Not Living Up to Your Potential? No Problem…

To everything

There is a season

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

 

A time to be born, a time to die

A time to plant, a time to reap

A time to kill, a time to heal

A time to laugh, a time to weep

 

To everything

There is a season

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

 

A time to build up, a time to break down

A time to dance, a time to mourn

A time to cast away stone, a time to gather stones together

 

To everything

There is a season

And a time to every purpose, under heaven

 

A time to gain, a time to lose

A time to rend, a time to sew

A time for love, a time for hate

A time for peace.

 

Nice, isn’t it? I was reminded of this song, or bible verse, however you prefer to look at it, most recently. I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but it happens to me quite frequently: I start seeing a quote, a phrase, a poem everywhere. It’s kind of annoying. I keep hoping that I’ll see the winning Texas Powerball numbers instead. So far no dice, the powers seem to just be limited to prose. But then my intuition reminds me that this is probably something I need to pay attention to and maybe if I’d didn’t stick my head in the sand like an oversized ostrich, I’d probably learn something useful.

 

So I tuned into the message and found myself thinking, 2021 has been a hell of a ride in ways I never could have anticipated. I have found myself fluttering between two states – hyperactivity and lethargy. Okay fine, if I’m more honest than not, it’s the later state. This is quite hard for me to say, the recovering perfection junkie that I am. There have been several mornings that I’ve woken up, and frankly, I haven’t felt like doing much. So I didn’t. Don’t take this to mean I sat around in my highly alluring bathrobe all day with my husband and cats watching reruns of Judge Judy and eating Velveeta and rotel (don’t knock the golden cheese food goodness until you’ve tried it). I don’t need an intervention just yet. I did all the usual things, coached clients, paid bills, went to the grocery store, redecorated my office, planted a garden which I even actually managed to get a couple of eggplants from, until it got infested by these weird snails and flies that destroyed it. You know, normal life stuff.

 

But all the while there was this nagging voice in my head. You haven’t made progress on your childfree group. At one point I had this vision of building it to about a million ladies and using it as a platform to achieve Oprah like stardom. You haven’t written another book, the voice kept nagging. I will admit I’ve started at least two new ones which have been abandoned along the long and dusty boulevard of broken literature. And before you begin to think I’m just some sort of washed-up coaching hack, there is a purpose to this I swear. And here it finally is:  sometimes it’s nice to think about the above passage and realize that we’re exactly where we are supposed to be. Sometimes there is a time to go full throttle and take the world by storm. Sometimes, it’s nice to run away and hide in the dark and dusty recesses of your closet. It’s even interesting and mysterious back there, and you might discover that coveted Ted Baker dress that fell to the floor and is now covered in dust. Along with a few mothballs and accumulated cat fur.

 

But our culture resists this. I constantly hear things from my coaching clients such as, “I’m not living big enough.” Or “I’m not living up to my potential.” Or my new favorite, “I’m not living my best life.” What the heck does that even mean??Methinks one has read too many self-help books.

 

We learn just as much from the downtime periods as we do the hypercharged ones. And to be frank, we probably learn more. We learn to reflect. To integrate what we’ve learned during the hypercharged times. To think about what’s really working for us and what stones we can, as the verse says, cast aside. And here you were just thinking you’re a lazy mole for not setting the world on fire, like all your Facebook friends are busy pretending.

 

Now, stick that in your pipe and smoke it next time your inner saboteur is roasting you over the coals for never mastering the trombone, or your Christmas dinner didn’t turn out to be a vision of Martha Stewart’s tasty perfection. Save yourself the grey hairs and leave the cooking to the professionals. It’s much easier to kick your feet back and down a bottle of chardonnay that way…

 


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