Reminder to Younger Self

Reminder to Younger Self

Have you ever said to yourself, “I wish I knew then what I know now?” I remember my mother saying that all the time when she was helping me to learn a lesson. And I find myself saying it to the kids in my life now and to my clients on occasion.

Recently, I was feeling very stuck and not sure why. As I was preparing to stretch beyond my comfort zone by preparing a “talk” that I could give to women’s groups, the resistance I felt was pretty strong. I had no idea why. So I brought it up in a session with my own coach.

Digging Deep

Through her loving, kind questions and as a result of the very safe space she held for me, a wall started to crumble, piece by piece. I saw a little girl standing behind that wall … it was me. It became crystal clear that my inner child was not comfortable with me putting myself “out there.” She was wielding the resistance I felt like a battle ax. I called her the nickname my brothers had for me — “El.”

As my coach and I worked through this resistance, digging deeper to understand why El was putting up such a fight, I realized that El had always protected us by becoming an expert at making everyone else look good in the spotlight. El was the best behind-the-scenes person there was. She made her family look good. She made her bosses look good. She even made her team look good — sharing all the credit so that the spotlight never shone on her alone. As a result of this expertise, I became known for my skills as the executive team’s “right arm,” my staff’s behind-the-scenes mentor and my family’s “go to” person. I built a very long and successful corporate career on those skills.  In large measure, thanks go to El.

Stepping Out

Fast forward a few years. Now imagine what happens to El when all of a sudden María wants to up-level her life coaching business by going on the speaking circuit. YIKES! OH NO! Not THAT!

I felt like the brakes were stepped on so hard and fast that I got whiplash. El was making sure that I wouldn’t get hurt, or embarrassed or humiliated. She was protecting me — from me.

I learned a great technique from my coach, which I now share with my clients when they get stuck because of something in their past. The technique requires that you clearly recognize “what” is holding you back. Then you ask yourself a series of questions, such as: “How does it serve me to feel this anymore?” “What is the benefit?” “What’s the cost?” “Have you outgrown the need for it?” “Are you giving it more power than it needs to have?” “What would your wiser self tell your younger self?”

Reminder to Younger Self

Several truths became clear to me: I’m older and wiser now … I have developed a lot of skills since I was that little girl … I have helped a lot of women through my mentoring and coaching and by speaking to groups of women, I could help many more.

All of a sudden I was able to take El by the hand and pull her out from the shadow. I encouraged her to walk beside me rather than behind me — reassuring her at each step that “We’ve got this — together we are stronger than either of us alone.”

Do you have an inner child holding you back from a dream or a task you want to accomplish? Do you know exactly what or who is holding you back? Are you ready to shed a bright light on it?

Ask yourself some of the questions I’ve suggested. If you’d like some help getting fully beneath your block so you can lift it up and move it out, let me know by using the ‘contact María’ button on the right. I’ll be happy to hold a safe place for you to come out of the shadows.

From my “bright” heart to yours …
Maria Signature

P.S. If you’re a divorced professional woman and would like to share what’s holding you back and get some help to move past it, please join the conversation in our exclusive, by-invitation-only Facebook group called Thrive after Divorce: Your Journey Begins.

About The Author

María Tomás-Keegan

María is a certified Life Transitions Coach and Mentor for Women, specializing in Divorce Recovery. She brings her multi-faceted 20+ year corporate experience as a coach, mentor, consultant and marketing manager to bear in her coaching practice. Her specialty is working with professional women who put on a mask every day pretending they're okay, while deep inside they're not. María's programs and coaching techniques help women get back in touch with their true self so they can live their lives by design, rather than by default. María is founder and "Chief Inspiration Officer" at SafeHarbor Coaching, LLC.

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