It’s one of those strange things but sometimes I find it’s all too easy to dismiss an achievement as an achievement. I’m a natural pessimist so I do sometimes just jump to the ‘what’s gone wrong’ mode rather than ‘what’s gone right’.
This blog is really helping me focus on the positive because (a) I have to find something to talk about every day and (b) it’s actually a running record of how I’m doing.
The other thing that has really helped me is coaching – both being coached and coaching others.
As a coach, one of the roles I perform is being the personal cheerleader for clients – helping them to recognise their achievements and celebrate them, bolstering their confidence when things aren’t progressing the way they would like them to be. In doing so, I’ve gained the ability to recognise an achievement for an achievement and not just something that anyone can do. Because maybe anyone can do it but the important thing for the client is that they have achieved it.
Being coached has also helped me focus on my own achievements and to see them as achievements. It’s made me realise that I can accomplish a great deal. And in realising I can accomplish perhaps what I’ve in the past deemed small stuff, it’s also made me realise that I can accomplish the big stuff.
OK, so maybe the secret fantasy of wanting to be a fighter jet pilot is never going to come true (I blame Airwolf) but I can arrange an ‘experience day’ and get a ride in a fighter jet (because the reality is that I would hate being in the military – far too much physical exercise – so I only really want the experience), or I can save, and take lessons to fly helicopters if I really want to. And maybe the dream of going into space is “out there” but again, it’s not impossible. I could climb Mount Everest if I really wanted to do it (not that I do, I hasten to add, nor am I ever likely to want to climb any mountain).
Nothing is truly impossible; it’s only impossible because we tell ourselves it is.
More importantly, I’m also not beating myself up about stuff. While yesterday’s blog may seem like evidence to the contrary, actually the blog helped me to put what was after all a minor error into perspective – something else that coaching is very good at doing.
For me, the lesson is really that I need to be my own personal cheerleader, and that it is an absolutely an essential part of being a good coach.