Good morning, good afternoon or good evening, wherever you are
I have been receiving wonderful feedback from one of my recent quotes on my Weekly Wisdom, and so I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the subject of the quote today. This is the quote from Robert Fritz:
Lovely, isn’t it. The first thought it brings up for me is that we are not born with lack of self-esteem or a poor self-image. So, maybe who we really want to be is not someone else. No matter who our heroes are, we can’t become them – we can only become ourselves: that person within us before we developed all our personality frailties, mostly out of self-protection, that are now so much a part of our lives. We created that personality and, like an actor, we now play that role.
In a recent coaching session, my client was talking of who he wanted to become. Now the interesting part was that my client is somewhat of an expert on the Enneagram, a personality type model. This is not the time to go into the Enneagram in detail but one of the distinctions the model makes for each “type” is that it breaks it down into healthy, average and unhealthy versions of the type. The unhealthy is not relevant for current purposes but the average and healthy distinctions are. The average is where we tend to find most of our recognisable ego-centred traits. These are the typical characteristics we see in each type, for example (and speaking very generally – the Enneagram doesn’t pigeon-hole), one type might have a propensity for perfectionism or meticulous attention to detail, another might be a helper, yet another might be the quiet person in the meeting that hardly ever contributes but seems to observe everything. All of the average characteristics of each type, to my mind anyway, contain potential strengths (helping people is good, isn’t it!) but distorted or overdone in each way (eg helping people for what we can get out of it).
Back to my client. What was interesting was, that my client was focusing on what he could DO to improve on his average characteristics. After a while, I asked him, “Who would you have to be in order to be a healthy (let’s say, helper)?” Whilst he was struggling before with the things he needed to DO, he suddenly realised that he knew “deep down” exactly what that looked like, even if he had difficulty describing or defining it. We all know deep down what BEING our healthier or better selves looks like, even if we might find it difficult to define or describe.
The answer then to how you bring the you that you really want to be into the world, then, is just BE your higher or better self. Yes, you have spent a lifetime acting (read practising) the average parts of your personality – so it’s going to take time to change your old habits. Here is something you might try: set alarms on your smartphone that get your attention at least five or six times throughout each day. Look back at the time between this alarm and the last alarm and just notice where you ‘did’ those average characteristics. Then reset! Prepare yourself to BE your higher or better self until your next alarm goes off. The objective is not perfection: it’s to BE at your best more of the time. Practise this for the next thirty days – and let me know what you notice. I’d love to hear how you experience this.
Time to play the better version of yourself!
Good luck and enjoy the process!
If you would like further support with this, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you and provide you some support without any obligation or cost to you.
We all tend to find ways to get in our own way in our lives. Let’s work together to resolve how to get out of our way.
Thank you for reading this week’s newsletter. Please take care of yourself and stay healthy.
Until next week.