If you are an achiever who works to help others be achievers, I have a question for your consideration:

 Is it possible you are – inadvertently – limiting those whose brilliance you want to unleash…including…your own?

Do you push and strive for ever-higher levels of performance, from yourself and those you lead, coach, support?

Here’s why  I ask:

We live in a world that tells us:

  1. Simply being “average” is Not Good Enough.
  2. Failure to consistently, increasingly excel is (wait for it….) Not Good Enough.
  3. Failure to conform to the Cultural mandates about excellence in performance? Not tolerated well by anyone shaped by that Cultural mandate – including you.
  4. Falling short of an ideal – however unrealistic – is painful.
  5. Pain  – so Culture tells us – is something to be conquered. Overcome. Whether is it physical or emotional discomfort, notice the cultural messages urging you to get past pain and get on with …. whatever. Get to…a different destination or outcome.

The old paradigm says pain means something is Wrong, and this is doubly so for emotional pain. Our Culture has not taught us how to meet pain in ways that are productive, effective, generative.

We simply don’t know how to deal with it.

Therefore,  when pain rears its oh-so-unappealing head, the default reasoning – the collective story we live in, thanks to Culture’s mandates – is to think it is your job  – as a Leader, a Coach, a partner, or parent – to Make It Better.


Perferably – the sooner, the better.

But…is it?

It is deliciously seductive to think your value to others lies in helping someone move from pain to no pain in the shortest time possible. In other words, finding The Solution that allows the one in pain to move out of discomfort asap.

Let that myth go. Now. Please.

A focus on the quickest route to comfort is an attachment to outcome and it reinforces the cultural thinking that the destination IS more important than the journey. That productivity and performance are more important than people.

Yes. Easing pain (also known as ” providing relief”) often occurs as a by-product of the kinds of conversations facilitated by leaders, coaches, parents.

But  if the conversation stops at the easing of discomfort, the gaining of relief – you’re missing a huge opportunity.

If you can consider emotional discomfort as a call to awareness, a nudge for you to explore something within – a story, a belief, an attitude or perspective that no longer serves you – you transform your relationship with emotional pain.

A massively productive shift, I’d say.

In order for you to live from this perspective and help yourself and others achieve results that go WAY beyond feeling better, it is essential that you:

  •  Learn to trust the journey yourself so you embody and model this way of being. You’ll be far less likely to get hooked into Making It All Better. You’ll stop settling for pain remediation through numbing, avoiding, distracting. (Hint: Workaholism and chronic busy-busy-busyness are part of this pattern.) All that pain-avoidance energy gets freed up to invest in sustainable, balanced productivity. (A notion whose time has come…)
  •  Cultivate your ability to see the beauty in what is. Remember the story about the little boy in the state of positive anticipation as he dug through a room filled with horse manure, holding the firm belief that, “With all this poo, there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!” Imagine what this shift can do to unlock the paralysis of perfection.
  •  Open fully to the learning available in the experience. Listen for the next deeper layer of truth or awareness being called to surface through a painful situation. Shift your questioning from “wth” to “What is only possible because I am experiencing this discomfort?”

When you integrate the notion that you are always in the right place at the right time, you will stop looking for the path (the answer or solution) and begin to recognize it as it unfolds beneath your feet. And the more you experience dynamic partnering with this unfolding path, the more you trust yourself, your process and life itself.

What a powerful gift to give yourself and those who look to you for leadership! When you help others build self trust, even the smallest amount, then your leadership, your coaching, even your parenting is productive in ways that change worlds.

And if something stirs within you in response to the notion of finding the perfection in what is, or of dynamic partnering with your unfolding path, it may be time to for a personal discovery session to explore your best options. Contact me to learn more.

In celebration of your perfectly unfolding path!