Growing Up and Through Our Experiences

This article was originally posted on the Business Vision Network Blog by Esquire Coach and founder of Coaching InDeed Donna Spina, ACC, CPC, ELI-MP, and is reprinted with permission.

Early in my coach training, the founder of the school made a profound statement:

“Are Your Painful Experiences Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?” -Bruce D. Schneider

It caused me great pause and reflection. Since no two lives are ever the same, the impact of each event and experience continues to make us progressively more unique. The question is, how do we allow the journey to determine WHO we become? Do we shrink to adversity or approach it with unbridled curiosity and open mindedness?

Can you embrace challenges as lessons to help you grow? If so, then the best of you can find its way to the surface.  Otherwise, the self-doubt, hurts, and fears will stack themselves into a messy pile, creating a barrier or a wall so thick, it holds you back from your hopes and meaningful dreams, should you even dare to dream them.

Life is an evolving process along a path that usually takes multiple detours. We are the sum of our experiences, actions, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, and viewpoints. Based on our choices, they interplay to shape how we show up at that moment and define what we can become.

Every day you are confronted to make many choices. Do you follow the consistent path of least resistance by being a people pleaser or a door mat? Can you garner the strength to find your voice, speak up, and set your own boundaries?

On the other side, when old wounds are triggered, do you overreact to the situation at hand? Life is not a movie.  We do not have the ability to “edit” out certain conversations or occurrences.  The only things on the editing room floor will be pieces of regret.

Whenever you push out the sides of your self-made box, even slightly, the ability to expand your horizons gets easier. The results progressively lead to overall more satisfaction, enjoyment, fulfillment, and ultimately tapping into your life’s true purpose.

So, how can we release what is holding us back from living an optimal Life? Many people are able to start the process by self-coaching, being a student of Life, viewing it as something that is happening for you, not to you.  Forgive yourself of what you think you should have done or not done, said or not said. Bless the road well-traveled regardless of its knots, twists, and turns. Be flexible to alternative routes. Learn to treat yourself with respect, kindness, and value. Know gratitude and safeguard your positive outlook and joy. Most importantly, learn to love yourself…again.

When the blocks get stacked too high and the barrier is too strong to overcome, it is time to turn to a professional Coach.  You will experience tremendous freedom to be YOU with a coach. Coaches are non-judgmental, intuitive listeners, a sounding board, a strategic partner, your personal cheerleader, and empowering confidant.

Together, you and your trusted coach will chisel the blocks apart, dispel the mortar in between, and toss them over the ridge so you can climb unimpeded to your Summit of Success!

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