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Don’t Wait for a Break Until You’re ‘Worth It’

You likely have qualifications, or are aiming towards new certifications or likely both!  As part of working towards my MCC, the highest certification granted by the ICF (International Coach Federation) it’s humbling having to unlearn a lot of what I thought made me a good coach – especially when it comes to getting down to the actions. The actions are great, but my clients are smart people – they know what steps they need to do.

However, my coaching clients get to it faster if we spend our time unpicking ‘why’ they want to do the things they say they want to do and the benefits they’re aiming for – in order to drive those actions. This can sometimes involve asking ourselves some uncomfortable questions. A client of mine, Sarah brought to one of our sessions the goal of getting clearer on all that she needed to do at work, before relaxing into her upcoming holiday. 

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Sarah rattled off the list of items quite quickly. Not hard – we all have a long list of ‘need to’s’. However, when I asked ‘if we went deeper, what would we see?’ she was silent before admitting that she felt she needed to do these things to be worthy of a break. With that, she revisited growing up in a home where her parents routinely postponed holidays, saying ‘Maybe next year, when we’ve earned a bit more’. Sarah said, ‘My brother and I would have been happy camping in the back garden, but as my parents earned more, their goal posts kept getting further away. I think I learned you had to earn a holiday…and holidays took a lot of work to earn’.

We then opened the session wider by exploring ‘What if you didn’t have to earn the right to take a break? What would that be like?’ which got her thinking much more creatively.  In fact, we often see this shift in the body as Sarah actually exhaled when I asked. She realised her self-worth, and therefore ‘deserving a holiday’ didn’t need to be tied to how busy she was. What enables you to exhale and step into what you deserve – even as you know there’s always more to do? 

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