I attended a graduation ceremony yesterday and I could not have felt more proud if the graduate had been a member of my own family.
To reach the level of graduation has been an enormous challenge for this person and her journey has been fraught with trial, missteps and delays.
Well, it wasn’t really a graduation ceremony it was simply two people getting together to celebrate a successful conclusion and it took place in my office.
In July of last year, after three years of research, trial and error, I introduced a new 60 day coaching experience that I call “Boot Camp for Your Brain.”
Since then more than 60 people have enrolled in this program and for the vast majority the results have been nothing short of astounding.
Most participants have taken to this process like a duck to water, have faithfully and meticulously done every single thing they committed to do and their unswerving dedication has resulted in them becoming the beneficiaries of enormous gains in their own lives.
I have witnessed confidence levels rise, years of self-doubt vaporize, wallflowers turn into orators, weight fall off bones, sales increase, businesses grow, two instances of folks being taken off medication by their docs, a C student become an A student and many other incredible successes all of which serve as testament to the possibilities that exist when we change what we believe to be true.
Not every participant has experienced this level of success. When we undertake to change our way of thinking we frequently open a Pandora’s Box, meaning that what begins with the intention of making our lives better may initially produce difficult and unexpected consequences.
Results in our lives come from our habits – those things we do repeatedly – and this experience focuses relentlessly on changing those habits starting with what is, for many of us, the most debilitating of all habits, the habit of self-critical thought.
For countless numbers of us this habit has accompanied us since childhood and, indeed, we have so mastered the habit that its ongoing presence requires no effort on our part.
We are all familiar with the saying that “old habits die hard” and in addressing this with my clients I have likened these old habits to a street gang that has taken over a neighborhood and enjoyed many years of unfettered control.
For many, many years the gang has controlled who and what comes in to the neighborhood and who and what leaves.
I have pointed out to folks entering this coaching experience that what they are, in essence, doing is approaching that street gang and letting them know that they have come to take back their streets.
Street gangs fight hard and they fight dirty and for some folks the battle has sadly proven to be just too much.
Some people have had a few false starts to the program and we have simply pressed the “Reset” button and started again. A couple of others have found the tasks to be so overwhelming that they will no longer return my calls.
My graduate from yesterday’s ceremony was one of those. We hit that reset button more than a dozen times and she began each new start with zest and determination only to find herself once again surrendering to the sheer force of that street gangs attacks.
Each time we reset, her resolve lasted a little longer before crumbling. And around the middle of November, with renewed vigor, she began again.
It wasn’t easy. She laughingly told me yesterday that the fee she had paid for the program probably came nowhere near covering the cost of all the boxes of Kleenex she used during her visits to my office.
She reminded me of how many times she wanted to give up and just quit trying. In her words she had “grown so tired of failing that I didn’t want to play anymore.”
And she kept reminding herself that the only guaranteed way of never failing is never trying and so she continued to “drag my butt” back to your office to try once again “for the very last time.”
She told me that completing this program is the most worthwhile thing she’s ever done for herself and I couldn’t help comparing the confident young lady in my office yesterday to the one I had first met last July.
I asked permission to write about her today and she laughingly said I could with two conditions.
The first is to use only her first name – Julie – and the second is to beg the two folks who are no longer returning my calls to come into my office and push that reset button.
Till we read again.
P.S. Our newest Personal Coaching experience called Boot Camp for Your Brain is attracting new participants every day. Please click here and take a peek at our Ebrochure.
My book Life Sinks or Soars – the Choice is Yours has its very own website. Please visit us at www.lifesinksorsoars.com and let me know what you think.