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.
“I wish I knew then what I know now.”
I remember my mother saying that to me when I was young and she was helping me to learn a lesson. I find myself saying it to the “kids” in my life now and to my clients on occasion.
A while back, I was feeling very stuck in reflection and not sure why. As I was preparing to stretch beyond my comfort zone by preparing a “talk” to share with women’s groups, I felt a powerful resistance. It concerned me so much that I brought it up in a session with my own coach. The outcome was enlightening and uplifting.
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” in such a vulnerable way. 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 helping me become an expert at making everyone else look good in the spotlight. El was the best behind-the-scenes person there was. We made our family look good. We made our bosses look good. We even made our staff look good — sharing all the credit so that the spotlight never shone on us alone. As a result, 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.
Fast forward a few years. Now imagine what happens to El when all of a sudden María, now out of Corporate America and in her own business, wants to up-level her life & career 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 Inner Child
Several truths became clear to me: I’m older and wiser now … I have developed many life 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 requesting a Heart-to-Heart Chat. I’ll be happy to hold a safe place for you to come out of the shadows.