of the action I would then have to take or the courage I would then have to find.
To give you one example from that list I wrote, I want to be vegetarian. I knew in my heart that I was out of integrity when it came to eating meat but I was struggling to stick to a meat-free diet.
The mere act of writing that list brought about some major changes in my life, so why not give it a go? You’d be surprised how many things can surface when we give our subconscious mind permission to get radically honest.
Another way that I’ve personally used to identify my gaps is to ask someone I trust for their view. I remember once many years ago having the wisdom to ask a good friend what the one thing she wished she could tell me was, the one thing she thought I needed to hear in order to move forward in my life. Her answer was priceless but unfortunately at that point in my life, I didn’t have the wisdom to hear it. The seed, however, was sown and five or six years later I found the courage to take the action she had suggested.
However, you go about identifying your gap(s), what is most important is the subsequent bridging of them. Don’t worry if you feel fearful of the next step, you might not be quite ready to take it. Getting honest about your life, however, is a crucial starting point.
Where do you feel out of alignment in your life? Are there areas where you are not being true to yourself? What would it take to begin the process of listening to your heart? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you liked this post please don’t forget to share it using the buttons below.