This was the topic of our 'sit' in my recent group supervision session with the extraordinary Zen Buddhist Claire Genkai Breeze. We were asked to ponder this and feel what came up for us. For me there was an initial feeling of freedom and relief followed quickly by a deep sadness. 'Who am I without recognition' was my uncomfortable comment. The realisation that ego plays such an important role in my life has been a real eye opener - in the past I have put it down to values... recognition is important to me and that's just the way it is - work with it. However that gives an impression of permanence. What if that value doesn't serve me anymore? What if I have outgrown it? In coaching we often work with people's values and some believe that they stay the same throughout our life.... I want to challenge that notion.
One of the key concepts in a number of psychotherapeutic approaches is that we create our own stories, narratives or 'scripts'. If our thoughts are programmed in by us then what is stopping us from re-writing our stories... constantly? We can be whoever we want to be or we can be no-one, it is up to us. Yes it's difficult, no I don't have a magic wand but for me purely the knowledge that we can choose to change our persona, change the version of ourselves that we identify with most is hugely freeing. We are creative beings - how about turning that creativity towards ourselves and our own narratives. The possibilities are endless - infinite you might say. This reminds me of the fabulous book by Matthew Haig, The midnight library in which the concept of infinite versions of our life is brought up. If you haven't read it I highly recommend it - not only will it make you think but it is a wonderful reminder to look around and be aware of our impact on others.
Here are a couple of coaching questions that may spark some further reflection:
AUTHOR: ANNIE LEE
Annie is a coach, coach supervisor & coach adventurer! Warmth, depth & joy sum her approach up in a nutshell!