Personal development is like being under construction; make sure to warn your friends and loved ones that debris will be falling!
I remember seeing those apartment buildings in the San Fernando Valley surrounded by wire fences following the aftermath of the 1994 Northridge earthquake, thinking it was such a powerful metaphor for the process we tend to undergo in therapy and coaching.
The shaken tenants had to endure the discomfort and inconvenience of being relocated during retrofitting and reconstruction, in much the same way as we go through the difficulty of being inspected by our coaches, shrinks and sponsors, on admitting our need for help.
Just as the plaster and ornate facades are stripped off the cracked walls and ceilings revealing the brick and dry wall posts beneath, so goes the way of our ego, grandiosity and character flaws into the dumpster!
As many of you know, it’s not pretty...There’s rubble, dirt and muddy puddles everywhere we step and a very high risk of debris falling from above.
This is what I term the Hard Hat Area of self-improvement!
It’s important to forewarn your loved ones and ‘suitors’ that you are likely not to be at your best during reconstruction, since your focus will tend to be self-absorbed and riddled with guilt, shame and introspection.
This is not meant to serve as an excuse to be a lousy spouse or irresponsible, rather a reality check of the unnatural and often messy process of personal
Just as the foundation and walls of the buildings felled by the earthquake were strengthened and rebuilt with sturdier structure, so will you learn resilience to the pressures of personal responsibility and continuous relationship tremors!
In the coaching world, reconstruction and reinvention are part and parcel of the work. It should be fast, poignant and empowering. Let's face it, no one wants to live without a roof for too long. Just make sure your "contractor" is
skilled and has a blueprint for change that matches your vision.
Be prepared to be patient and steadfast on your journey of reconstruction.
It's a little like the Movie Director who excitedly shows his burgeoning new Producer the story boards for his vision of the movie, only to be met with dismay and confusion, as he merely pictures pencil sketches, rather than the visual masterpiece of the eventual finished product.
Remember, the time will soon come when you'll re-open your heart and your doors to guests and tenants alike,"Under New Management".
Until then, don your hard hat and look up!
Life - Under Construction! by Jamie Greene is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.