One of the most interesting things I’ve discovered when helping clients to change is the difficulty they have in coming up with a goal.
Now, it’s not that they don’t know what a goal is but when asked to articulate what their goal is, they tend to fall into one of several camps. They are as follows:
The ‘I am unable to frame it unless its in the negative’ person – ‘I don’t want to be fat anymore. I don’t want to smoke anymore. I don’t want to be tired all the time’.
The ‘I am too embarrassed to really say what I want person in case you laugh at me’ person – ‘I want to be poet but I’m going to tell you I really like my IT job because it’s more grown up’
The ‘I haven’t got a scoobie-doo’ person – ‘I don’t know. NO, I really don’t know. Look I’m serious I don’t know’.
Of course, we all have a bit of these unhelpful framing habits, and as issues go, they are fairly straight forward for any half-way decent coach or therapist to re-direct or help a client find some clarity with. [Tip: If you come out of your session and you still have no idea what you want to do, seek another professional to support you. Or just speak to a friend; they’d be cheaper.]
However, there is one type of client who is particularly difficult – and hands up I’ve been this person too – and it’s the ‘if only you could fix AN Other, then my life would be brilliant/perfect/idyllic/supreme/marvellous/add own superlative’ person.
This is the client who sees all their woes stemming from someone in their life – be it parent, partner, work colleague, child or random guy who eats noisily on the bus every morning.
This is the client who needs to be educated first and foremost, anything that happens in their world may not be in their control, but their reactions and responses to it, are.
For the person who gains much from the blame game, this can be a very scary road. It is a brave soul who makes the journey, for the path leads to nothing less than accepting full responsibility for their life.
However, the rewards are vast for any intrepid adventurer, as they can begin to truly live their life to the fullest, experiencing themselves at their most authentic and joyful. It is after all the journey that counts, not the destination.