As a small business mentor and personal development life coach, I help a great many people with both services simultaneously.
For example, I am often called in to help grow a small business past the all-too-common "launch re-entry" phenomenon; where their initial launch was been a great success, but momentum has been hard to maintain, to the detriment of profitability. Often there are negative self-talk scripts chattering away behind the ears, or an unacknowledged confidence issue hampering super-success. You wouldn't believe how many people are programmed to believe they're unworthy of success! This is where we step into the psychological rats nest, and start to discard false beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviours.
"PERFECT" IS AN ILLUSION
One such case in point was Martin, who on the surface had it all; a wife he loved and who loved him, two young boys who adored him, a lovely home, great friends, supportive family and a business with a huge amount of potential. Everyone was in good health, and his business was winning awards all over the place. Life was pretty damn-near perfect - or so you would have thought. Martin's friends and family certainly though so.
However, inside Martin's head was an entirely different matter, he was feeling "itchy restless" (his description), and he didn't know why. He didn't even believe he had a right to feel itchy restless, because his life - on paper - was perfect, he acknowledged that. But here he was feeling itchy restless all the same. Unable - or unwilling - to discuss his thoughts and feelings with his wife, friends and/or family (because "they'd all call me crazy and dismiss me"), Martin called me.
ACTIVE LISTENING + TALKING THERAPY
Some people need to think to talk, whilst others need to talk to think. Martin naturally falls into the former category; he's an introverted type, with a high Locus of Control, and is predisposed to think himself round in circles without a word of it to anyone before he's ready. And that's okay, we all operate differently. Thankfully for him, Martin had completed the requisite laps in his head before reaching out, so now he needed to explain it to me, so I could learn to understand who, and where, he was. This required Active Listening on my part, and a willingness to open up and communicate, on Martin's part; teamwork baby - there's nothing significant achieved without it!
As I am 147 years-old, with an insatiable appetite for stories, tales and fables to make my point (see The Fern & The Bamboo, The Elephant & The Rope, Cut The Rope, You Have The Power, Altruism, Because It's What We Do, Live Too Defensively & You Won't Live At All, to name only a few examples - please do feel free to ask for more), it was fortunate I had this one for Martin. As Martin's itchy restless symptoms are sadly all too common, I thought the story was worth broadcasting out for the benefit of everyone. See if it resonates with you on some level...here goes:
ONCE UPON A TIME...
Once upon a time long ago, there was a man unhappy with his life - itchy restless, if you will. He was happily married, he had children who adored him, great friends, family who loved him and a successful business which was the envy of many in the village. But over time the man started to become inexplicably restless.
The restlessness plagued and nagged at him, and he was at a loss to explain why he felt restless at all (...are you understanding why this story screamed out to me upon hearing Martin's story?!). The man began to fantasise about a place he'd heard about, far away from where he was now called, Paradise. One morning, after finishing a bland bowl of porridge, the man stopped dreaming about Paradise and, without a word to his wife and children, he walked out of the front gate, and away from the place he had called home. He never looked back; he was a man bound for Paradise.
For three days the man traveled and, each night before he slept, he would remove his shoes and deliberately point them in the direction he was travelling in, towards Paradise. Every morning he would carefully step into his shoes and continue on his quest forward. On the third night however, the man accidentally, and unknowingly, kicked his unofficial compass 180 degrees. When the first rays of morning sun rose in the sky, the man stepped carefully into his shoes, and began travelling in the direction they told him was Paradise.
Exactly three days later he arrived: "Ahhh, Paradise!" he sighed, as he stood atop a hill, looking down onto a quaint little village. A brief sense of familiarity washed over him, but he wrote it off as a coincidence, and thought no more about it. He excitedly descended the hill and walked through the village of Paradise, where strangers knew his name. "Well of course they would know my name...", he reasoned with himself, "...this is Paradise, why wouldn't they?"
The man continued through the village until he came to the end of the road, where there was a gate. He walked through the gate and, as he did, he heard the beautiful sound of children's laughter, and he could smell the delicious aroma of his favourite meal. As he opened the front door, the man was greeted by happy cheers of "Daddy!" as their arms wrapped blissfully around his neck. "Ahh, Paradise!" he smiled, with happy tears in his eyes.
Now every morning the man eats his bland porridge, in his new life, in Paradise, where it had been all along.
What do you think, does this resonate with you at all? You see the problem wasn't where the man was, it was where he thought he was. He had been temporarily enveloped in a thick fog of illusion, so thick he could't see past the end of his nose. The only thing that separates anyone from knowing this, is their perspective - how they choose to perceive their reality. And if I've said it once, I've said it a million times; if you change your thinking (your perspective), you will change your reality.
By talking this through with Martin on a deep mental and emotional level, we were able to clear away his fog of illusion. Answering probing questions, which Martin was courageous enough to address openly, honestly and completely, he was able to establish in his own mind what the root cause of his itchy restless dissatisfaction was: a visceral need to feel he was making an impact on his world, not wasting his life. Martin had reached a certain age where he felt he should have achieved more, had more to show for his X number of years. There were numerous reasons why Martin had these beliefs, but they were as solid as fog when we examined them, and they were blown away with rational, adult logic and reasoning. All too often we carry things forward from childhood, that weigh us down and anchor us to the past. Past hurts, abuses, beliefs and humiliations scar us as children, but if we can address them now as adults, we can blow them away like confetti from an open palm. Just because you've carried these issues this far, doesn't mean you have to carry them forever!
If you're feeling itchy restless like Martin, please feel free to get in touch and we'll start examining why you're feeling that way. Everyone is different, we all experience things in our own unique way, and we all carry forward different aspects of our pasts forward - until we choose not to. Where your feelings are concerned, there is no right or wrong way to feel, just your way - and that's okay. I am here to help you put that heavy load down, once and for all.
You have been placed on this earth to complete your Hero's Journey, not to be held down by heavy life debris that no longer serves you. Perhaps the jettisoning of your debris is part of your Heroes Journey? Perhaps the jettisoning process will mold you into the person you need to become to fulfill your life's mission? Who knows, until you explore and find out?
Don't tolerate itchy restless, come and talk to me
Karan | 01536 601749