Really? We’ve all got issues?

Is it just me or do we all go through life thinking that many others seem to have life pretty much sorted and only ‘I’ have issues? This may be totally naïve but it was only fairly recently that I began to realise that no matter who we are we all have issues; and they are most likely all different sets of issues. What’s more anyone who does not think they have issues…well I guess that’s their first issue straight away.

While I am perhaps overstating my ignorance here I did get something of a ‘it’s obvious when you think about it’ yet fairly seismic revelation as the result of the coaching course that I did after being made redundant. The course was a very good one, and for me a great investment of some of my redundancy money, most notably because we had to bring ‘issues’ for others to practice on.

The course was not cheap and as a result I was on it with a number of people who I thought were ‘above my pay grade’ (and there’s one of my issues right there): CEOs, senior people in the public sector, partners in city firms…and me. Basically people who, from the outside, look like they have life pretty sorted.

To my astonishment we shared many of the same fears, insecurities and concerns…and I came away from the course not only feeling stronger, but with that key learning point that whatever my own unique set of issues were, I was not alone in having them.

What I also learned from that course is that not only are my issues mine to own, challenge and maybe even overcome; but that most of them are just in my head. For me the most useful part of the course was on the last day when we had a series of one to one meetings with everyone else, including tutors, when we talked about how we saw each other on the course. It was useful because it was a great lesson in helping me to understand how we do not see ourselves as others see us; and how we very often are our own worst critics.

The course came just at the right time for me and really helped me to begin to understand why I behaved in certain ways, and I am convinced that the seeds for the changes that have happened to the way I live life were sown during that course.

Basically I could not have done what I did without getting to know myself better and value myself more. It is not as simple as that, of course, and everything is a work in progress (even as I wrote that previous sentence that voice in my head popped up and warned me about not getting too arrogant and self-obsessed) and it is a slow process. Nevertheless, it is one that has gleaned amazing results for me so far and I look forward to getting to know myself even better.

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