As a coach, I get to work with incredible people. My clients come from all age groups, socio-economic ranges, and geographical locations. One of the clients I have loved working with for the past two years is a “millennial.” (In case you are not aware…millennials were born between 1982-2004.)
This young client struggled getting through university and into the “adult world.” His inner landscape was beset by anxiety, depression, and self-hatred. He felt (and was frequently told) he lacked self-confidence and a sense of direction.
This young man is a person of immense talent and intelligence. He feared not measuring up to what was expected.
I was speaking to him this week. We had not connected in a while…because he had gotten a job and was off-and-running in his “What’s next?”
Yes. From desperation and depression to hitting every goal he set for himself this past year. People looking in from the outside probably took it all for granted. I was aware of all the hard work that went into his success.
When this young man was 23 he contacted me directly and told me he needed to change because he could not go on like he was. He continued to take that courageous stand for himself through a myriad of set-backs and begin-agains. He didn’t give up. He graduated. He got a job.
One of the things that I am constantly blown away by…is the way my clients stay in their lives. I work with clients who have suffered significant losses and trauma. Who have been “disappointments” to parents and friends. Who have failed more than once.
They might have been called or thought of themselves as “losers.”
And you know what…they had a choice. They didn’t have to stay in their lives. They could have indulged in drugs and alcohol and given up the fight. Or…they could have ended it altogether. A popular choice as suicide is on the rise in this country.
My clients inspire me and remind me that we always have a choice.
We can stay in our lives. Keep looking in. Keep doing our work. Keeping digging up the self-destructive beliefs and old ways of thinking that need to be gently ushered out so new thoughts and beliefs can emerge.
We can choose not to stay. There are many ways to leave. Diving into isolation, social media, substance abuse, and other diversions that take our minds off our pain. And take us out of our lives.
I am fortunate and honored to be able to sit on my side of a phone while courageous people work to stay in their lives on the other end. Those lives may look messy and under-developed to the untrained eye. But I know the truth. I have a front-row-seat to some of the most amazing and courageous life adventures on the planet.