How to Call Your Own Bullshit
Spoiler alert: It’s about asking yourself the right questions and being honest about the answers.
I was recently part of an intense 2 and a half-day Leader’s Discipline course in Victoria, BC that focused around coaching. It quickly became clear by the first morning’s coffee break that my preconceived notions about coaching were biased at best. This was a huge gift.
Allow me to explain.
See, I am not a fan of the whole life coach industry Tony Robbins thing. He’s inspirational, to be sure, but I’m more impressed with his personal branding success than his coaching methodology. I’m not new-agey, I don’t do affirmations in the mirror and I really, really don’t like buzz words like “synergy” and phrases like “step into your greatness.” I do Pilates. I talk anatomy. I prescribe green smoothies. I forbid bagels. I don’t do poetry and blankets.
I had discarded the idea of becoming a bona fide “coach” because I believed I didn’t quite fit the profile. I had painted a picture in my head of what a coach should be, and I wasn’t it. I wasn’t yogic enough. End of discussion.
What a rash of shit!
How often do we have some strongly held bullshit belief that’s (knowingly or not) holding us back from doing something truly great?
I’d say the answer is pretty often.
The crazy thing is that if we were to ask 10 different people to describe their ideal coach, we would invariably get 10 different answers. Yet I was convinced, wholly and utterly that not only do I not have coach qualities, but that the whole industry was a sham. And why? Because I felt I didn’t fit the bill. “If I can’t be one, I don’t want to be one. Bah Humbug.”
(I’ve come to smell my own BS, thankfully)
It starts with our beliefs. Mine were biased and flawed. It boils down to not feeling comfortable in what I perceived to be an arena reserved for much more new-agey yogic souls than myself. Because of this belief, I felt that any attempt at being a coach would be inauthentic. In short, I’d be an impostor. And nobody wants to be found out as an impostor. Fear is a powerful thing. (side note: there’s actually something called Impostor Syndrome)
The point is that we all have internal stories surrounding fear that smell like BS. We too often tell ourselves crap that just isn’t true. It starts with a belief, then a rationalization of that belief. And it holds us back. Here are some examples:
- “I won’t ever be an executive in my career. (Because I’m too soft. I’m not experienced or savvy enough. Besides, they’re all tough bitches/assholes, and I wouldn’t want that job anyways because they have no life balance, psh.)
- “I’ll never be one of those Martha Stewart moms who has it ‘all together’ and does Pinterest. (Because I am so busy, not to mention untalented in the domestic realm. I will never have the time or talent to bake cookies and make my kids’ Halloween costumes. Besides, those women have no life, psh).
- “I’ll never be a size 4. (Because I’ll never be in shape, since my metabolism is slow and it runs in my family. I don’t have time to workout. Besides, those health nuts deprive themselves and obsess over food and I wouldn’t do that to myself, psh)
Try reframing your beliefs. Just take them out of the equation for a moment all together. Pretend there are no barriers. You have the skill and the will, the time and the money. Close your eyes and envision your most ideal future, 6 months or 1 year from now. What are you doing? Where are you? What does it feel like?
Chances are, it’s pretty awesome. It’s still you, authentic you, and it doesn’t smell like bullshit.