A few weeks ago, my coach asked me to name 5 strengths/skills that are important to develop when you are a coach. What did I feel was important? As I reflected on this, certain key ways of being came to mind. Ways that would deeper the connection to my clients so that they would know that I listen and that they also feel heard. Patience and wisdom were high on that list as well along with a few additional choice nuggets.

As I consciously sought to find ways to practice and develop these skills, something else she said to me in a different conversation, landed hard and resurfaced. She told me that I’m very hard on myself and therefore hard on my daughters too. Ouch! That stung and was so on point. I just love when someone calls me out and opens my eyes. Good coaches do that. But, even though it landed, it took about a week to realize exactly how hard I am on myself.

You see, for the past few weeks, even months now, I have been experiencing back pain that radiates down my left arm to my hand as numbness and tingling. I complain, I ice and I deal with it, but I have not made it a priority to seek medical attention. Why? Because I’m busy growing, changing, transforming and being there for everyone else. Not in a martyr type of way mind you. But in more of an “I’m not a priority” type of way. It just kind of happened because I want to focus out, learn new skills, and be there for family and friends, etc.

Listen, in the last few months, actually the better part of a year now, I’ve been fighting for my marriage, changing careers, starting a new venture and challenging myself and my comfort zone on many levels. Now, I also have the aging parent challenges of an only child to deal with. Oh, and I started working with a personal trainer to get in shape only to find my self more stressed and heavier than ever. WTF?!

So, while laying by the pool at a resort in Arizona, knowing that I needed to check in with my coach about those skills I have been practicing, it hit me! Duh! I get to practice those skills on myself! I get to show myself love, patience, compassion, generosity and everything else I so lovingly want to give to my family, friends and clients. I get to listen to my body. I get to love and care for it wisely. It’s been quite the year for me. I get to start with the man…er…woman in the mirror. I get to let go of control and perfection. No more being hard and demanding on myself. I get to listen, hear and shift. I get to be kind and loving to ME!

From now on I’ll remember to love myself first so that I can love everyone else.


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