Paula Levin

#coached 11 Just do it

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Coaching with Sterna has changed the way I think. Our last session was a game changer. We talked about what stops me from moving forward, from going for the things I want and pursuing the things that make my life meaningful. And the answer is me. Of course it is. We are never victims of life, people, fate or anything outside of ourselves, as much as this seems to be true. But we CAN be our own worst enemies. I shared with Sterna that I’m scared to set new goals for myself because “what if I don’t achieve them?” Then I’ll feel depressed, angry and disappointed with myself. Isn’t it safer NOT to try?

Sterna introduced me to a map depicting the crossroads we all face when embarking on anything new. We can either walk down the “judger” path or the “learner” path.
The judger path is where we REACT to life asking questions* like “why am I like this?”, “why does this always happen?”, “why bother?”, “what’s wrong with me?”, “what’s wrong with them?”

These questions lead directly to the Judger Pit. I know this pit very well. I spend a lot of time wallowing in it! But I didn’t know there was another path I could walk. Faced with the exact same scenario, I could choose to RESPOND, and ask learner questions, sticking to the facts like, “what happened?”, “what assumptions am I making?”, “what are my choices?”, “what is possible?”, “what should I do now?” Notice that these questions are solution focused, on creating a positive path of learning. Kind of like, ‘even if you lose, don’t lose the lesson’. If even failing would yield growth and self awareness – as opposed to self-loathing, I think I’m down for that!

In fact the world is my oyster. Coaching taught me that what I’m really afraid of is my own thinking, which is kind of silly when you think about it. 🙂 Especially because thinking, or mindset is something so eminently changeable! It requires mindfulness, slowing down, noticing judger thinking and choosing to walk another path filled with self-compassion and discovery. It’s kind of exciting actually. Just the thing to start the New Year with more optimism, hope and curiosity about what’s possible, when you get out of your own way.

*Change your questions, change your life, Marilee Adams PhD.

About the Author
Paula is a wife, mother and writer - based in Johannesburg, South Africa, dreaming of Israel. She is a full-time thinker, part-time copywriter at her husband's advertising agency, journalist and published author. The former editor of Jewish Life magazine, she is now a regular contributor with a passion for contributing goodness, kindness and wisdom to this world.
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