I haven’t written not only “in a while” but in almost a year (at least not for the blog). First, I thought that I’ve reached a dead-end. That I am not in the right frame of mind and maybe I’ve lost my muse and enthusiasm to share solutions with those who need it. Maybe I had no more to say? I thought it is simply a period but then ‘the period’ continued to pile up… from days to a month, from a month to months, and then from months to a year.
Staring at blank sheet of word documents not only a few times resulted in accumulation of vast number of unpublished work drafts. There were things to share but I didn’t think of them as worthy anymore.
Nevertheless I love writing. It is one of my things. I maintain diaries, write on note pads, note books, sporadic sheets of paper... I write on my phone in the “to do list” and note apps while on the train. This never changed but I stopped being able to look people in the eye and tell them that I know the solution to XYZ when it came to their personal feelings or course of life decisions.
The more I work with clients and with myself the more I know I don’t know. After I started my psychology masters degree earlier this year I also dipped into the world of heavily theoretical papers that emphasised consistently on the FACT that there is no one truth, a right answer (if an answer at all) to anything…
Personal, professional and theoretical educational experiences all came into one to thankfully show me I know squat! No one knows how love happens. Whether or not the “right person” exists, if there is a universal law that governs our existence, if my destiny is shaped by my free will, a script or a combination of both with unknown percentage relationship. I don’t know for sure if a client that reaches a happy conclusion and a decision for action will in fact make it to where they want to get (although luckily either our positive bias or reality, or both suggest they often do get to somewhere where they are more satisfied one way or another).
I don’t doubt my abilities to help and develop myself and others. This is not what has stopped me from sharing the experience and the learning. It is, however, the very settled realisation that I don’t think anyone can distill the truth about what people wish to know most in a way that can be promoted as THE solution.
I’ve mentioned before that my social media channels are full of people in the area of personal development and psychology. I am surrounded by articles and opinions on what are the 5 best steps to do XYZ. Motivational quotes with authority which state things like “the right man doesn’t need fixing” (Always? Why not? What’s fixing? ). The mistakes around me and the overuse of pure personal opinion packaged as self-help advice became so apparent that I frankly wanted to not be a part of it. Not this way!
Saying the wrong thing can and often does have an implication on someone’s life without this being fully appreciated and realised by the issuing end. Profound, deep, negative impact with all the right intentions is in fact I think not only possible but common.
For those of you who know me in a coaching capacity, you would have noticed that I had a major crush on Anthony Robbins. I love the guy to bits for the enthusiasm, the way he (I believe) tries to talk in plain language to the masses to produce positive shifts in mind-sets and in people’s lives. However, even my crush on Tony faded as I look at the flaws of this directive approach of “one truth is the truth”.
So here, I am, to question the current trend of socialising opinions as “directive solutions”. Many of those are producing positive outcomes and are stemming from a genuine will to do good. Yet, are we allowed to tell people that they need to fit into one box or another in order to find happiness, to find love, to reach success, etc. ? Can we not start phrasing our experiences in a more realistic way, in a way that respects others, in a way that assumes they also know a thing or two as opposed to treat each other as children with no history, no knowledge and no personal brains?
I still believe that there are fundamental rules that are really really helpful and we don’t need to re-discover the wheel all over again. I am not against providing directive solutions either because people do need direction, they do need structured ways of executing approaches for themselves. Education is needed. Yes! and Education should provide structure and synthesis. BUT should we not become more mindful of the potential downside of making those who don’t fit into a suggested box feel bad about themselves, their abilities, their worth?
Anyone who posts content on the web has responsibility to think twice (if not more) for the implications that our words have. Words can hurt, shape, start things or end things… have we forgotten?
I once read that people who smoke or don’t take care of their bodies (in a sense of physical activities and subsequent achieved higher attractiveness) are not ready for a relationship and happiness. I kid you not to this day every time when I have a cigarette or think of having one (which is a noticeable event in my case) a thought crosses my mind that makes me question my worthiness even when I am in a happy relationship.
Things do stick in our heads. Irrational things stick. The wrong things stick. Well understood stupidities like the one above stick with people and their subconscious minds. Each one of us has the right to share with which comes the responsibility to think about the messages we give, their ambiguity, their potent - both negative and positive. Using business and professional brands does result in statements having more authority too.
For those of us who read articles, quotes, follow inspirational leaders, coaches, business gurus – apply your critical thinking!Train it! Ask questions while you read. It’s not a must to agree or search for the truth in someone’s words if they don’t ring true to you. Remember that most people don’t own the holy grail of solutions for the most important questions that we all search answers to. Read more to compare and contrast. To distill yourself.
With love and utmost respect,
Ina Life Coaching